This painting shows Little Harbor as seen from about the position of Simeon Hamblin's house (38) looking west over Parker's Neck toward Great Harbor. The wharf in the foreground still exists and was the point from which Lieutenant Joseph Parker ran a ferry between Woods Hole and the Vineyard in 1729. The bluff in the foreground has since been cut back and filled below to make room for the railroad right of way which also required the removal of the Little Red Schoolhouse (41) and Edmund Davis' carpenter shop (42) on the south side of the Woods Hole road.
Farther along the shore of Little Harbor is Ephraim Eldridge's house (40) and behind that Joseph Parker's Tavern (27) with its stables and sheds (26). Joam Hatch's house and carpenter shop (2a) is shown at the farthest turn of the road. On the north side of Woods Hole road at the extreme right is the home of Delilah Davis (36) which was owned by Ward M. Parker and later by Joseph S. Fay. Just west of this house is the coach which ran between Woods Hole and Falmouth. Behind the coach is the home of Ward M. Parker (35) which was built in 1828 and later owned by Christopher Bearse. Next to this on the west is the home of Manassah Swift (33) which was later owned and rebuilt by Ward M. Parker. In 1850 this house was sold to Joseph S. Fay under whose ownership for some 90 years it was known as "The Homestead". This property is now owned by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Fay Homestead is called "Challenger House" after the famous 19th century research ship H.M.S. "Challenger".
The first post office in Woods Hole was in the garden near this house. Next toward the west is the home of Owen Eldridge (32) built by him in about 1842 and now owned by Wayne Senate. Next toward the west is the home of Betsey Bradley (31), daughter of John Weeks. The white house next to this was the home of Captain William Sanford (30) built in the late l8th century, and beyond this the home of Jabez Davis, Sr. (28) built in about the same period. In the distance between the Sanford and Davis houses was the home of Thomas G. Davis (25) built in 1843.
The Ephraim Eldridge house (40) located on Little Harbor under the bank south of Woods Hole road belonged successively to Captain Eldridge, Joseph Hatch, Frederick Wray, Sanford Harendeen, Joseph S. Fay, and Captain Wainwright. It was demolished in 1871. The building behind was a hotel first known as Joseph Parker's Tavern during the Revolutionary War and then under the ownership of John Webster as "Webster House". It burned in August 1858.
The text above is from Historical Paintings of Woods Hole, by Franklin Lewis Gifford (Woods Hole Public Library, 1962). The numbers in parentheses refer to Gifford's "Map of Woods Hole as of 1845," which you can see by clicking .