The Woods Hole Historical Museum is a lively small museum with changing exhibits and diverse programs appealing to people with wide interests. Founded as an adjunct to the Woods Hole Library “to establish and preserve a collection of objects and materials of cultural, historical, and artistic value,” the Museum has grown to a campus of several buildings housing exhibit, workshop, and archival space, as well as becoming an active publisher of works of local and historical interest.
Atlantis Stories Reprinted
Bill Cooper’s memoirs of his Atlantis years, from 1944-1948, began as verbal accounts in the boat shop or at the dinner table. At the urging of his son Douglas, Bill recorded the stories in handwritten notes beginning in 1980; his last memoir is dated a month before his death in 2011 at age 83. Atlantis Stories attempts to collate all of these tales for the first time. It has been out-of-print for several years, but has now been reprinted. For more information, click here.
The Small Boat Museum
On your next visit to the museum be sure to visit the Small Boat Museum, formerly the Swift Barn, which was built in 1877 by E.W. Swift for $80.71, labor and materials. Displays include an 1890s Woods Hole Spritsail boat (SPY); a Herreshoff 12 1/2, a Cape Cod Knockabout, a Mirror dinghy, a 1922 Old Town canoe, a Woods Hole Chamberlain dory and many boat models and maritime artifacts.
Other small boats on the campus include two more Cape Cod Knockabouts, two Beetle cat boats and a half-scale model of the Sultana, a 27 1/2 foot half-scale model of a Revolutionary War era schooner all under renovation by our Boat Shop Volunteers.
“From the Archives” Article Shares Stories from the Oral History Collection
Since 2006 the Museum’s newsletter Mainsheet has included extended articles that look at interesting aspects of Woods Hole history or feature research that has been done in the Museum Archives. Articles include stories about Woods Hole’s first yachtsman, the hurricane of 1938, the history of the Fishmonger restaurant, and more. You can find the series here on the website under the Museum Archives tab, or, to see a list of articles rescued “From the Archives”, click here. To read some stories from the Oral History Collection, click here.