Visual Reminders of the Past Acquired in 2021
As the repository of the community’s history, the museum welcomes and encourages donations that are visual reminders of the area’s past. In 2021, we received four donations that showcase Woods Hole and Quissett from the mid 19th to the mid 20th century.
Little Harbor with Webster House on Butler's Point. 1859. Maria Denny Fay
Accession 2021-01
The donor, Bettina Fay Abe, is the granddaughter of Elizabeth Elliot Spooner Fay who married Joseph Story Fay’s son, Henry. She is depicted in the lovely painting, “Lady in a Hammock” by Frank Hillsmith in 1876.
The donor's aunt, Fay Dabney, longtime museum supporter and Joseph’s great-granddaughter, bequeathed seven watercolors painted by Joseph’s sister, Maria Denny Fay, between 1854 and 1866.
The Crane Boathouse on Little Harbor. Maria Denny Fay.
Three views of Little Harbor. 1859-1866. Maria Denny Fay.
These three watercolors were mounted into one frame
Thanks to Bettina, who contacted us to complete the wishes of her Auntie Fay to donate these historical paintings to the museum.
Accession 2021-02
P.K.Simonds and Beth Colt donated various items found during the 2011 renovation of the Woods Hole Inn. Some things were found in the walls, attic and other storage spaces. These documents provide a glimpse of the operation of a business on post-World War II Cape Cod. The Inn at that time was run by Captain Frank McLean and his wife, Gloria.
Listed below are samples of some of the invoices included in the donation.
Some are still here…
Eastman’s Hardware
Wood Lumber
Falmouth Publishing Company (Falmouth Enterprise)

Others are gone but not forgotten…
Harborside Fish Market (Sam Cahoon’s)
Grossman’s Lumber (now the site of the Steamship Authority General Offices on Palmer Ave.)
F.W. Woolworth’s
Mrs. Weeks Shops
Fay’s Plumbing & Heating
Robbins Laundry
Quite a few of the documents (licenses and fuel receipts) pertained to McLean’s Filling Station, which stood in what is now a small parking lot between the Inn and the Old Barn Package store
View from the filling station on Luscombe Ave. looking over to the Landfall during the Hurricane of 1954
There were also boxes of guests' check-in cards and correspondence. The new owners of the Inn had wallpaper created using blown up images of the guest cards.
Accession 2021-03
A woman from Brewster contacted us last spring. She is a collector of old documents and wrote “I am downsizing and donating my ‘accumulations’ when I can and would like to see history go home”. Her archive, which was purchased from a dealer who obtained the material from an elderly woman (unfortunately, we do not have her name), includes correspondence, invoices and records with Stephen Carey and his wife pertaining to the construction of their summer home, “Petrel’s Rest”, which overlooks Quissett Harbor.
Large group of young people posed on lawn of "Petrel's Rest"
Distant view of "Petrel's Rest" with the Quissett Harbor House to the left
Charles H. Burdick of Woods Holl, whose business was located approximately where the Cap’n Kidd is now, was the architect and builder and there are many letters between him and both Careys along with late 19th century invoices.
Two invoices to Stephen W. Carey
In addition, there are real estate records pertaining to land sales around the Quissett Harbor area including these two beautifully handwritten documents
Transfer of real estate in Falmouth by Jane W. Lewis and husband since 1870
"Title search" by Asa E. Lovell for $1.00. Land owned by Susan E. Jenkins, widow of Prince Jenkins
Accession 2021-04
The museum was given an antique map titled “A Chart of the Harbor of Wood’s Hole Massachusetts Including Sailing Directions” dated 1857. The donor, Linda Kohn, is a member who used to reside in Woods Hole and now lives on the West Coast. She donated it in memory of her husband, Henry I. Kohn. “Thanks for bringing us to Woods Hole - Linda, Annabel and Lars”. We sell facsimile copies of this chart in the gift shop so it’s wonderful to now own the original in such remarkably good condition.  
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Woods Hole Historical Museum
579 Woods Hole Road (P.O. Box 185)
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone: 508-548-7270