Contact: Pamela Littlefield Gasner
18 Old Town Rd
Block Island, RI 02807
Hours: Off season by appointment
The Historical Society Museum, Gallery & Shop is located at the 4-way intersection in Old Harbor at Bridgegate Square across from the bank and Bagel Shop. The white painted building with cupola, red mansard roof and new front porch is the headquarters for the Society established in 1942. The House is listed on the Register of Historic Places.
The museum building originally known as the Woonsocket House ca. 1873,( a hotel & annex with rooms that were rented until the 1970's ) was purchased in 1945, iit was the homesite of Gideon Rose and later rebuilt as a boarding house by A.J. Rose. The museum houses an extensive collection of significant artifacts related to Block Island's history from the early Native American village settlement to maritime and farming displays as well as colonial memorabilia and enlarged historic photographs capturing life during the Victorian age. Two floors of exhibit rooms include fine furniture, textiles, quilts, boat models, tools, fishing gear, maps, a reproduction of a Manissean midden, oral history tapes and other interesting displays. Genealogical research and off-site history tours available by appointment year round.
This summer, the museum’s lead exhibit: "Surrounded by the Sea: The Block island Story" will be located in the newly refurbished first floor west gallery room with highlights of recently accessioned items acquired from the Barbara Jones Taylor Fund, a recent 2013 donation. Due to its popularity the exhibit : "Pirates, Shipwrecks & Tales of the Sea" will continue for another season.
Highlights in the museum include nautical charts and an early 19th century reproduction of Adrian Block's voyages. Two video monitors, one located 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 framed & unframed. A special sword fishing talk and presentation is available by appointment and at special events held on the property or during group tours. .
For group tours, genealogy research or to donate anything with Block Island related history, please contact Executive Director: Pam Gasner at (401) 864-4357 or e-mail email@example.com. Volunteers are welcome to participate in the many projects and events during the year.
Open Spring & Fall weekends( 12 - 4 pm) and by appointment on weekdays.
Summer Season: Open Daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Selected "Night at the Museum" Programs throughout the year include scavenger hunts & drawing classes;
Admission: $6 per adult; $4 seniors & students. 12 and under free. Guided tours daily @ 11 & 3 pm. Special off site historical tours by appt. Group tours are available for schools, scouts and other community organizations. The Gallery Room and grounds are also available to rent for private events.
Memberships available. Donations Welcome!