Otherwise known as the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, the National Heritage Museum is devoted to collecting and preserving the art, history, and literature regarding the Freemasons in American history. Constantly acquiring new artifacts, the National Heritage Museum curates new exhibitions, talks, programs based on themed topics from historical relics to the American citizen’s obligation to join the fight in WWI. Ben Franklin, a Freemason himself, is a significant focus at the National Heritage Museum with artifacts such as a 1777 medallion featuring Franklin wearing a fur cap, commissioned by Jean-Baptiste Nini.
Being a museum and library, the National Heritage Museum is focused on the education of the public and as such, they provide many accommodations specifically for that reason. Educator’s are given curricular information and activities that they may use before or after school visits to the museum. Themed tours may also be chosen based on the grade level of visiting students. Guided tours as well as self-guided tour options are available for groups. The Van Gorden-Williams Library and Archives, dedicated to the history of Freemasonry, is available to the public, Masonic scholars, and researchers.
Located on 22 acres of beautifully manicured grounds, the museum is a lovely and elegant spot for your next group visit or function. The museum can be reserved for events and offers several fully equipped rooms such as the Maxwell Auditorium which seats 390 or other smaller rooms for more intimate business meetings. The Farr Conference Center is a great choice for any large occasion as it can comfortably seat 120 for dinner. Every hosted room comes with audio-visual equipment and other amenities. Weddings, corporate events, seminars, receptions, and parties have been hosted here in the past with great success so come check it out if you are looking for a beautiful location for your group.
In New England, as in the rest of the United States, no other secret society has been more influential in the building of the country than the Freemasons. Little is known about their inner workings which is why a trip to this unique and inspirational museum is recommended for all groups, both recreational and educational.
Guided tours are offered for groups desiring a more in depth look into the Masonic teachings, particularly of the Scottish Rite. Otherwise, tour the building at your own pace to see collections holding historic quilts, textiles, photographs, and artifacts created by, owned, or used in Masonic rituals. Temporary exhibitions range from topics covering the influential usage of the American flag in society to displaying the works of local artists.