Woods Hole Historical Museum
Weekly Dispatch
Welcome to the  Woods Hole Historical Museum Weekly Dispatch …… a new digital communication for sharing content from the museum’s archives, exhibits, and more. For the next two months we will reach out to you on a weekly basis hoping to bring back some memories, teach you something new about our unique community, and keep you posted on our plans for the 2020 season. Whether you are reading this from your home on the Cape or from locations far from WH, we hope you enjoy the Dispatch.   We encourage you to share your feedback with us at   whhmdirector@gmail.com And although the museum is not open for visitors, you can reach us by email or phone. Hoping to hear from you as we go through this challenging time. 
From the Museum Collection
Franklin Lewis Gifford’s paintings of Woods Hole captured the village’s history. He recorded it from his memories and stories handed down to him by his family, whose ancestors were among the first settlers of Woods Hole. Born in 1854, Franklin left Woods Hole for only a few years when he trained to become a house painter. His art was a hobby; he was self-taught, and he refused to sell any of his works. In 1926, the Whitney Studio Club in New York City (now Whitney Museum of American Art) asked him to exhibit some of his paintings. He initially refused, but eventually conceded as long as he didn’t have to go to NYC.

Here are a few of FLG’s paintings that can be viewed in the Woods Hole Public Library. There are some at Falmouth Historical Society and Falmouth Public Library but most are either at the Woods Hole library or remain in the homes of his descendants. For more information, see Spritsail Summer 2011 and the museum website .
Six whaling ships were built in Woods Hole in the 1800s. Among them was the Commodore Morris, shown under construction in 1841 at Bar Neck Wharf, now the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution dock, and at sea. The ship was owned by Oliver Swift, and Charles Downs was its first captain. Later Silas Jones and Lewis Lawrence were also captains.
View of the village in 1843 from what is now the golf course. Sheep and cattle grazed Woods Hole and Quissett, hence the open land and stonewalls.
On the left on the waterfront are whaling ships. Across the street are the blacksmith shop, cooper shop, bake shop and candle factory.
Little Harbor, 1860. In the background is Juniper Point or Parker's Neck as it was then known (or in 1677, Little Neck). The stone wharf and store were owned by Colonel Bourne. The wharf was the landing place of the New Bedford and Martha's Vineyard steamboat.The next building to the right on the wharf is the chain shed of the U. S. Lighthouse Service and the long building was the buoy storehouse.
Schooners in Vineyard Sound in the 1880s. Franklin Gifford enjoyed sailing and raced his Spritsail, Ace of Clubs, at Woods Hole Yacht Club. His love of being on the water shows in the way he perfectly captures the colors and motion of the waves
In 1966, Yankee magazine featured Frank in its story, “The ‘Grandpa Moses’ of Woods Hole."
Franklin Gifford’s Whitney show generated a lot of press. The New York City Sun praised him, writing that ” These paintings must be a substantial prop to the amour propre of Woods Hole…”
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Woods Hole Historical Museum
579 Woods Hole Road (P.O. Box 185)
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone: 508-548-7270