Historical Paintings of Woods Hole and Falmouth by F. L. Gifford

Steamboat Landing at Bar Neck Wharf, 1870

Steamboat Landing, 1870
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The steamer "Monohansett" (built in 1860) is shown landing at Bar Neck Wharf (55) in August 1870 to pick up passengers bound for the Vineyard camp meeting in Oak Bluffs. The yellow stagecoach on the dock was driven by James Baker over the route between Falmouth and Woods Hole. This stage met all boats, and brought passengers to Woods Hole on their wav to New Bedford and the Vineyard. The one-horse shay shown in the painting belonged to Oliver Swift. After the present railroad wharf was built, the freight house and passenger depot on the old Bar Neck Wharf were purchased by William Studley and converted into a dwelling which he occupied.

Two lightships can be seen "up-harbor". The brig anchored north of them came from Italy with a cargo of "brimstone" (volcanic sulphur) for the Pacific Guano Works at the head of the harbor.... It is evident that the water is at low tide in this picture, for the sand bar in the foreground on "Grew's flat”, as it was then called, is exposed. At the present time Luscombe's coal dock (later Dyer's) covers this sand or mud flat. The site of the old Bar Neck Wharf was later occupied by the Penzance Garage which in turn became part of the Laboratory of Oceanography of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the year 1954.

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 here.