Saturday, October 28 : A Visit from the Night Watchman

NightWatch10Friday, October 30, 2015 6:00‐9:00 pm

Strange spirits haunt the town of Falmouth, and those that visit will be treated to interactions all throughout the 1790 Dr. Francis Wicks House as this mildly scary haunted experience comes to life.

Recommended for families with children age 6 and higher.

Admission Prices: Adults, $ 10, Children (12 and younger), $ 7, Families of 4: $ 25

Reservations NOT required but visitors should expect a short wait before touring. 

Annual Antique Show and Sale, Saturday, August 26,10am-4pm

Saturday, August 26, 10:00 am-4:00 pm


EARLY BIRD ADMISSION (9:00 am): $ 15

Looking for a great bargain on a wide swath of antiques? Come and visit our 47th annual Antique sale featuring over 30 different New England dealers.  Your support of the Antique Sale helps with the Historical Society’s education programs as well as providing you with some great deals!

Thursday, Aug. 10, 5:30 pm: Katharine Lee Bates Poetry Fest

Thursday, August 10, 5:30-7:00 pmKatharine Lee Bates Age 41 Professor at Wellesley College

Born in Falmouth, Katharine Lee Bates wrote “America the Beautiful” in 1893, as well as many other works. She celebrated her life in Falmouth throughout her writings and we honor her memory by allowing others to create original pieces of poetry. This annual celebration of her life and works allows local schoolchildren and adults to submit their original works in her honor. There will be judging and winners will be informed well in advance of the program. This event is free and open to all!

To submit an entry: Please print off entry form below.  Each original poem must be 25 lines or less.  Each poet can submit up to 3 original entries. Poems should be on a separate page, unsigned, ready for photocopying.

Deadline for submission: May 25, 2017

Click below to upload entry forms and rules:

KLB Poetry contest cover letter 2017

KLB Poetry Fest Entry Form for Adults 2017

KLB Poetry Fest Entry Form for Students 2017


Friday, July 28. 10 am: Teddy Bear Picnic and Tea—Build Your Own Bear!

Teddy Bear Picnic and Tea, Friday, July 28, 10:00 am

Teddy Bear Picnic 2013 019Our most popular children’s event is a true “make and take affair!” This program is for children and grown-ups alike! Parents and grandparents can bring their child and build their own teddy bear. You can name it, dress it and take it home.  Once it is built, we will take it for tea.  Reservations are required for this event.
($15 admission for children – Reservations required)

This program made possible in part by the sponsorship of Cooperative Bank of Cape CodCBCC logo

To purchase tickets for the Teddy Bear Picnic, click below:

Teddy Bear Picnic 2017


Religion and History: The Origins of the Christian Images of Jesus Christ and of Sin

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 7:00 pm
with Paula Fredriksen

Award-winning Boston University historian of religion Paula Fredriksen comes to Falmouth to discuss the evolution of thought and religion as it pertains to the Christian views of Jesus and of sin. Ancient Christians invoked sin to account for an astonishing range of things–from the death of God’s son to the politics of the Roman Emprie that worshiped him. Fredriksen tells the surprising story of early Christian concepts of sin, exploring the ways that sin came to shape ideas about God no less than about humanity.

Did Falmouth Have a Role in the Isabella Stuart Gardner Heist?

Thursday, November 8th, 2012 7:00 pm
An evening with B.A. Shapiro, author of “The Art Forger”

On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art worth over $ 500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and there has been speculation that these works of art were, at one time, hidden in Falmouth.

Author B.A. Shapiro will discuss her new novel, “The Art Forger”, based on that theft and where these works of art may have gone.

A Day with Louisa May Alcott

Saturday, October 13, 2012: 4:00 pm

Reenactor Jan Turnquist from Orchard House in Concord comes to Falmouth to recreate the life and works of Massachusetts author Louisa May Alcott. This will be a program for all ages to appreciate the impact of her work and her many interests that go far beyond “Little Women”.

(To be held at the West Falmouth Library, 575 West Falmouth Highway)

Let’s Get Away from it All: The Boston to Cape Cod Jazz Pipeline

Thursday, September 27th, 7:00 pm
with Richard Vacca

It happened every year. Come Memorial Day, the Boston clubs shut down for the summer, not to reopen until September. But it wasn’t vacation time for the musicians. They followed the crowds (and the work) to the mountains and on the shore, and for the Boston jazz musicians, that mainly meant Cape Cod. You could hear the best of Boston jazz nightly in places like George Wein’s Storyville in Harwich; the Southward Inn in Orleans; and the Columns of West Dennis.  Sam Parkins, Teddi King, Dick Wetmore, Phil Edmunds, Bobby Hackett, Dave McKenna–a long list of jazz stars moved back and forth on Route 3 in the fifties, sixties and seventies. Join Boston-based writer Richard Vacca, author of “The Boston Jazz Chronicles”, as he introduces these musicians and others who were equally well-known on both ends of the Boston/Cape Cod pipeline.

(To Be Held at the First Congregational Church of Falmouth, 68 Main Street)

Dr. Joseph Warren: Medicine, Heroics, and Romance in Revolutionary Massachusetts

Wednesday, August 22, 7:00 pm
with author Samuel Forman

Joseph Warren, once nationally famous, is now remembered in regional history as the person who dispatched Paul Revere on that famous ride and as the hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill. In his new biography of Warren, author Sam Forman sheds light on these compelling stories of the American Founder “whom the ladies judged handsome.” He will also discuss Warren’s, and Massachusetts contemporaries like Falmouth’s own Dr. Francis Wicks’ practice of 18th century medicine and their efforts to defeat the dreaded small‐pox.

(To Be Held at First Congregational Church of Falmouth, 68 Main Street)

A History of Chowder: Four Centuries of a New England Meal

Wednesday, August 15, 7:00 pm
with Robert Cox

New England’s culinary history is marked by a varying array of chowders. Early forms were thick and layered, but the adaptability of this beloved recipe has allowed for a multitude of tasty preparations to emerge. Thick or thin, brimming with fish or clams or corn, chowder springs up throughout the region in as many distinctive varieties as there are ports of call. It remains the quintessential expression of New England cuisine. Food writer and chowder connoisseur Robert S. Cox dishes out the history, flavors and significance of every New Englander’s favorite comfort food.

(To be Held at Falmouth Art Center, 137 Gifford Street)

Home Sweet Home: Music of the Civil War

Wednesday, August 1, 7:00 pm
with Diane Taraz

“(Music has) done more than a hundred generals and a thousand orators.”
—Abraham Lincoln

“I don’t think we could have an army without music.”
—Robert E. Lee

The power of “home” lay at the heart of the Civil War and helps explain the wide range of responses to the conflict. For every stereotype there were many exceptions, and Diane Taraz explores fascinating people and events through the songs enjoyed by everyone from the lowliest field hand to the President of the United States. The music reflects the diversity of Americans of all races, sexes, and walks of life as they struggled through these dark yet inspiring years. Diane performs in period attire and accompanies herself on guitar and lap dulcimer.

The Curse of the Bambino

Wednesday, July 18, 7:00 pm
with David Kruh

2012 is the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. Historian David Kruh will take visitors back to a time, when the team (just like today) captured the heart and soul of its citizens and was also (like today) inexorably intertwined with politics and politicians. Kruh will also discuss the real story behind Harry Frazee, his purchase of the Red Sox, and later of a young Babe Ruth. Then we’ll learn the differing reasons why, in 1920, the Babe was sold to the New York Yankees. You’ll be surprised at the answer.

Beyond the Titanic

Tuesday, July 17, 7:00 pm
Global Shipwrecks and their Discoveries
with David Gallo and Stephanie Murphy

2012 is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the HMS Titanic. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute teams up with the Historical Society to discuss their role in what was found in the wreckage of the Titanic as well as many other shipwrecks that they have worked on across the globe.

Twilight in the Garden

Sunday, July 15: 5‐9 pm

Spend an elegant and enchanting evening of dinner, music and dancing in the gardens of the Historical Society, with a plated dinner and a potpourri of music. A spectacular night of sophistication, friendship and relaxation on the Cape. Tickets are limited.

Pox: An American History

Wednesday, June 27, 7:00 pm
with Michael Willrich

Award‐winning historian Michael Willrich offers a gripping chronicle of how the nationwide fight against smallpox launched one of the most important civil liberties struggles of the twentieth century. At the turn of the last century, a powerful smallpox epidemic swept the United States from coast to coast. The ageold disease spread swiftly through an increasingly interconnected American landscape: from southern tobacco plantations to the dense immigrant neighborhoods of northern cities to far‐flung villages on the edges of the nascent American empire. Willrich delivers a riveting tale about the clash of modern medicine, civil liberties, and government power at the turn of the last century that resonates powerfully today.

Clash of Titans: Grant vs. Lee, 1864-1865

June 20, 6:30 pm
with Michael McNaught

From May 1864 until the war’s end eleven months later, U.S. Grant’s Army of the Potomac slugged it out with Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia across the fields and woods of central Virginia. Facing Grant’s overwhelming superiority in men and materiel, Lee again and again showed his tactical genius in the utilization of his diminishing resources.

(Lecture to be held at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Main Street, Falmouth)

1812: The Navy’s War

June 13, 7:00 pm
with George Daughan

Prize‐winning author and historian George Daughan remembers the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 by examining the role of the fledgling United States Navy and how it was able to deliver victory against the larger and more powerful British fleet. This is the first account in more than a century of how the American navy rescued the fledgling nation and secured America’s future.

(Lecture to be held at the Cape Cod Conservatory, 60 Highfield Drive, Falmouth, MA)

In Search of Sacco and Vanzetti: Double Lives, Troubled Times and the Massachusetts Murder Case that Shook the World

June 8, 7:00 pm
with Susan Tejada

It was a bold and brutal crime‐‐robbery and murder in broad daylight on the streets of South Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1920. Tried for the crime and convicted, two Italian‐born laborers, anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, went to the electric chair in 1927, professing their innocence. Journalist Susan Tejada has spent years investigating the case, sifting through diaries and police reports and interviewing descendants of major figures. She discovers little‐known facts about Sacco, Vanzetti, and their supporters, and develops a tantalizing theory about how a doomed insider may have been coerced into helping professional criminals plan the heist.

(Lecture to be held at the First Congregational Church of Falmouth, 68 Main Street, Falmouth)

The Enigma Machine and the D-Day Invasion

Wednesday June 6, 7:00 pm
D-Day Deceptions: The Enigma Machine and its role at the Normandy Invasion
with Mark Schmidt

The story of the D-Day invasion and the Allied landing at Normandy—the mission that turned the tide of war in Europe— is one that has stirred the imagination of the Western world since 1944. But how were the leaders and troops able to successfully complete this mission, and how did the Allies break the code of the infamous Enigma code machine used by the Nazis? What devices were used to trick the Nazis and make this event successful?

Mark Schmidt, Executive Director of the Falmouth Historical Society and former director of the Museum of World War II, will talk regarding these aspects of the invasion, and how it will be remembered on the 68th anniversary of the Normandy landing.

(This lecture will be held at Highfield Hall, 56 Highfield Drive, Falmouth, MA)

Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War

Saturday, June 2, 5:00 pm
with Tony Horwitz

The Boston Globe’s “Best Nonfiction Book of 2011”, written by bestselling author Tony Horwitz, “Midnight Rising” talks of the beginnings of the American Civil War. Plotted in secret, launched in the dark, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry was a pivotal moment in U.S. history. But few Americans know the true story of the men and women who launched a desperate strike at the slave-holding South. Brown, the descendant of New England Puritans, saw slavery as a sin against America’s founding principles. Unlike most abolitionists, he was willing to take up arms, and in 1859 he prepared for battle at a hideout in Maryland, joined by his teenage daughter, three of his sons, and a guerrilla band that included former slaves and a dashing spy. On October 17, the raiders seized Harper’s Ferry, stunning the nation and prompting a counterattack led by Robert E. Lee. After Brown’s capture, his defiant eloquence galvanized the North and appalled the South, which considered Brown a terrorist. The raid also helped elect Abraham Lincoln, who later began to fulfill Brown’s dream with the Emancipation Proclamation, a measure he called “a John Brown raid, on a gigantic scale.”

(Lecture to be held at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Main Street, Falmouth)

Clearing the Coastline: The Ecological and Cultural Transformations of Cape Cod

Wednesday, May 30, 6:30 pm
with Matthew McKenzie

In just over a century Cape Cod was transformed from barren agricultural wasteland to bountiful fishery to pastoral postcard wilderness suitable for the tourist trade. This complex social, ecological, and scientific transformation fundamentally altered how Cape Codders used and managed their local marine resources, and determined how they eventually lost them. The Cape Cod story takes the usual land‐use progression—from pristine wilderness to exploitation of resources to barren wasteland—and turns it on its head. Clearing the Coastline shows how fishermen abandoned colonial traditions of small‐scale fisheries management, and how ecological, cultural, and scientific changes, as well as commercial pressures, eroded established, local conservation regimes. Without these protections, small fish and small fishermen alike were cleared from Cape Cod’s coastal margins to make room for new people, whose reinvention of the Cape as a pastoral “wilderness” allowed them to overlook the social and ecological dislocation that came before.

(Lecture to be held at the Cape Cod Conservatory, 60 Highfield Drive, Falmouth, MA)

The House of Velvet and Glass

Wednesday, May 9, 6:30 pm
with Katherine Howe

A scintillating speaker and storyteller, Katherine Howe, author of the bestselling “The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane”, returns with her latest work. A historical novel set in 1915 Boston; Sibyl Allston is still reeling from the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, and is living a life of quiet desperation with her taciturn father and scandal‐plagued brother in an elegant town house in Boston’s Back Bay. But when her brother is suddenly kicked out of Harvard under mysterious circumstances and falls under the sway of a strange young woman, Sibyl turns for help. From the opium dens of Boston’s Chinatown to the opulent salons of high society, from the back alleys of colonial Shanghai to the decks of the Titanic, The House of Velvet and Glass weaves together meticulous period detail, intoxicating romance, and a final shocking twist that will leave readers breathless.

(Lecture to be held at the Cape Cod Conservatory, 60 Highfield Drive, Falmouth, MA)

American Tempest: How the Boston Tea Party Sparked a Revolution

Friday, March 30, 6:30 pm
with Harlow Giles Unger

Award‐winning author Harlow Giles Unger comes to Falmouth to discuss his latest work. In 1773, an estimated seven dozen men, many dressed as Indians, dumped roughly £10,000 worth of tea in Boston Harbor. Whatever their motives at the time, they unleashed a social, political, and economic firestorm that would culminate in the Declaration of Independence two‐and‐a‐half years later. The Boston Tea Party provoked a reign of terror in Boston and other American cities as tea parties erupted up and down the colonies. The turmoil stripped tens of thousands of their homes and property, and nearly 100,000 left forever in what was history’s largest exodus of Americans from America. Nonetheless, John Adams called the Boston Tea Party nothing short of “magnificent,” saying that “it must have important consequences.”

Combining stellar scholarship with action‐packed history, Unger reveals the truth behind the legendary event and examines its lasting consequence‐‐the spawning of a new, independent nation.

(Lecture to be held at the First Congregational Church of Falmouth, 68 Main Street, Falmouth, MA)