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Lilacs Along the River
Wentworth-Coolidge Lilac Festival

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Lilacs Every school child knows that the lilac is the official state flower of New Hampshire. What you may not know is that the original lilacs were imported to NH from England in the 1750s expressly for the wealthy Royal Governor Benning Wentworth to display at his Portsmouth mansion just outside the city.. Today the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion is open summers and each May the grounds bloom with the descendants of the original lilac flowers. The resulting Lilac Festival has been drawing larger crowds each year.  Lilac specialists offer impromptu lectures, and visitors can tour the current art exhibit in the converted carriage house, purchase lilacs and related products and sign up for a historic house membership or summer classes.
 
Visitors line up for a short free tour of the sprawling 33-room restored mansion that has a commanding view of the Piscataqua River. Here the original NH governor held grand events  and, even today, the NH Governor's Council meets here annually. George Washington reportedly visited "Lady Wentworth" here during his presidential tour of New England. We strolled down by the river and met two life-long "anchor" Portsmouth residents, then hopped in the tour line, Stay tuned for more (and better) images of the Wentworth-Coolidge House coming to SeacoastNH.com by photographer David Petty. And mark you calendar for this new annual event at one of NH's most amazing historic houses.

Wentworth-Coolidge Lilac Festival
Mary 2001

Lilac Festival
Lilac Festival
Lilac Festival
Lilac Festival
Lilac Festival

All disposable photos by J. Dennis Robinson
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Copyright 2001 SeacoastNH.com. All rights reserved.


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PO Box 7158
Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03802
URL: http://www.SeacoastNH.com
Voice: 603-427-2020
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