“Better Together: Falmouth Families at Sea 1852-1886”
Exhibition Opening Members Only Reception at Conant House on Saturday, January 28, 2023 3pm to
4:30pm. Remarks at 3:30pm.
In nineteenth century Falmouth the life of a Whaling Captain was full of adventure on the high
seas, dangerous encounters, and exploration to lands beyond their wildest imaginations. Whaling
voyages could take up to four or five years and only the Captains were allowed to take their
families aboard ship. For the families who did select to stay together during the voyage, their
lives would never be the same, coming back with stories that continue to inspire future
generations. In the new exhibition at the Falmouth Museums on the Green, the show explores the
opportunities and obstacles families faced at sea highlighting the Lawrence and Hamblin families
and others as case studies. The exhibition delves into topics like hygiene, community, and even
pet ownership to present a multifaceted overview of the topic using photographs and primary
objects from whaling families who went to sea. Ultimately, this interactive exhibition asks if
you too would have wanted to go on a whaling voyage.
During the event Eight Cousins bookstore will be selling copies of The Captain’s Best Mate: The Journal of Mary Chipman Lawrence on the Whaler Addison, 1856-1860, written by a Falmouth whaling wife featured in the exhibition.
Sponsored by Judy Frank, great-great granddaughter of Captain Zenas Hamblin of Waquoit
“The Age of Whaling”
“Falmouth: Changing with the Times”
There’s no better way to learn about a place and the people who lived there than by seeing what they left behind. And, like most things, what remains changes with the times. The sea trade, tourism, farming, industry, and military and civic service are common threads in the fabric of this exhibit. LEARN MORE
“Cash, Credit, or Eels: Shopping Local in the 1820s”
Back in the day, no cash was no problem. Shoppers exchanged simple IOUs for goods or traded everything from fish and feathers to vegetables and eels for the items they needed. This exhibit takes us back a few centuries for a typical round of errands to the general store, the blacksmith, the carpenter and the bank to see what’s available and learn how people shopped and traded in a cash-deprived economy. LEARN MORE
“Chris Gall’s America the Beautiful”
“Juneteenth: Artwork by Falmouth Students”
The Falmouth Historical Society collects items related to the history of the Cape Cod town of Falmouth. If you would like to make a donation to the collection, please call (508) 548-4857.
HMS Nimrod, Painting by E.F. Lincoln
Gift of William L. Allison
The HMS Nimrod was a British man-of-war that patrolled New England waters during the War of 1812 in an effort to limit American shipping. At the time, Falmouth had several small cannon that it used to good effect against the British. In January, 1814, the commander of the Nimrod sent a message demanding the Town surrender the cannon or risk bombardment by the mighty ship. Local lore says that Falmouth’s response was, “If you want our cannon, you can come and get them, and we will give you what’s in them first.” Regardless of the exact wording, it is clear that the town refused to give up its weapons and that the British ship retaliated. Several of Falmouth’s buildings still proudly bear the scars of the subsequent cannonball fire. In June of 1814, the Nimrod crew heard that some Falmouth ships were hiding in Wareham Harbor, near the head of Buzzards Bay. The British ship attacked and burned 17 ships. On the return down Buzzards Bay, the Nimrod ran aground. To avoid being caught in a vulnerable position, the captain ordered that the cannon be jettisoned overboard to lighten its load.