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Tales and Ales

February 5 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Join us on  our YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/CustomHouseMuseum) at 6:30pm on Friday, February 5, 2021 for the Custom House’s monthly Virtual First Friday event. This month it’s Tales and Ales!


This virtual version of the popular Historic New England program, and presented by Historian Bethany Dorau, will bring seventeenth century Newbury to life through historical records. In the late seventeenth century, Newbury’s Swett-Ilsley House served as one of three watering holes for the town of Newbury as ‘Swett’s Tavern.’ At that time, quarterly court proceedings were often held at local taverns like Swett’s Tavern, because there were no court houses! In this program, you will hear actual testimony given in these proceedings, which Bethany will put into context. This program will be discussing topics for which people were in court, such as sword fights, scandalous romances, and bloody brawls, all from Newbury’s storied past (so it will be for a grown-up audience).

About the presenter:

Bethany Groff Dorau


Bethany Groff Dorau is the author of A Newburyport Marine in World War I: The Life and Legacy of Eben Bradbury, A Brief History of Old Newbury (History Press), and a primary contributor to the Defining Documents in American History Series. She is the North Shore Regional Site Administrator for Historic New England, based at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury, and a recipient of the Preservation Leadership Award from the Newburyport Preservation Trust, the Pioneer in Preservation Award from the Essex National Heritage Commission, and the North of Boston CVB Leadership Award.

Bethany sits on the executive board of the North of Boston CVB, Lowell’s Boat Shop, and the planning committee of the Newburyport Literary Festival. She has published articles in the New York Times, New England Quarterly, the Encyclopedia of American History, and Historic New England Magazine. She holds an MA in History from the University of Massachusetts, and lives in West Newbury with her family.

From bethanygroffdorau.com


February 5
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Custom House Maritime Museum
25 Water Street
Newburyport, MA 01950 United States
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