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Dover, New Hampshire: Woodman Museum: Quirky Relics Team Field Report

182 Central Ave., Dover, NH
South side of town, on the west side of Hwy 108/Central Ave. just south of Hwy 9/Silver St.
April-Dec. W-Su 10-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $13.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
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Woodman Museum.

Woodman Museum: Quirky Relics

Four buildings of exhibits, including a four-legged chicken, a man-eating clam, and a blackjack used to kill a New Hampshire bank teller in 1897. Report... [08/27/2017]

Visitor Tips and News About Woodman Museum: Quirky Relics

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Polar Bear.

Four-Legged Chick and Lincoln's Saddle

The site displays a few presidential items, such as a saddle used by Abraham Lincoln and a lectern that he spoke from on March 2, 1860. But the Woodman Institute Museum, which is celebrating its centennial, is so much more.

The eclectic collection is housed in 4 separate buildings, and includes a towering polar bear shot in Siberia, a stuffed manatee, extensive bird and butterfly collections, "Doll Haven," hundreds of colonial artifacts, and much much much much more. One building covers a centuries-old garrison that took four men and a horse ten days to move three miles. My friend and I were there for nearly two and a half hours and never even made it to the fourth building. It was definitely worth the reasonable fee, and I imagine it would be enjoyed by most roadside attraction visitors.

[Kurt Deion, 06/18/2016]

Four-Legged Chicken.

Woodman Institute Museum - 4-legged chicken

We went to the Woodman Institute to see the four-legged chicken (it is there! a little chick, so cute...) but there were many other fascinating parts to the museum. The 400 year old garrison house is well-preserved and the tour was well done. In the second house there is a wide collection of donated items and our ancient and elderly tour guide was the grandson of the man who had donated much of the exhibit; some of the items, including the 1895 wooden air-powered BB gun, he had played with as a child! The main house (recently renovated) has beautiful collections of preserved sea life and semi-precious gems and minerals which should not be missed. I found the taxidermied animals, other than the chicken, rather depressing and not really striking when compared to your average natural history museum.

[Stephen Karpf, 08/01/2004]

June 2016: Photo added.

Woodman Institute - Four-legged Chicken, Lincoln's Saddle

The Woodman Institute exhibits range from local history items (Mind you. Dover is the seventh oldest settlement in the US) to downright bizarre animal oddities (can you say four legged chicken?) all of which were found by, shot by, owned by, and native to someone who lived in Dover. The admission fee is low if they haven't raised it since I was last there. It includes three museums, one of which is the Garrison House, still standing after almost 400 years. The caretaker will gladly let you walk around inside (even upstairs, but I recommend against that. It is about 400 years old with no restoration work done) and give you a brief but colorful history of the house's experiences.

[Kellie C., 04/30/2000]

According to Jason Hindle, Annie E. Woodman Institute Museum staff: "We have Abraham Lincoln's saddle used to view the Union troops a few days before his assassination, the John Parker Hale House, home of Lucy Hale, fiancee to John Wilkes Booth, circus material from the Cushing Circus, the FIRST U.S. Circus to travel across the Atlantic. Stuffed animals such as a Polar Bear, Moose, two-headed snake and a four-legged chicken."

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Roadside Presidents App for iPhone. Find this attraction and more: museums, birthplaces, graves of the Chief Execs, first ladies, pets, assassins and wannabes. Prez bios and oddball trivia. Available on the App Store.

Nearby Offbeat Places

KFC-Taco Bell GraveyardKFC-Taco Bell Graveyard, Somersworth, NH - 3 mi.
Massive Tidal FlowsMassive Tidal Flows, Portsmouth, NH - 5 mi.
USS Albacore, Submarine in a DitchUSS Albacore, Submarine in a Ditch, Portsmouth, NH - 9 mi.
In the region:
Buffy The Dog Monument, Londonderry, NH - 34 mi.

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