Mass Historical Society: Maritime Massachusetts: Falmouth Stories and Sources


Mon - Wed, Aug 10 to Aug 12, 8:30am - 3:30pm


Massachusetts Historical Society 1154 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02215

For up-to-date information see "The History List"

Join us for this three-day workshop as we explore the maritime history of Falmouth and Cape Cod. In the nineteenth century, Falmouth was home to thriving maritime industries such as whaling and salt making. Between 1820 and 1864, thirteen whale ships sailed from Falmouth, making more than 50 voyages and connecting the town to global networks of trade and travel. By the late nineteenth century, Falmouth’s economy shifted as tourists flocked to the region for a nostalgic glimpse of the seaside town's nautical past, and the village of Woods Hole became host to some of the world’s foremost institutions for oceanographic research. Throughout the program, we will visit historic sites and landscapes, sing a sea shanty or two, and analyze documents and artifacts that connect people to stories of the sea. Along the way we will explore the influence of the sea on local architecture, art, and literature.

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Educators can earn 22.5 PDPs.

Dates: August 10-12, 2015

Times: 8:30am - 3:00pm

Program Highlights

  • Tour the exhibitions, historic homes, and gardens maintained by the Falmouth Museums on the Green, and participants in a hands-on activity that will engage your detective skills.
  • Discuss New England's maritime history, and its connections to global networks, with Dr. William Fowler (Northeastern University).
  • Learn more about Falmouth's whaling history with Dr. Curtis Martin (Emeritus, Merrimack College).
  • Engage in a bit of marine science as you explore the institutions of Woods Hole (tentative).
  • Take in the view of Falmouth Harbor from the top of Nobska Light.

This program is funded in part by the Richard E. Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.


Fee: $35 per person

To Register / For more information: visit the Massachusetts Historical Society website (, or contact the MHS education department at;  .