Contact: Pamela Littlefield Gasner
18 Old Town Rd
Block Island, RI 02807
Hours: Off season by appointment
The Historical Society Museum & Shop, located at Bridgegate Square across from the bank and Bagel Shop. The white painted building with cupola and red mansard roof is the headquarters for the Society established in 1942.
The museum building originally known as the Woonsocket House ca. 1873,( a hotel & annex with rooms rented until the 1970's ) was purchased in 1945, and houses an extensive collection of significant artifacts related to Block Island's history from early maritime and farming displays to colonial memorabilia and scenes from the Victorian age. Two floors of exhibit rooms include fine furniture, textiles, quilts, boat models, tools, fishing gear, Native American artifacts, oral history tapes and other interesting displays. Genealogical research and off-site history walking tours available by appointment.
This summer the museum’s lead exhibit is "Pirates, Shipwrecks & Tales of the Sea" and continuing for another season: “Land, Lots & Longitude: The Mapping of Block Island" Maps and artifacts celebrating the settling of Block Island, both European and Native American. Highlights are a newly accessioned nautical chart published by Des Barres in 1779 and an early 19th century reproduction of Adrian Block's voyages. Also on display are enlarged vintage photographs throughout the museum. The new 3D video monitor in the newly renovated north wing gallery shows movies and slide shows depicting island scenes taken over 100 years ago. Selected images are available for purchase in the museum shop.
For group tours, genealogy research or to donate anything with Block Island related history, please contact Administrator: Pam Gasner at (401) 864-4357 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers are welcome to participate in the many projects and events during the year. Open Spring & Fall weekends( 11 a.m. - 4 pm) and by appointment on weekdays. Summer Season: Open Daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday Night at the Museum Program: 7 - 9 pm includes scavenger hunts & drawing classes;Admission: $5.50 $3 seniors & students. Under 16 & Members free. Guided tours daily @ 11 & 3 pm. Special off site tours by appt. Memberships available.