The Block Island Times

Historical Society open house

By Lars Trodson | Jun 20, 2014
Photo by: Kari Curtis Block Island Historical Society President Pam Gasner, at right, poses with two interns, Rebecca Sprague, at left, and Grace Ethier, center.  The Society is holding an Open House on Friday, June 20.

Pam Gasner, President of the Block Island Historical Society, stood in the doorway of the museum, barely able to contain her enthusiasm about what was happening inside.

In fact, she didn’t hide her enthusiasm, and why not? Stepping inside the Woonsocket House, which has been home to the society since the 1940s, is almost like taking a step back in time. (The Society is located on Old Town Road in Bridgegate Square.) The inside of the house has a warm, lived in feel; a calming vibe. Perhaps it’s because a visitor is surrounded by so many lovely things. There are prints by Sandra Swan and an old photograph by famed New England photographer Wallace Nutting and so much more.

There are maps, trinkets, photographs, curios — all from another age. Holding these items makes those eras of long ago palpably real. Everything is neat and tidy.

Gasner is inviting everyone on the island to attend the open house the society is holding Friday, June 20, from 5 to 8 p.m. and to get a feel for what island life was like — and what, to a certain extent, it’s still like.

“When people walk out, I want them to feel as though they got their money’s worth,” said Gasner. Assisting Gasner inside the museum are two interns. Grace Ethier, just graduated from Gilford College in North Carolina, is in her third summer. Rebecca Sprague, from Scituate, notes that her great-grandfather was born here.

Gasner also pointed out that the Society is always looking for new members. Contact her at or at (401) 466-2481.

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