January 26: PEM behind the scenes and a curator’s tour of “Empresses of China’s Forbidden City”

Dr. Daisy Yiyou Wang, the Robert N. Shapiro Curator of Chinese and East Asian Art and the curator of the Peabody-Essex Museum’s special exhibit, “Empresses of China’s Forbidden City,” will give us a tour and describe what went into putting together this exhibition, including the years-long planning, and provide a look behind the scenes at the[…]

November 3: The Nichols House Museum Up Close on a Private Tour with the Curator

The Nichols House Museum occupies an impressive four-story town house constructed in 1804 by famed Boston architect Charles Bulfinch. In 1885, the house became home to Dr. Arthur Nichols and was later inherited by his eldest daughter, Rose Standish Nichols, the noted landscape architect, writer and suffragist. Rose Nichols cared for the house until her[…]

Pilgrim Hall Museum

October 20: Behind the Scenes at the Pilgrim Hall Museum and the 17th Century Archives at the Registry of Deeds

Updated October 1: Just received this note from Michele Pecoraro, Executive Director of Plymouth 400: “After the registry visit I can take people on a tour of the monuments and we can have the “Rock Talk” that DCR does at Plymouth Rock. It’s only 10 minutes and has a great deal of information that isn’t known[…]

Old Ship Church in Hingham

September 15:  A Visit to Historic Hingham Square

We will take a private tour of three historic buildings Hingham Square. They’re all within walking distance, and weather and time permitting, we’ll see a number of others as we make our way through Hingham’s downtown. The Old Ordinary Since 1688, the Old Ordinary has been an inn, a tavern, a private home, and—since 1921—a[…]

June 2: Private Tour of the King Caesar House and the Bradford House in Duxbury

A private tour of the King Caesar House and the Bradford House with Erin McGough, Executive Director and Historian/Archivist, Carolyn Ravenscroft of the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society. We will tour the houses below, learn about the history of Duxbury and its role in global shipping and trade, and see some archival items and collections objects that[…]

Lemuel Clap House

May 19: Dorchester Historical Society Private Tour

Updated April 6: The initial 20 spots went quickly, so we’re adding another 20 and will split the groups. Thanks to Earl for being especially accommodating. We’ll enjoy a private tour of the Society’s five buildings, which are on two campuses, separated by about five blocks distance.  This should be a real treat.   735 Columbia Road[…]

April 7: Behind the Scenes at the Abigail Adams Birthplace

Our structural tour of the Abigail Adams Birthplace is be a behind-the-scenes look at the ca. 1685 building’s construction, and will include the second floor and basement, which isn’t usually included on tours. The building was home to Abigail for the first 20 years of her life and has been relocated twice. The tour will[…]

February 10: Buckman Tavern and a Tour of the Lexington Historical Society’s Collection

Our tour will be led by Erica Dumont, Lexington Historical Society Executive Director, and Stacey Fraser, Collections Manager.  Stacey will discuss a some of the fascinating objects in the Society’s collection, such as the William Diamond drum, which called the militia into formation on Lexington Green on April 19, 1775. Stacey and Erica will also take our[…]

January 27: Ayer Mansion Tour and Wine and Cheese Reception

Updated December 21: All the spots have been taken. A private tour of Boston’s Ayer Mansion with the preservation expert leading their current effort, and a wine and cheese reception. Here’s how the organization describes the mansion: “[A] rare surviving example of the residential work of designer Louis Comfort Tiffany. . . . The Ayer Mansion[…]

December 2: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

December 1 update: We have one spot available. It’s as a result of a cancellation. If you’re interested, contact me; you can work out payment with the person who cancelled later. (Ignore the “sold out” message below. When this spot is taken, I’ll update this page.) Take a private tour of the spectacular Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum before[…]

November 11: The Edmund Fowle House

Thanks to Marilynne Roach and the folks at the Watertown Historical Society, we have an opportunity to take a private tour of the Edmund Fowle House. The Fowle House was the headquarters of the executive branch of the Massachusetts legislature for a year and a half at the beginning of the Revolution when Watertown was the de facto[…]

Our “Behind the Scenes” Outings Planned for 2018

Nearly every month we head to a historic site for a one-of-a-kind experience designed for people who love history.  Our goal is to raise awareness of little-known institutions and their collections and to gain new insights into established institutions. The outings help both the individuals and the institutions. Notices go to the History Camp Boston[…]

The Old Town House in Marblehead, Massachusetts

August 5: The history and architecture of 17th & 18th Century Marblehead

Please join us as we explore historic Marblehead on a morning walk, lunch, a tour of the Lee Mansion, and an afternoon walk. Come for one or more—or all. When and where 9 am to 11 am: Marblehead 17th Century Walking Tour This walk focuses on the early settlement of Marblehead (up to 1715) and includes a discussion[…]

July 22: Tour of the Fairbanks House with the curator

Built in 1637, the Fairbanks House is the oldest wooden structure standing in North America. Eight generations of the Fairbanks family lived in and added onto the house between 1637 and 1904. The museum is still owned and operated by the family today. Largely untouched and unrestored, the house is considered to be a prime example of colonial architecture.[…]

Postponed: Radicals of the Best Sort: Women and Industrialization in Lowell from 1830 to 1860

Updated June 10, 2017: We are moving this to the fall.  Subscribe to the History Camp Boston mailing list to be notified of the new date, and of other special “behind the scenes” events for history lovers. As a followup to his very popular session at History Camp (“Lowell Mills, Industrialization and the Rising of Women[…]

April 22: Tour and Discussion of Royall House and Slave Quarters

In 1739, Isaac Royall, Jr inherited his father’s brick home in Charlestown (now Medford).  Though the house had already been expanded since being built in 1692 on the site of an earlier John Winthrop house, Royall greatly expanded and remodeled it over the years.  Royall was a wealthy slave trader, and he added a large[…]

March 18 – 19: History Camp Weekend

New this year and taking place as part of History Camp Weekend: On Sunday, March 19, special events for History Camp attendees. In addition to the conference on March 18, these additional activities are being programmed by local institutions. Each will have its own ticket, with ticketing and registration handled by each presenting organization. Refer[…]

February 25: Behind the Scenes at the Museum of Russian Icons

Join us at the Museum of Russian Icons, to learn the story of Russia as told through icons and other cultural artifacts Museum Registrar, Laura Garrity-Arquitt, will lead visitors on a guided tour exploring Russian history and culture from early Byzantine influence through the soviet era. Visitors will have the opportunity to view several objects[…]

January 27: Treasures of the Boston City Archives

Update: Photos! Join us at the Boston City Archives, where we will have the opportunity to view a handpicked selection of treasures with Marta Crilly, Archivist for Research and Outreach. Boston City Archives houses more than 35,000 cubic feet of city records, from poll tax records to school newspapers to the city’s legal files.  Their records[…]

Planning monthly outings for 2017

Thanks to the individuals and institutions who have provided unique opportunities every month for our History Camp Boston group.  The events (below) have been very popular, and most are full several weeks in advance.  (If you’re not on the list to receive e-mail notices when registration opens, sign up for the History Camp Boston list.)[…]

December 11: A History Camp holiday celebration at the House of the Seven Gables

This December, join your fellow history nerds in Salem, for a seasonal celebration hosted by the House of the Seven Gables and Salem Historical Society. We’ll meet at the House of the Seven Gables, then start with a walking tour of the Derby Street Historic District, led by the Historical Society.  Derby Street is an[…]

November 5: Edward M Kennedy Institute for the US Senate, election edition

This election season, we’re going behind the scenes at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation[…]

September 10: Massachusetts Historical Society, a private exhibition tour

Join us for a special tour of the Massachusetts Historical Society and their latest exhibition on September 10. The exhibition, called “Turning Points,”  looks at moments in American history when everything changed or a process was started that changed everything. Fifteen eye witness accounts, personal records, and items that were present at these moments of[…]

August 6: Fort Andrews, a private tour of Boston’s WWI-era harbor defenses

This summer, join us for a historical island getaway.  In the years between the Civil War and the early Cold War, Boston Harbor was ringed with ever more elaborate coastal defenses, the size and complexity of which peaked during World War I.  The chain of forts surrounding Boston Harbor protected not only the city itself, but[…]