NEMA Museums New England

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Museum Profile

Woods Hole Historical Museum

579 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543
(508) 548-7270

The Woods Hole Historical Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation and celebration of the area’s unique and colorful past and present, beginning with its farming and fishing roots and wending through centuries of adventurous maritime enterprise, world-renowned scientific exploration and achievement, and the parallel history of summertime recreation that has transformed Cape Cod. This history is brought to life throughout the year with a roster of exhibits, talks, multimedia presentations, special publications, archival resources, as well as with the hands-on living history of our wooden boat-building and restoration programs.

The Bradley House, built in 1804, contains three galleries. Two galleries show exhibits that change each year. The third gallery contains a permanent scale model of Woods Hole, circa 1895. The archives and the office of the museum are also in Bradley House as is the museum shop.

The campus also has the Small Boat Museum, with an 1890s Woods Hole Spritsail boat; 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. A children’s interactive exhibit is next to the small boat museum, where children can climb aboard the Cape Cod Knockabout Penguin.

The Yale Workshop, circa 1892, recreates the domain of a 19th century man who summered in Quissett, Leroy Milton Yale, Jr.

The Boat Restoration Program is behind the boat museum. Every Saturday morning students of all ages convene to learn the art and skills of working on wooden boats.