Historic Beverly offers educational programs for students from grades 3 to 12.
We are a primary source document repository and research library facility for the Essex County History Program – Essex Lincs.
We are happy to work with individual teachers to add unique elements to classroom presentations and programs at our historic houses. Please contact us to book your program or to inquire about our offerings.Book Your Program
Digging up the past – An Introduction to Archaeology
Our museum educator will visit your classroom to talk about early European settlement on the North Shore, focusing on the history of the 17th century Balch House and an archaeological dig done at the site. Archaeological terms and procedures are explained. Small groups of students are given a “pit” in order to perform their own “dig”. They will be encouraged to use the scientific method while they extract actual historic artifacts. These artifacts will be examined, identified from resource material and dated. The students then present their findings to the class.
Fee: $75 per class
Massachusetts State Learning standards: 3.2, 3.4, 3.9, 3.11, 3.12
Concepts and Skills: #3 Observe and describe local or regional historic artifacts.
New England Maritime History: The Triangle Trade
This program is designed for 5th grade students, but can easily be adapted for older students as well. The Massachusetts maritime trade in the 18th and 19th centuries was a worldwide enterprise. Beverly, Salem and other coastal communities sent vessels laden with salt cod, lumber, rum and other products to the West Indies, European, Asian, and African ports, returning with goods for the domestic market. Students will use copies of our primary documents like bill-of-good, letters and newspapers and a trading game to understand this fascinating period. They will also learn about the role that some Massachusetts merchants had in the African slave trade. The educator can come to the classroom or the students can visit the Cabot House where they will be able to view our exhibits and see actual maritime objects. Fees: In classroom, $75 per class; Cabot House programs $5 per student
Massachusetts State Learning Standards: 5.11, 5.12
Concepts and Skills: #3 Observe and identify details in photographs and charts relating to historical narrative #4 and #7 Maps #12, 13, 14; Terms- profit, entrepreneur, supply and demand.
Time Machine Bus Tours
Bus tours of many of Beverly’s historic sites are available showing the rich history of the region from the early colonial period to the Revolutionary War to the early 20th century. Stops include the ferry landing, the waterfront, the Balch House, the John Cabot House, Independence Park, Hale Farm and Lynch Park. Fees: $10 per student ($100/bus minimum) includes tour of one of the Society’s properties. Tours of additional houses may be added for $2 per student. The tour takes approximately 3 hours.
(Schools provide their own transportation.)
Historic House Tours
Students of all ages can get a feel for life in the past by visiting one of our historic houses. Fee: $5.00 per student for one house; $7.00 for two houses and $8.00 for three houses. Please allow 45 minutes per house; note that groups of more than 15 will need to be divided at Balch and Hale, which will increase the time.
At the Balch House, built about 1680, students will learn about life in the colonial period, including home life, education, farming and trade.
Hale Farm was once the home of Beverly’s first minister, John Hale. He built this house in 1694, not long after the witchcraft crises of 1692. Hale was involved in the trials and it was here that he wrote his book “A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft.” This was also an early summer home during the “Gold Coast” years, when the wealthy folks of the cities summered here.
Cabot House was built by wealthy merchant John Cabot in 1781. At the Cabot House (home to Historic Beverly) students will see objects illustrating maritime trade, Beverly’s role in the American Revolution and the early days of the Republic.
The museum educator can visit your school to present illustrated talks on a variety of topics including Beverly and the California Gold Rush of 1849, Slavery to Freedom: African Americans in Essex County, Schools and Scholars: Education from 1640-1860. A complete list of topics is available on request; the one hour program includes time for questions.