From the Collection
Churches of Woods Hole
There used to be four churches in Woods Hole.  Two still remain as houses of worship, Church of the Messiah (Episcopal - 1852) and St. Joseph (Roman Catholic – 1882).  The other two are nowadays used for much different purposes.

Prior to 1879, the Congregationalists, Methodists and Baptists of Woods Hole paid itinerant ministers to preach in rotation at the Woods Hole School.  A split occurred that led the Congregationalists and Baptists to move their services to the newly constructed Liberty Hall, which later became the Community Hall
The Methodists continued to convene at the schoolhouse until they were given land on Water Street where they could construct their own church. 
Methodist Church in its original location on Water Street and Great Harbor (now Dyers Dock)
In 1949, that building was moved onto land on School Street donated by Dr. and Mrs. Alfred Redfield, where services continued until 1970.  The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution subsequently bought the building. It is now called Endeavour House and is home to the WHOI Exhibit Center. 
Methodist Church on School Street
Endeavour House
Meanwhile, in 1888, the Congregationalists were given land further up Water Street by Jabez Davis to build their own church. It had the largest Protestant congregation and Sunday school in the village. However, attendance gradually fell and it became inactive in the 1950s.
Congregational Church, from Crowell house lawn, looking southwest
Congregational Church, from Water Street, looking southwest
Congregational Church, interior, with ferns and flowers for Hannah (daughter of Azariah Crowell) Crowell's wedding to Willis Edgar Plaxton
“In 1963 the people of Woods Hole were disturbed by deteriorating condition of the unused church building.  It became a place for local children to hang out unsupervised.  The steeple had been struck by lightning and destroyed, and the grounds became unsightly due to lack of care.  The suggestion was made that the church property be sold, and in 1966 Gloria McLean, the owner of the adjoining Woods Hole Inn, bought the church. She gave the church bell to the Woods Hole Library, and it now stands in the garden of the Bradley House museum. Having considered leveling the church building in order to use the land as a parking lot for guests of her Inn, she decided instead to restore it.  She converted the building into commercial space, with two shops and two studio apartments on the ground floor and a large studio apartment above.”  Woods Hole Reflections (article by  Mary Lou Smith)
Congregational church bell in back of Bradley House
The current owner, Joyce Stratton, purchased the renovated building in 1968.  Many businesses filled the commercial space including a barber shop, law office, silversmith’s shop, two bookstores and Mary Mavor’s, where imported apparel and gifts were sold.  Ms. Stratton lives in the studio apartment and has run “Under The Sun” since 1975, when it was located in the building’s attic and later moved to the 1 st  floor in 1995 
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Woods Hole Historical Museum
579 Woods Hole Road (P.O. Box 185)
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone: 508-548-7270