Historical Paintings

eeling by franklin gifford

Eeling on Eel Pond by Franklin Gifford. From the collection of the Woods Hole Library.

Franlkin Gifford (1854-1936), a long-time resident of Woods Hole, filled his retirement making paintings of local scenes that he remembered or reconstructed.

Twenty or so of Gifford’s paintings now hang on the walls of the Woods Hole Public Library. Some of the paintings depict battles or famous historical events, but many (like the paint of eeling shown here) show scenes village life in Woods Hole in the 1800s and capture a sense of what that life was like.

You can view a show of Gifford paintings and learn more about them here.

The Pacific Guano Company in Woods Hole

Guano Works

The guano works in 1880 on what is now Penzance Point. From the Museum Archive.

Beginning in 1859, Woods Hole was home to the Pacific Guano works. On Penzance Point, where multimillion dollar homes now stand, ships from around the world brought guano and dead fish to a smelly factory that manufactured fertilizer. Then in 1889, the guano works suddenly shut down. Why was it there? What did it do? And why did it close so suddenly? You can learn more about the guano works here.

Or you can listen to Deborah Scanlon, the director of the Woods Hole Museum, describe the history of the guano company in an interview from WCAI by clicking here