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Dorset County Museum hosts Thanksgiving Party

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Dorchester Thanksgiving PartyTo celebrate the re-established links with Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts the Dorset County Museum is hosting a fundraising event for the proposed development at the museum on Friday 14th November 2014 from 5.30pm to 8.00pm.

The museum is planning a major refurbishment and development scheme, to better house its collections and offer more opportunities for public engagement of all kinds.  An important part of the heritage of Dorset is its connection with early settlers in the United States.

It is keen to establish links with organisations and people who are interested in the history of those who went to America from Dorchester.

TV’s Downton Abbey creator Lord Julian Fellowes and his wife Lady Fellowes will be playing a key role in the Thanksgiving party by introducing a new film about Dorset’s heritage.

Other entertainment during the evening will include the performance of a Mummers Play by the New Hardy Players and traditional folk music by Jerry Bird.

Dorchester Thanksgiving Party Event Programme:

5.30pm – Door opens

6.05pm – Dr. Jon Murden opens the occasion

6.15pm – Presentation of our films by The Lord and Lady Fellowes of West Stafford

6.50pm – Live link with the USA

7.10pm – Dr. Jon Murden and David Taylor closing Speech


– ‘Mummers Play’ by The Hardy Players

– Traditional Folk Music by Jerry Bird

8.00pm – Event Finishes

Tickets can be purchased from the Museum Shop, telephone on 01305 756827 or email the or alternatively can also be available from the Dorchester Tourist Information Centre, Telephone on 01305 267992

The event highlights the links with early settlers in the United States including places such as Dorchester in Massachusetts.

The museum owns John White’s Rectory in Colliton Street which is being restored as part of the major new project. The Rev John White led early settlers to the States. Fundraising team leader David Taylor said “links had also been found between Dorset families and the great-grandfather of the first president of the US, George Washington”.

He said: “There are coats of arms from the Lawrence and Washington families going back to 1390 which show stars and stripes very similar to those used on the American flag.”

The Museum is also keen to look into the strong historical connection with early settlers in the United States, in particular with those who sailed on the ship Mary and John. This was the ship that brought the first European settlers to Dorchester Massachusetts in 1630 under the guidance of the Reverence John White.

The "Mary & John" - the ship that brought the first European settlers to Dorchester Massachusetts
The “Mary & John” – the ship that brought the first European settlers to Dorchester Massachusetts



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