Businesses of Old Woods Hole

An exhibit to honor the 100th anniversary of the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce


To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce in 2014 the history of Woods Hole’s own businesses from the 19th to the mid 20th century is presented here. Some were members of the Falmouth Board of Trade, the prior businessman’s organization; many were not. Some of these businesses are long forgotten and without photos of them, we often don’t even know where they were located.

Map of Woods Hole in 1887

Scroll over the map for a magnified view.

On the “bird’s eye view” map of Woods Hole village of 1887 it shows that the central area of streets was lined with homes and small businesses: stores, suppliers, groceries, and the hotel now called the Woods Hole Inn. Listed are –

  • Burgess Bros.
  • J.K.P. Purdum – House & Store
  • Henry T. Davis – Provision dealer
  • Herbert C. Childs – Residence
  • Thomas E. Howes – Fruit, Cigars, Tobacco & Ice Cream
  • M.J. Maley – Clothing, Dry Goods, Boots & Shoes
  • Sears, Swift & Co. – (lumber yard on the former Bar Neck Wharf)
  • O.P. Smith – Horse Shoer & Jobber
  • Look Bros. - Boots & Shoes
  • E.F. Donnelly – Fruit, Confectionary, Tobacco & Reading Matter
  • Henry F. Howes – Hair Dresser
  • Chas. E. Davis – Wood, Coal, etc.
  • E.D. Bassett – Groceries & Provisions
  • E.T. Fish – Post Office
  • C.H. Burdick – Carpenter & Builder
  • Residence of Wm. Donaldson
  • J.W. Bowles – Carpenter & Builder
  • Dexter House – H.M. Dexter, prop. (hotel on Butler’s Point).
  • Hotel Nobska – Later the Corner Inn and then the Hotel Avery. Now the Woods Hole Inn.

The Woods Hole Inn is the only business that has survived.