Where WHOI scientists now work in Quissett, the Fenno family once played. Whether playing tennis, swimming in a shark tank, or gracing the walls of the MFA, they tackled life with a zest for enjoyment.
Published on August 29, 2019
The Cape Codder was long renowned as a peaceful haven for vacationers. Police reports and news articles tell a different side of the story.
Published on July 25, 2019
At the nation’s bicentennial in 1976, Falmouth’s militia was called upon to give royalty its due. Were these independent Americans up to the task?
Published on June 28, 2019
Each summer throughout the 1920s, Rene Dillingham’s family found new ways to have fun in their summer cottage at Davisville.
Published on May 23, 2019
Published on April 25, 2019
During World War II, troops kept in touch with their loved ones at home through the technological breakthrough of V-Mail. Find out how the system worked, and meet Falmouth couple Luana and Chester Weeks, who were typical users of V-Mail.
Published on March 28, 2019
Around 1840, 73 Falmouth women signed an anti-slavery petition. One of them was the free black woman Annes Ray. Annes raised a son who became a hero of the Underground Railroad. She lived to see the ratification of the 13th amendment. She also inspired a local legend.
Posted on February 28, 2019
Rene Dillingham Washburn recalls how she and her friends Conny and Sylvia went on their first biplane ride. The year was 1931. The girls were sixteen. They had no idea what to expect, but they had the time of their lives.
Posted on September 17, 2018
Do you save your old theater tickets? What do they mean to you? A reflection on how ephemeral souvenirs can touch our deepest memories.
Posted on July 9, 2018 Watch the video
Elijah Swift sent his whaleship, the Sarah Herrick, forth from Falmouth with very specific instructions to the captain. Read what he had to say, and find out why the ship’s slop book is so interesting to historians.
Posted on June 1, 2018 Watch the video
Skating and sledding have always been popular winter pastimes in Falmouth. These two reminiscences, recalling events from 1850 and 1915, prove that local children’s idea of fun hasn’t changed very much over the centuries.
Posted on February 26, 2018
One hundred years ago, Falmouth was living through a wartime Christmas. Find out how residents worked to keep the spirit of peace alive.
Posted on December 8, 2017
Experience World War I through the eyes of Falmouth draftee J. Robert Kershaw:
Even if you’ve never heard of him, Charles Knight probably owns a corner of your imagination. Meet the artist who created the way we all see dinosaurs.
Posted on October 30, 2017
Teenager Rene Dillingham and her family were caught between smugglers and Coast Guard in the waters off Davisville. Read her eyewitness account of what happened.
Posted on September 29, 2017
Falmouth summer resident Helena (Nordhoff) Gargan went on a mission of mercy to Munich in 1916. She didn’t know that her native and adopted countries would be at war before she could come home.
Posted on August 28, 2017
Eugene and Mary Swift were among the first Falmouth residents to spend their winters in Florida. They were also early fans of NASCAR. Read about their surprising connections to Daytona.
Posted on May 30, 2017
Since 1904, Falmouth has always enjoyed a good fight over sewers. Follow the winding ways of local politics, and see why it took a century for the Heights to get its sewer system.
Watch the video Posted on February 20, 2017
Eleanor Conant describes a bygone Christmas in Falmouth, when oysters were on the menu, the scent of bayberry was in the air, and the tree was decorated with a newfangled thing called tinsel.
Posted on December 22, 2016
Christmas in Falmouth was originally a very quiet affair, but music slowly found its place in the celebration. Find out which of your favorite Christmas carols isn’t really about Christmas at all!
Posted on December 15, 2016
A woman in this photo inspired some of the earliest poems written by Katharine Lee Bates. Find out more about her, and about the poetry of everyday life in Falmouth in the late 1800s.
Posted on September 27, 2016
August 22, 2016
If you’ve ever wondered about the lifestyles of wealthy summer visitors at the turn of the century, you’ll appreciate our latest “indispensable sources.” (Did you know that Falmouth has a connection to the Kennedy dynasty, at its very beginning?) Click on the link below to discover more . . .
July 28, 2016
For 45 years, the Falmouth Playhouse brought to our town a touch of Hollywood glamor and Broadway sophistication. An evening at the playhouse was the highlight of many a summer vacation. As this acclaimed theater fades into history, playbills and pictures from our archives keep alive the memory of a beloved cultural landmark.
May 27, 2016
These people (and their horses) are posing in front of the oldest house in Falmouth. Find out where it is, and which two sources you can consult from home to learn about all of Falmouth’s historic buildings.
April 7, 2016
As winter just refuses to quit, we share Oliver Franklin Swift’s memory of a zealous hockey player who found himself in a dire situation. Click on the link below to see how it all turned out.
February 19, 2016
Silas Jones was the 3rd mate of the Awashonks in 1835, when the Falmouth whaleship encountered an island that didn’t appear on any navigational charts on board. It was a pleasant surprise in a voyage that would later be marked by shocking reversals of fortune. Click on the link below to find out the name of the mystery island.
January 29, 2016
This happy pair of newlyweds can rightly be called the First Couple of Falmouth history. Who are they, and what did they do to earn that title? Click on the link below to find out.
December 22, 2015
Artist Henry Hauser dashed off this watercolor for his grown son, Albert, a career Coast Guardsman who shared his father’s love of painting. Read some other tales of Falmouth families who expressed their love by exchanging memorable Christmas presents.
December 18, 2015
Grace Lane taught English and history at Lawrence High School in 1900. In her spare time, she made an important contribution to one of the earliest projects undertaken by the brand-new Falmouth Historical Society. Find out how Grace helped to preserve a slice of Falmouth history, and how likeminded people are following in her footsteps today.
November 25, 2015
In 1850, turkeys were not as bold as they are today, and Falmouth residents like Oliver F. Swift knew how to make a Thanksgiving dinner from scratch. Read Oliver’s account of the delicious Thanksgiving feasts that he helped his mother to make. Click on the link below to find out . . .
November 19, 2015
The oldest item in the archives predates the founding of Falmouth, and even the landing of the Mayflower. How did this Bible, published in Scotland in 1576, end up in our town? Why did the Pilgrims prefer this translation to the King James version? And what does a typewriter tycoon have to do with it? Click on the link below to find out . . .
October 30, 2015
In honor of Halloween, we turn once more to the memoirs of Oliver Franklin Swift. He describes two “weird” women who stood out among the residents of 1850s Falmouth. Were they witches, or were they just misunderstood? Click on the link below, and see what you think.
October 2, 2015
After a contentious Town Meeting in 1906, some residents attempted to secede and form their own town called “Nobska.” They would have taken 3/4 of Falmouth’s coastline and much of its wealth. Guest blogger Les Garrick describes the personalities and politics behind the conflict. Click on the link below to find out how the west was almost lost.
September 18, 2015
Hurricanes were striking the Cape long before Bob in 1991. What was it like to ride out a hurricane in 1944, or even earlier? When the floodwaters receded in 1815, where did Theophilus Gifford find his pumpkins?
September 11, 2015
What was it like to be a schoolboy in Falmouth in 1850? In his own words, Oliver Franklin Swift tells you about his schools, his friends, and their primitive version of football that sounds more like soccer or rugby. You may be surprised to discover how they made their own footballs!
August 28, 2015
The Sargent Estate in Waquoit is now the home of WBNERR. In the 1920s, Norman Rutherford lived here in grand style–until the day he simply disappeared. What happened to him? Click on the link below to find out . . .
August 21, 2015
John Wing and Emily Gifford were bound out as indentured servants in 19th century Falmouth. Their contracts are now on display in the Wicks House. When our research team delved into what happened to John and Emily after their indentures were over, we were surprised and moved by what we discovered. Click on the link below to find out why . . .
August 7, 2015
When he tended to the poor of Falmouth, Dr. Wicks kept a full array of medical instruments ready for any emergency. It paid off when he encountered a pauper in need of amputation. Was the operation successful? Click on the link below to find out . . .