This 2021 exhibit explores the archaeology associated with the earliest indigenous settlements on Cape Cod.
Spencer Baird exploring
With the Public Archaeology Laboratory in Pawtucket, RI, the museum has developed a display on Native American archaeological sites, ranging from approximately 12,000 to 450 years ago, along with artifacts and images to tell us more about the culture of the earliest inhabitants of our region well before the Mayflower landing in 1620.
Some of the areas featured are recorded archaeological sites that document indigenous occupation across the Cape.
The museum’s exhibit also includes the Upper Cape, where the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has had continuous presence for thousands of years.
Funding provided by the Woods Hole Foundation and the Cape Cod Foundation’s Falmouth Fund.
Summer 2021 WHHM Exhibit
“Honoring Jewel Plummer Cobb” exhibit tells the story of the change in name of Agassiz Road to Jewel Cobb Road. Woods Hole residents initiated a community wide campaign upon learning that the prominent scientist, Louis Agassiz, credited with inspiring the start of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), was a white supremacist who used his science in support of his racist theories. Seventeen illustrated panels give a step-by-step narrative of the way the name change came about.
The museum exhibit is a large, illustrated banner that provides information on Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb, a distinguished scientist and Falmouth resident. Dr. Cobb was a cell biologist and educator. Early in her career she worked at the MBL. Subsequently, she became Dean at several colleges and universities and President of California State University at Fullerton. She was most proud of her mentorship of aspiring young scientists, especially women and people of color. The exhibit includes fond remembrances of Dr. Cobb from Woods Hole and Falmouth colleagues, friends and neighbors.
View the exhibit poster here.
Gallery One:Continuing this season in the museum’s gallery one is The History of Woods Hole, the story of whaling, science, architecture, hurricanes, ferries, railroads, tourism, local industries, and more, using photographs, documents, artifacts, recordings and tools. The core of this exhibit is a timeline describing key people and significant events in the settlement and development of Woods Hole, covering the time period covered from the 1600s to the present.
This year the exhibit will include a display on the 150th anniversary of the NOAA Fisheries Laboratory.
Gallery Two:In the 1880s Mr. Coolidge produced stunning images of Maine and New Hampshire, and around 1890, he began photographing Boston, Lawrence and later Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and the Cape. He took numerous images of the village of Woods Hole, especially investigators and scientists at the MBL. He continued coming to Woods Hole in the late 1890s and into the early 20th century.
Because of his work in Woods Hole, the Museum Archives owns many original prints of Baldwin. In 1998, the museum printed a collection of his photos, “New England Views,” which is still available for purchase at the Museum shop.
This 2018 exhibit, Man and Mollusk: A History of Shellfishing on Cape Cod, showed the many kinds of shellfish found in our waters and the vintage tools that were used to gather them, as well as the use of quahog shells by the Wampanoag Indians to present-day oyster farming by local fishermen.
Thanks to Tom Chilton and Bob Grosch for curating this exhibit.
A two-pound cannonball fired by the British during an attack on Falmouth during the War of 1812.
In addition to the exhibits presented in our galleries and in our shops each year, the museum website presents several online exhibits. Some of these (like the exhibit about ice houses) are online versions of exhibits that were mounted in the museum galleries at some point in the past. Others (like the exhibit about the guano works) were never mounted and have existed only online.
Here are the exhibits available for viewing or listening to online:
Drawings from Nature by the Students of Julie Child
Science Connection: Woods Hole and Japan
Businesses of Old Woods Hole
The Winter of 2015
Historic Ice Houses
Woods Hole Women of a Certain Age
Historical Photos from the Museum Archive
Walsh Roses on the Fay Estate
Historical Paintings of Woods Hole by Franklin Gifford
A History of the Guano Works on Great Harbor
An Audio Tour of the Village
The MBL at 125
Listen to an Interview with WHHM Walking Tour Guide Rob Blomberg about The Captain Davis House
To read more about these exhibits scroll down or click here.
Drawing by Thomas Hodgson
Each fall over the last several years an exhibit of Drawings from Nature have appeared at the Museum. The artists are all students of Julia S. Child of Woods Hole and are all adult year-round residents of Woods Hole and Falmouth. Most of these students are over age fifty and have come to Julie’s classes from varying backgrounds and abilities. One, Tom Hodgson, says he had never picked up a colored pencil nor done a nature drawing till he came to Julie’s class. Now his drawings are among the most accomplished and beautiful. Most of the work has been done in colored pencil, though there are also illustrations in pen and ink and watercolor.
For more information about Julie and her students, click here.
To see the exhibit, click here.
Ume Tsuda (far left) and Sutematsu Yamakawa (far right) both came to Woods Hole and the MBL to study in the late 1800’s.
For almost 150 years there has been a science connection between Japan and Woods Hole. Many of these connections have been on the very personal level, one-to-one. Many accomplished scientists have mentored younger students and assistants, challenging them to discover new facets of the scientific world.
Increasingly through the years there has been more formal cooperation at the institutional level. Yet the bonds of friendship and the ties between individual scientists have only grown and become stronger. These people work together, seeking and sharing knowledge of the ocean and its life.
There was an exhibit describing some of the connections between Woods Hole and Japan on display in the Museum galleries during the summer of 2016. To see an online version of that exhibit, click here.
Navigating the Seas in the Age of Sail, you will discover how Cape Cod fishermen travelled close to shore and far from land before the days of electronic devices.
The exhibit features reproductions and an original of large, century-old maritime charts from the archives of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Other artifacts include navigation tools such as sextants, compasses, sounding lines, chronometers and log lines. Thanks to Steve Wagner, retired captain of NOAA’s RV Albatross IV and Delaware and current member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Tom Chilton, Bob Grosch, Debbie Scanlon for curating this exhibit, and to WHOI for their assistance.
T.E. Howe’s Market on Eel Pond
Explore the history of Woods Hole through its businesses. Learn about carpenters and entrepreneurs, about tea rooms, restaurants and bars. This is the web version of an exhibit that was up in the Museum for the summers of 2015 and 2016. To visit the exhibit, click here.