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, it 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.
The Museum galleries and buildings are open to the public from mid June to late September, Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Admission is free.
Museum offices and archives are open year-round Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM and by appointment.
Conversation: The Fundamentals of Navigation
Captain Virginia Land McGuire of Sea Education Association will explain the “Fundamentals of Navigation” on July 20 at 12:30 PM. The presentation will be held in the Woods Hole Library’s lower level meeting room. For more information, click here.
WHHM Annual Meeting, August 2
Following a brief business meeting, featured speaker Tom Chilton will share highlights of his career designing natural history and cultural history exhibits with his wife Christie and their staff at Discovery Exhibits. His presentation, “From Pit Houses to Ice Houses – 25 years of telling stories of people, places and events with exhibits” will include photos of exhibits from across the country and stories of working with many Native American cultures.
A member of the Steering Committee at the Woods Hole Historical Museum, Tom has designed, built and installed an exhibit each year at the museum since moving to the Cape from Santa Fe, New Mexico. These exhibits include Historic Ice Harvesting in 2015, Historic Cod Fishing in 2016 and the current exhibit titled Shellfishing on Cape Cod.
The Annual Meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 2, from 7:30 to 9:00 PM at Fisher House, 13 Church Street, Woods Hole.
In the Galleries — Summer, 2017
In Gallery 1: Navigating the Seas in the Age of Sail. How Cape Cod fishermen traveled the seas before the days of electronic devices.
In Gallery 2: Man and Mollusks: A history of shellfishing on Cape Cod from the early uses of quahog shells by the Wampanoag Indians to present-day oyster farming by local fishermen.
For more information about the exhibits, click here.
The Galleries open to the public on June 17.
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 Tells the Story of Pie in the Sky
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 see the new article about Pie in the Sky, click here.
Donate to the Museum
You can now make donations to the Museum directly from this website. Donations are tax deductible and can be made safely and securely using your credit card or PayPal. Click here to go to the donation page.
Now Online… Businesses of Old Woods Hole
A popular exhibit from the summers of 2014 and 2015, Businesses of Old Woods Hole, has now been recreated for the web. Learn about whaling, fishing and fish markets, about hotels and bars, about restaurants and tea rooms. There are even articles about parking lots, carpenters, and a few of the prominent citizens. If you missed that exhibit when it was in the galleries or if you would like to visit it again, you can see it by clicking here.