New Hampshire’s oldest summer theatre meets the oldest mountain-climbing railway in the world

New Hampshire’s oldest summer theatre meets the oldest mountain-climbing railway in the world

Tamworth NH -- The Barnstormers Theatre of Tamworth, New Hampshire’s oldest summer theatre, kicks off its 2019 season on June 27th with a performance of “Damn Yankees” sponsored by the Mount Washington Cog Railway, the oldest mountain-climbing railway in the world. To celebrate the railway’s 150th anniversary and the opening of the show, the theatre and the railway have partnered with the Tamworth History Center, Tamworth Distilling and Art in the Age Café for evening of art, history and local offerings. Surrounded by farm fields and bordered by a meandering river, with plenty to see and do along Main Street, Tamworth Village is an experience not to be missed.

During its four-day whistle-stop at Tamworth Village, Old Peppersass will be located on the Village Green in front of The Tamworth History Center just across the road from The Barnstormers, on Main Street. Visitors can admire the historic engine, then step into the History Center to enjoy a display of O-Gauge Model trains zipping around a mini-landscape with 1950s nostalgia.

In addition, each night of the “Damn Yankees” showing, one member of the audience will be awarded a trip on the Railway this season. Upon entering the theatre, guests must pass their ticket stubs in for a chance to win, and the matching ticket will be drawn at intermission each night.

The History Center’s main exhibit focuses on 'Tamworth Families and the Civil War'. The Mt. Washington Cog Railway was built in the 1860s, and a number of New Hampshire's returning Civil War veterans were involved in its construction. Visitors can enjoy Civil War photos, stories, uniforms, and artifacts, watch the model trains tootle around their tracks, and catch the Peppersass-related activities as well. Suggested donation for adults: $3-5. Under age 18 free. For more information on the Tamworth History Center, please go to tamworthhistorycenter.org.

The History Center will be open Monday-Wednesday 11 am to 1 pm and 4 to 7 pm, and Thursday from 1:00 to 7:15 pm. Don’t miss the opening night festivities Thursday afternoon, starting at 4 pm, when the inventor of the Cog Railway, Sylvester Marsh himself (ably impersonated by Wayne Boyce) will stop by to tell his story, chat with visitors, supervise access to the engine, and ring the bell to usher the Opening Night crowd into the theatre.

The Barnstormers Theatre, in charming and lively Tamworth Village, has been delighting audiences since 1931. Its summer fare of comedies, mysteries, musicals and dramas is professionally acted and produced. It was founded by Francis Cleveland, youngest son of President Grover Cleveland, his wife Alice and their friend Ed Goodnow. In the 1940s, the troupe of young actors barnstormed to a different town each night, from Wolfeboro to Conway to Poland Spring, ME. In 1935 the Kimball’s Store was remodeled into the comfortable 292-seat theatre that is The Barnstormers’ home today.

In celebration of the theatre’s opening night, Tamworth Distilling and Mercantile, located on Main Street, directly across from the village green, will be tasting-out a special "Cogtail" accompanied by a house-baked Earl Grey shortbread cookie created by our friends at the Art in the Age Café. The tasting room will be open from 4-7 for anyone who wishes to imbibe in scratch-made locally sourced spirits paired with sweet bites before the performance.


Down the street, The Other Store’s Daley Café launches its summer Dinner-on-the Deck season Thursday, June 27, in conjunction with Opening Night at The Barnstormers. Fresh local ingredients prepared by a local chefs make a perfect pre-theatre and/or post-Peppersass meal. Park once, stroll the Village, dine overlooking the Swift River. The price for three courses, a la carte, is $25ish for all three and served from 5:30 to 7:00pm. Call 323-8872 for menu details and reservations.

Dale Bragdon, Event Coordinator of Highland House, together with Becky Metcalf of The Mount Washington Cog Railway in January conceived and organized this community celebration in conjunction with The Barnstormers opening night of their 89th season. Special thanks to Tamworth Distilling, Art in the Age Cafe and The Tamworth History Center for their participation and donations. For details on The Barnstormers summer season performance line-up, or to buy tickets please visit barnstormerstheatre.org or call the box office at 603-323-8500. For dinner and a show, Highland House Supper Club will also be offered for the theater season, visit highlandhousetamworth.com for details. The Mount Washington Cog Railway operates daily through October, for trip information and schedule, visit www.thecog.com.

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