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Manchester Historical Society

 10 Union Street
 Manchester, MA 01944
[P] (978) 526-7230
[F] --
Beth Welin
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-6112604

LAST UPDATED: 10/20/2017
Organization DBA Manchester Historical Museum, Trask House
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

Our mission is:

  • To encourage, maintain and foster an interest in historical matters pertaining to the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, and
  • To establish and maintain within the town a library and museum to collect and preserve objects which illustrate the history of the town.

Mission Statement

Our mission is:

  • To encourage, maintain and foster an interest in historical matters pertaining to the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, and
  • To establish and maintain within the town a library and museum to collect and preserve objects which illustrate the history of the town.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year May 01, 2015 to Apr 30, 2016
Projected Income $126,230.00
Projected Expense $124,850.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Lecture Series, Children's Programs

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Our mission is:

  • To encourage, maintain and foster an interest in historical matters pertaining to the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, and
  • To establish and maintain within the town a library and museum to collect and preserve objects which illustrate the history of the town.

Background Statement

The Manchester Historical Society was founded in 1886 “ to serve the entire community through the preservation of irreplaceable town records and artifacts, its research capability and commitment to education.“ The Manchester Historical Society moved into its headquarters, the Trask House, in 1925. In 2014, the organization changed its name to Manchester Historical Museum and adopted a new logo to reflect our mission to share our treasures.

Impact Statement

The Manchester Historical Museum (MHM) offers lecture series, monthly family programs, special exhibits and school programs throughout the year as well as tours of the historic Trask House. Each summer the hall is transformed into a special exhibit on various topics related to Manchester's history. Some of these exhibits have covered, Manchester Furniture Companies, Civil War Veterans, History of Singing Beach and the Gilded Age.

In addition, we service research needs of people trying to find information about their property or family background. We are the caretakers of the historic Trask House as well as a large collection of artifacts and archives from Manchester’s past.


Historic Preservation:

As stewards of the 1825 Trask House, we are constantly overseeing all maintenance and preservation needs of this historic structure. We also serve as the caretakers of the town owned 1885 building "Seaside #1." This building was originally built as the town's first fire station, but later served as the police station until the 1970s. Currently it houses the town's 2 antique fire engines and displays about the fire and police department. In 2015, we received an original Singing Beach bath house which  has been placed on our grounds and is being restored.


Top goals of MHM:

Goal 1: Maintain and care for the Trask House and the collection

Goal 2: Develop and present educational programming

Goal 3: Develop ongoing consistent financial support for programming and operations


Needs Statement

The Manchester Historical Museum needs are:

  1. Continue to preserve the historic Trask House with repairs and restoration as needed
  2. Collect, preserve and store items and documents relating to the history of the town
  3. Display appropriately artifacts from the collection
  4. Offer programs to all ages that share the history of Manchester and the local area
  5. Maintain the needed staffing levels to operate the museum, archives and programming

CEO Statement

The Manchester Historical Museum is an important as well as treasured piece of Manchester-by-the-Sea’s history and downtown. Directly across from the historic library and Congregational Church, the Trask House has helped define the center of Manchester for centuries. The Trask House was home to the town’s most successful merchant captain, Richard Trask, and his industrious wife, Abigail. It houses a vast collection of furniture, china, and artifacts tracing back to the earliest days of Manchester. The archives houses the town’s collection of historic photographs, maps journals and documents.


However, we as a museum are not just the caretakers of “old things Manchester”, but rather are the stewards of the town’s heritage taking on the responsibility of preserving and sharing our history. We maintain an archive and library for research. We offer lectures, exhibits, tours, publications, school and public programs. Some of the areas of focus are:

  • the furniture making industry - the main source of employment for 100’s of years
  • additional smaller industries such as ice companies and shoe making
  • maritime industries – fishing, foreign trade and boat building
  • life in the 19th century
  • the Gilded Age

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

We service the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, the Cape Ann area and Essex County

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Historical Societies & Historic Preservation
  2. Education - Libraries
  3. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Lecture Series, Children's Programs


Our educational programs include:

  • Adult programs (Sept-June) pertaining to Manchester or Cape Ann’s history. These lectures are well attended and soon may require moving them to a larger venue than the museum’s assembly hall
  • Summer Exhibits - some past exhibits were on Manchester Furniture Companies, The Gilded Age Houses, and The Boat Builders of Manchester
  • Educational programs for the local elementary school grades that include demonstrations, walking tours and scavenger hunts around the town
  • Monthly Family Programs where children and their parents (or often grandparents) learn about items from the museum’s collection and then participate in an activity together
  • Special programs such as genealogy workshops, tours and demonstrations are offered throughout the year.
  • We have increased our collaboration with the Council on Aging and the Public Library to offer more programs.
Budget  $17,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served Adults K-12 (5-19 years) Elderly and/or Disabled
Program Short-Term Success  Our short term success is the same as our long term success - the ability to continue to offer our programs and reaching more people with them.
Program Long-Term Success  Long term success will be evident by the continuation of these programs and increased attendance numbers.
Program Success Monitored By  We measure our success by the attendance numbers. As we have been attracting an increasing amount of people, we feel justified in stating that we are being successful at this point. The fact that we can no longer fit the number of people requesting a seat at our programs and have to look for a larger venue also tells us that we must be doing things right.
Examples of Program Success 

During the past year we offered 6 successful and well attended lectures. Almost 100 children came to our family program during its first year. Our Council of Aging Spring Tea has been such a success that we added a 2nd tea during the Christmas season that was also well attended. We have completed the first 2 phases of our 5 year plan to paint and repair the Trask House.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our lecture series has been a long standing practice at the museum dating back to the late 1800's. We are thrilled with the longevity of this program and even more so with the increased interest over the past 2 years with record number of attendees. We have the wonderful problem of having outgrown our hall and now need to look for a larger venue within town to use.

We are excited to add a new children's program to our offerings. We have been working with the local elementary schools and have had classes coming for a number of years. However, this new programming will reach out to families to come together on the weekend to "learn and do" together.


CEO/Executive Director Mrs Beth Lynn Welin
CEO Term Start Apr 2014
CEO Email
CEO Experience Manchester Historical Museum (2014-present)
  • Director

The Gloucester Adventure, Inc. (Schooner Adventure), Gloucester, MA (2008-2013)

  • Education Coordinator – creator and presenter of educational programs, tours and materials – including teacher units, signage, displays, children’s book, documentary DVD and historical presentations and tours
  • Program Director – organized special events and benefits including auctions, festivals, wine tasting…
  • Grant writer and development assistant – completed over 200 proposals, awarded over $100,000 during the 5 year period, helped with Capital/Annual Campaigns and membership drives
  • General operations –website and social media oversight, store management, office management, volunteer training, IT specialist

Essex Shipbuilding Museum, Essex, MA (2008-2009)

  • Educator – guide and presenter of hands-on educational programs
  • Archive registrar using PastPerfect to catalogue artifacts

House of Seven Gables, Salem, MA (2007-2009)

  • Historical Guide and Educator – tour guide and presenter of hands-on educational programs

Elementary Education

St. John the Baptist School, Peabody, MA (2007-2009)

  • Computer Teacher for grades 1-8

Manchester Essex Regional School District (2003 – 2006)

  • Resource room teacher, Grade 5 & 2 long-term substitute teacher, and daily substitute teacher (K-5)

St. Ann School, Gloucester, MA (1988 – 2003)

  • Grade 5 teacher, Grade 4 science and spelling teacher


  • Masters of Education - Salem State University, Salem, MA (2006)
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a Special Education and History minor - Gordon College, Wenham, MA (1986)

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


We currently have program collaborations with the Manchester Public Library, Manchester Council of Aging, Manchester-Essex Regional School System, Cape Ann Museum and Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The board meets monthly with the director in attendance to review all operations and management issues. The paid and volunteer staff meet biweekly to review scheduled projects, upcoming events and areas of need.Subcommittees meet as needed to address areas of fundraising, property maintenance etc. 

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 10
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 2
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 1
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? N/A
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A


Board Chair Mrs. Chris Virden
Board Chair Company Affiliation reitired teacher
Board Chair Term June 2014 - June 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Christina Bain Babson College Voting
Leslie Beatty Community Volunteer --
Sonne Bialy Retired Montessori Kindergarten and Art Teacher Voting
Rus Brown n/a Voting
Lauren Gudonis n/a Voting
Leslie Gurley Community Voluteer Voting
Leslie Hammond Community Volunteer Voting
Michael Mack n/a Voting
Dick Macklem Retired investment portfolio manager Voting
Stan Magnuson Architect, S Magnuson & Association Incorporated Voting
Susan Parker n/a Voting
John Round Community Volunteer Voting
Chris Virden retired high school history teacher Voting
Joan Wogan Retired Real Estate Office Manager Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 15
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 9
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our museum has been volunteer run for almost its entire history. In 2014, the first executive director was hired to take the museum forward. Our current challenges are recruiting new board members who have needed skill sets and the ability to commit to coming to monthly meetings and help with special projects - i.e. development projects. As we move ahead, we are looking to increase not only of program offerings, but also to increase financial support for the museum so we don't have to rely on our endowment for operation expenses. Our board oversees our investment portfolio and fund raising endeavors as well as governance issues.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Fiscal Year May 01, 2015 to Apr 30, 2016
Projected Income $126,230.00
Projected Expense $124,850.00
Form 990s

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

Audit Documents

2014 Audited Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $558,361 $106,332 $103,263
Total Expenses $98,504 $85,203 $103,831

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $35,148 $36,956 $38,130
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $12,437 $10,338 $13,200
Investment Income, Net of Losses $498,361 $45,883 $41,768
Membership Dues $12,415 $13,155 $10,165
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $68,647 $70,577 $83,399
Administration Expense $29,857 $5,505 $9,833
Fundraising Expense -- $9,121 $10,599
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 5.67 1.25 0.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses 70% 83% 80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 25% 28%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $2,318,183 $1,733,655 $1,712,526
Current Assets $144,767 $61,518 $44,157
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $2,318,183 $1,733,655 $1,712,526

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $1,894,382.00
Spending Policy Income plus capital appreciation
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf inf inf

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The large increase in income in 2015 was due to the selling of our endowment portfolio to transfer it to a new portfolio manager. 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

The Manchester Historical Museum’s ultimate goal as stated in the mission is to preserve and share the history of Manchester-by-the-Sea. During the past 100+ years, the organization has done this by offering adult lectures and publishing historical materials.


Now in our 2nd century, we are adding programs aimed specifically to school groups, children and senior citizens. In addition, we are trying to embrace the electronic age by using social media (i.e.) Facebook and Constant Contact to share information about the museum activities, our collection and archive materials.


Our website is also being used to share information. We are in the long process of electronically cataloguing our collection and plan to start sharing the images and information of the artifacts, documents and images within our collection. This will take quite a while to complete and will be an ongoing project for the next 5 years, maybe longer. In the meantime, 2 areas of research have already been added to the website – the Gilded Age and the Furniture Makers of Manchester. Each summer as we put together our summer exhibit, another webpage of a research topic and images will be added.


We will measure our long-term success by our ability to:

  • maintain and gradually grow in the number of programs, attendees and membership

  • financially sustain our operations and maintenance of the building and collection

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

Our strategy/operations plan to move ahead are:

  1. Hire our first paid director to oversee the operations and implementation of new programming. This step will improve our daily management of the museum operations.
  2. Increase the number and range of educational programming including programming for children and senior citizens. This will increase the number of people served by our museum.
  3. Increase the digital accessibility of our collection allowing easier access to research materials as well as preserving information on delicate documents that are in danger of deterioration.
  4. Continue to collect and maintain artifacts pertaining to the history of Manchester.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

  1. Hire our first paid director to oversee the operations and implementation of new programming: This step was started in April 2014 with the hiring of Beth Welin as Executive Director. Ms. Welin has a MA in education with a minor in history, 7 years’ experience with museum education and programming as well as over 20 years teaching experience.
  2. Increase the number and range of educational programming. This is also underway:
    1. As of November 2014, we have offered monthly children’s programs. We have partnered with the town library with these children’s programs. We also now host weekly early childhood literacy programs offered by the local school systems.
    2. Starting in 2015, we increased our collaboration with the Council of Aging to offer more programs for senior citizens.
    3. Starting in the fall of 2015, we moved our monthly lectures to a larger venue to allow more attendees and open these lectures to the public. We have a wonderful problem, we have outgrown our own assembly room. 
  1. Increase the digital accessibility of our collection: We are in the long process of scanning our collection of documents and images. In the fall of 2014, we started having high school students come in weekly to help with this as part of their community service requirements at school. In addition, we have increased the number of weekly adult volunteers who are coming regularly to help scan and enter data into the collection digital catalogue.
  2. Continue to collect and maintain artifacts pertaining to the history of Manchester: Our curator continues to search the internet for items on sale relating to Manchester. In addition, we continue to accept donations of historical items.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

Comparisons from previous years will be used to measure our progress. Increased programs offerings will show that we have met our goal to expand our offerings. Evaluations and input form the local school teachers will help us evaluate and improve our school programs. Attendance numbers will help us determine the success of our lecture series. With each new entry into a digital database, we will be advancing in our process to digitize the collection for easier access. We’re not sure yet what our yearly goal is in terms of number of items scanned and cataloged. As we move through this process, we should hopefully be able to increase the speed at which this happens, but that will depend on maintaining the needed volunteer numbers to do this.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

We have been tackling creating an Operations Handbook. We have spent much of the 2015 updating and writing policies for the museum including a Board Selection Criteria, Strategic Plan, Investment Policy and Conflict of Interest. In 2016 we completed a Code of Ethics, Whistleblower Policy, Collection Caretaking Policy and Employee Handbook. In 2017 we plan to create an Emergency Plan and complete a Business Plan.

We have started and will continue the digitizing of our archives. We have also started to photograph items in the collections and are entering these images into the Past Perfect database along with the corresponding information from old records. We know this will be a very long-term project that will depend greatly on the volunteered man-hours available.

Our lecture programming continues to be well attended. Our family programming is seeing an increase its attendance as well. The Manchester elementary school continues to send grades kindergarten - 3 to the museum every spring for educational programs. Last year we started a 4th grade program where we bring a presentation to their classes which is then followed up with an art project. Their artwork was then brought to the museum and displayed.

Visitation to the museum is still rather low during the quiet part of the year (Oct-May) but does increase during the summer during our summer exhibit. We hope to increase visitation by offering more exhibits during the year.