Cape Cod Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum Wooden Sailboat

Maritime Museum, Cape Cod’s 1st Museum

By Mary Moran | Photos by Pat O’Connell

Maritime Museum Wooden Sailboat
Wooden Sailboat

Located in the mid-Cape town of Barnstable, is the bustling and popular village of Hyannis. On the village’s waterfront the Maritime Museum is Cape Cod’s first museum. It is completely dedicated to the maritime history and the seafaring culture of the Cape and Islands. It is within easy walking distance of Main Street, the island ferry terminal, restaurants, unique shops  and beautiful beaches. Its location makes it an excellent part of a fun-filled day-trip on Cape Cod.

Maritime Museum entrance
Maritime Museum entrance

The museum’s mission is to, “preserve the rich seafaring traditions which Cape Cod and the Islands are famous for. We accomplish this by preserving critical artifacts of bygone eras, and promoting the well known sailing skills and heritage through our exhibitions, the objects in our collection, public events, and our educational programs. We enable audiences of all ages to understand and enjoy Cape Cod’s maritime culture and experience the essence of what makes our corner of the country truly remarkable.”

Maritime Museum rope fender
A hand knotted rope fender
Maritime Museum lighthouse boats
Some locations did not lend themselves to the building of a lighthouse. As a result, ships were anchored at the entrance to a harbor as a navigational aid at the Maritime Museum, Hyannis, MA, USA.

To accomplish their mission, the museum’s staff offers a large variety of exhibits and educational programs for visitors of all ages. One exhibit allows visitors to learn about and view the types of vessels that have traversed local waters over the years. Models  are on display throughout the museum. They include a variety of sail boats in addition to power vessels, both large and small.  Many have been used for recreation and/or commercial endeavors.

The “Cook Boat Shop” is also located within the museum and is a working exhibit. Visitors are able to observe both traditional and contemporary styles of boat building, as well as watch the restoration process on older boats.

Maritime Museum park
Climb Aboard Park.

For children to get a hands-on experience, take them to the “Climb Aboard Park.” This is a 28 foot boat for the kids to play on and explore.

Other exhibits include a fine arts gallery. In this gallery, all of the art work has a maritime theme. There is also a guided historical walking tour of what is called “Sea Captain’s Row”. This is a historical walking tour, through Hyannis, where over a hundred sea captains once called home in the 1800s.

Maritime Museum lightships sign
Lightships

There are also rotating exhibits that are part of the Maritime Museum’s diverse galleries.

In addition, Educational Programs offered through the museum include boat building, fishing, navigation, knots tying, sailing, exploring shipwrecks and more.

This outstanding museum is approximately a 45 minute drive from the Palmer House Inn, the Cape Cod Maritime Museum is a great stop during a day of Main Street shopping or traveling to and from the Island of Nantucket.

For more information on the Cape Cod Maritime Museum, including hours and admission, visit their website.

Cape Cod Maritime Museum
135 South Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
508.775.1723

Be sure to check back with us soon at the Palmer House Inn’s, Innkeeper’s Diary, for more information on other museums along the Cape Cod Museum Trail.


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day exploring museums and historic Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.


Mary Moran is a Falmouth native and knowledgable about Cape Cod. In addition to writing for the Palmer House Inn, she’s also frequently at the inn and available  to answer quest’s questions. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time exploring Falmouth’s coastal waterways.

Heritage Museum & Gardens

Heritage Museum & Gardens a Wonderful Daytrip

By Mary Moran | Photos by Pat O’Connell

Founded in 1969 by J.K. Lilly III, Heritage Museum and Gardens is a place of exploration and discovery for all ages. Located in the historic Cape Cod town of Sandwich, Heritage offers a vast array of American culture-based exhibits, gardens, interactive learning activities and adventure. All of the exhibits are presented with beauty and intrigue.

The museum is open daily from mid-April to mid-October, and on weekends for “Gardens Aglow“, their holiday festival of lights, from late-November to just before Christmas. The Museums and Gardens attract over 132,000 visitors annually. Variety and originality are what make Heritage Museums and Gardens such a popular destination for visitors from far and wide.

Museums
Heritage offers three unique museum gallery experiences to its visitors. The Automobile Gallery, is a permanent exhibit. It displays an unbelievable collection of 39 antique and classic cars that date from 1899 to 1962. In the “Collector’s Corner,” there are other special cars on display that are on loan from private collections, and are rotated yearly.

Heritage Museum & Gardens main building in Sandwich, MA, USA.
Heritage Museum & Gardens carousel building.
Heritage Museum and Gardens path
Garden Path

In the American Art and Carousel Gallery, you will find a hand-carved, working carousel created in 1908 by Charles Looff. One of the most popular pieces at
Heritage, the carousel attracts many, and unlimited rides are included with admission to the Museums. Also, in this gallery, you will find Heritage’s permanent collection of historically significant items in regards to American culture. Some of the over 12,000 items include New England folk art, scrimshaw, paintings, shop signs, and Nantucket baskets.

Heritage Museums Hidden Hollow
This is “Hidden Hollow” . It is a creative playground with activity stations.

Last but not least, there is the Special Exhibitions Gallery. This gallery hosts Heritage’s annually rotating exhibits. For 2018, the Special Exhibitions Gallery will house “Wendell Minor’s America,” which will examine and celebrate his 40 year career, 25 of which were illustrating children’s books. Original artwork and artifacts from prominent and famous works will be on display.

“Start your Engines: Cars and Stars of the Indy 500” will also reside in the special gallery in the upcoming year. Two Indy 500 race cars will be on display as well as other memorabilia from the start of the Indy 500 in 1911 until present day.

Gardens

The gardens of Heritage are situated on 100 acres of Sandwich land, over 65 of which are the Gardens. Thousands of species of plants can be found throughout the gardens, including world renowned collections
of rhododendrons, day lilies, hostas, and hydrangeas. In addition to native flowers and trees, Heritage has a rare collection of trees from all over the world, making a unique and magical landscape even more intriguing.

Heritage Museum & Gardens path in Sandwich, MA, USA.
Heritage Museum & Gardens path in Sandwich, MA, USA.

Also located in Heritage Gardens is the Old East Mill. Built in 1800 and originally located in Orleans. This beautiful, old windmill adds a touch of history to the ever changing gardens. Follow the many walking trails, take a stroll through the maze garden and hydrangea garden, or get lost in a
labyrinth created by Marty Cain. Options seem to be endless at Heritage.

 

Heritage Museum & Gardens Treehouse
Treehouse.

The newest addition to Heritage Museums and Gardens is the Adventure Park. The park consists of 4 acres of Aerial Forest Trails made from zip lines, ropes, and bridges. Every one of the five aerial trails offers a different level of difficulty making it a fun and exciting challenge for everyone participating, no matter your age or ability. Since its recent opening, the Adventure Park has been a huge hit. Aside from the Museums and Gardens, Heritage also has a wide variety of educational programs, lectures, and workshops available for both children and adults. The “Hundred Acre School”, a private STEM-based preschool, is also located on the Heritage grounds. From the museum galleries to the endless gardens and aerial adventure park, Heritage Museums and Gardens is a wonderful location for an outing and will surely not disappoint. The Museum is located about a 45 minute drive from the Palmer House Inn.

Hertiage Museum & Gardens entrance
Heritage Museum & Gardens entrance.

For information on hours and admission, and calendar of events, visit Heritage’s website

Heritage Museum & Gardens
67 Grove Street
Sandwich, MA 02563


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day exploring Cape Cod’s Heritage Museum & Gardens, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.


Mary Moran is a Falmouth native and knowledgable about Cape Cod. In addition to writing for the Palmer House Inn, she’s also frequently at the inn and available  to answer quest’s questions. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time exploring Falmouth’s coastal waterways.

Friends of Nobska Light

Nobska Lighthouse

Restoration of Nobska Lighthouse

The “Friends of Nobska Light”was founded in 2015, when the United States Coast Guard made the decision to sell the property. Several organizations were interested in taking over the project, however, the cost of restoring the tower and adjacent buildings was daunting. As a result The “Friends of Nobska Light” was founded. The group of dedicated members have worked to raise the $4,000,000 needed to complete the task.

The hope is that the lighthouse will be a community resource.  The first floor of the houses will become a museum that will display maritime logs and artifacts and the tower will be open for tours. In addition, the grounds will be open for exploration and relaxation.

On September 7th the restoration commenced. The first phase will be the refurbishing of the tower itself. The tower now encircled with scaffolding and is completely shrouded with a protective covering to allow the workers to work regardless of the weather.  The surface will be sand blasted and painted. The windows have been taken out and will be repaired, painted and reinstalled. The tower is scheduled for completion in November. That will be in plenty of time for it to be decorated and host the “Holidays by the Sea” weekend caroling gathering.

For more information about this project:
www.friendsofnobska.org

Like them on facebook:
Facebook.com/NobskaLight

Friends of Nobska Light
P.O. Box
Falmouth, MA 02541

Originally called “Nobsque” Light, the Nobska Lighthouse is located at the entrance to Woods Hole Harbor. It was built  as a navigation guide for vessels traveling through the busy Vineyard Sound on their way to and from the neighboring islands and Buzzards Bay. The current structure, was constructed in 1876, is still active today. It was owned by the Coast Guard until 2015.

Nobska Lighthouse
Nobska Point Light

The original light was established in 1829 for approximately $2,250 but because of its faulty design, the structure put too much weight on the quarters below causing terrible leaks. The newly constructed tower stands 40 feet tall and is 87 feet above sea level. It was transported in four different sections to Falmouth from Chelsea, Massachusetts where it was actually put together. In addition to the tower, the keeper’s house, garage, storage shed, and oil house also remain intact from their late 19th century construction. More changes occurred to the lighthouse in 1888 when its fifth-order Fresnel lens was replaced with a more effective fourth-order Fresnel lens. The lighthouse itself is an iron structure with a brick lining. It is painted a classic Cape Cod white with the lantern or uppermost part of the structure, painted black.

Nobska Lighthouse Light
Nobska Lighthouse Light

Nobska has a flashing white light and red vector. This white light can be seen up to 17 miles away and is flashed every six seconds. A fog signal was incorporated into the structure in 1910 and is used when the visibility on the water drops below five miles because of fog or heavy weather. When this visibility drops, the signal lets out two strong, deep blasts every thirty seconds to warn nearby vessels. During the 19th century, one of the keeper’s duties was to record the number of vessels traveling past the lighthouse each day. It was such a busy waterway, that on one day in 1864, the vessel count was a whopping one hundred eighty eight, most of which were passing schooners.

Although the original lighthouse proved not to be architecturally sound, the first keeper, Peter Daggett, was praised for keeping the lighthouse in excellent condition during the years he was in charge.  Daggett was also remembered for being a quiet man but apparently made constant complaints about the low quality of the oil he received for the light. He remained keeper of Nobska until 1849.

Civilian keepers continued the serve at Nobska even after the merge with the Coast Guard in 1939. It wasn’t until 1973 that the Coast Guard officially took over the Nobska Light post. This occurred when Mr. Joseph Hindley Jr., the last civilian keeper of Nobska Light, retired. After that transition, the keeper’s house became the home to the Commander of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England until 2015. The lighthouse continues to be both a breathtaking historic tower and also a useful navigational aid for mariners.


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day sightseeing the lighthouses of Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.