Group Tours at Hamilton House (c. 1785)
Romancing the past
A National Historic Landmark
In the early twentieth century Emily Tyson and her stepdaughter Elise used this c. 1785 house overlooking the Salmon Falls River as their Colonial Revival summer retreat. They created a lavish garden, commissioned whimsical murals in the dining room and parlor, and filled the house with the antique furnishings, handcrafted items, and decorative objects on view today.
Visit this picturesque landmark and experience the early twentieth-century romance of owning a country house away from the pollution and noise of the era’s growing cities.
40 Vaughan’s Lane, South Berwick, Maine
- June 1 to October 15, Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- All group tours must be scheduled by appointment. In addition to open days, group tours may be scheduled at times the museum is closed to the public.
We are happy to work with you to customize your experience.
- Guided House Tour: Enjoy an approximately one-hour guided tour; please allow one and a half hours for your visit.
- Garden Party Tour: After touring the house, enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds with tea provided by Historic New England. Learn what it would have been like to attend a 1920s garden party and the etiquette followed at a country house.
- Tussie-Mussies: After touring the house, learn about the restored Hamilton House gardens and the language of flowers and make your own tussie-mussie, a small flower bouquet with symbolic meaning popular in the Victorian era. Offered July 1 – July 31.
- Sarah Orne Jewett and the Tysons: Visit both Hamilton House and nearby Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum for a day’s outing. Learn about the friendship between Sarah Orne Jewett and the Tyson family and their roles in preserving Hamilton House. Enjoy a picnic lunch at Hamilton House or visit one of the local restaurants in South Berwick.
- Up to 12 visitors can tour the house with each guide; generally we can accommodate up to 50 visitors in the house in one hour. Accommodations can be made for larger groups.
- Please note that the tour requires a considerable amount of standing and climbing stairs. If members of your group need special assistance, please let the museum know in advance.
- Guided House Tour: $8 per adult for groups of 8 or more visitors. Additional rates apply for all other tours. Prices subject to change.
- Receptive tour operator rates available upon request.
- The tour leader and bus driver are welcome to a complimentary tour with the group.
- A non-refundable deposit based on your maximum number is due upon booking. The outstanding balance must be paid when the group arrives on-site for the tour.
- Please call two weeks in advance to confirm a guaranteed number of visitors.
- A variety of local restaurants in South Berwick include: Isidore on the Rocks Tavern, Nolka, Thistle Pig, Asia Café, and Mikey’s Wicked Good Pizza.
- Visit the nearby town of York, Maine, with quaint shops, several dining options, and beaches.
- Visit another Historic New England property nearby. Package discounts available.
- Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum and Visitor Center, South Berwick – Author Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) spent much of her life in this 1774 Georgian house, owned by her family since 1819, even using it as an inspiration for her novel Deephaven. A Visitor Center next door—a Greek Revival home where Sarah Orne Jewett lived as a child—features rotating exhibitions with an emphasis on regional art.
- Two restrooms located on the grounds.
- A visitor center in the Garden Cottage.
- Lush perennial gardens and spacious grounds overlooking the Salmon Falls River.
- Plenty of on-site parking is available for both cars and buses.
- Food and drink are prohibited in the museum.
- Touching, leaning, or sitting on the objects is prohibited.
- Cell phones should be silenced prior to your tour.
- Your group will stay with the tour guide for the entire tour.
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