“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. However, you’ll find that the sea trade, tourism, farming, industry, and military and civic service are the common threads in the fabric of this exhibit.
A 19th century telescope and octant, a model of the Commodore Morris, a whaleship that was built in Woods Hole in 1841, and a cannonball embedded in a tree that we believe the British aboard the HMS Nimrod fired on Falmouth during the War of 1812 tell fascinating stories of the town’s past.
A 1928 gavel from the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, a 1939 jukebox which can still play records on occasion, and a lifeboat fixture from the luxury Liner Andrea Doria, which sank off Nantucket in 1956, are among the twentieth century artifacts.
Visitors can also view scenes from the 1941 video: A Day in the Life: Falmoth in the Forties. In September 1941, just months before the United States entered World War II, the Falmouth Kiwanis Club made a two-hour video. They chose a variety of locations around town and filmed people doing everyday things. At the time, Falmouth was a small town with a rural feel and a large immigrant population. Nearly 40% of the town was Portuguese, Azorean and/or Cape Verdean. That changed after the war. The Falmouth Enterprise (September 26, 1941) reported that “about 400 attended yesterday’s matinee and evening sessions to see the motion picture of Falmouth civic life…With Oscar L. Hunting providing many laughs through his witty comments on the personalities portrayed on the screen, the audience seemed to enjoy itself hugely.” Here are some scenes from that video. See if you can recognize businesses, automobiles, buildings, or, perhaps, people from a bygone era. WATCH