Rosanna Warren is the Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.
Warren’s book of criticism, Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry, came out in 2008. Her most recent books of poems are Departure (2003) and Ghost in a Red Hat (2011). She is the recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets, The American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Lila Wallace Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the New England Poetry Club, among others. She was a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1999 to 2005, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Warren will read from her recent book, Ghost in a Red Hat (W.W. Norton 2011) and more recent poems. Themes of human disturbances in nature, among other matters.
The popular “Listening at the Library” series at the Woods Hole Library continues on January 11 at 2 PM, featuring Sean Gaskell on the 21 string harp-like West African Kora, and Dave Kobrenski on Fulani flute. Both musicians have traveled extensively in West Africa and studied with traditional masters. Their music has been described as rich, melodic and haunting, with traditional rhythms and vocals mixed in.
Tickets are $15, $10 for students, and may be purchased in advance beginning 2 weeks prior to the show at the Bank of Woods Hole, Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth, the Woods Hole Library, and at the Library on the day of the show.
Is is fitting that I captured images of the late Steve Jobs yacht Venus with my iPhone? Yes. Would he have been amused that posting them to Instagram later that day would cause an international stir? I am thinking not.
I took a vacation last week, sailing around the British Virgin Islands with my family and a few friends on a small rental sailboat from a great outfit called the Moorings in Tortola. On our last night out at sea, we anchored in the Norman Island Bight, famous as an ancient hideaway for pirates and rum runners. Captain Kidd hung out there, or so they say at the pub onshore.
In any case, I was snorkeling and enjoying the trade winds on our last day out when this extraordinary mega yacht anchored at the mouth of the harbor. It looked like something suitable for a villain in a Bond movie. Not really even like a ship — boxy, clear, highly structured. From a distance it appeared that the bow was square, like the whole thing was a floating Bauhaus inspired cube. More like something you would see in the Malibu hills than on the ocean. More like an Apple store.
When we got closer, we saw the huge bow deck littered with teak furniture and red cushions. The illusion of a box from afar was created by a polished chrome bowline that reflected the water. The whole boat was like a mirror, mirroring images that passed (like our tiny sailboat that looked positively trailer trash in comparison). The stern was open like a tin can, with a ziggurat of steps cascading down to the water. We circled peeking into what was clearly an exercise room with a huge shiny X that reminded me of the Mondrian Hotel in LA. Several crew members were in there, polishing the chrome, scrubbing the deck and rearranging the bicycle collection. There were paddle boards, a small umbrella, room for the launch which appeared to be elsewhere.
I posted these photos to Instagram right after I saw the ship. I could not resist, even though I try to keep my photo stream focused on fun things to do here in Woods Hole. Little did I imagine that these images would go viral the next day. First on Gizmodo, then Business Insider, Time Magazine, Cult of Mac, you name it.
So what does Steve Jobs’ mega yacht have to do with the Woods Hole Inn? Challenging question. I am a big fan of the iPhone, especially for photos, and I teach a seminar called “ten tips for great photos with your smart phone” with a session coming up next week. Not nothing, but not likely to get me the TED talk that might earn me an invite on this ship. Of course, there is always Captain Kidd. He hid out around here too, in amazing harbors like Tarpaulin Cove and Quicks Hole — equally beautiful places in summertime. (There is even a Captain Kidd restaurant right here in Woods Hole!) And we share the beautiful Atlantic waters as Cape Cod is the last stop on the East Coast for the Gulf Stream.
OK, maybe you are right — the connections between the Woods Hole Inn and Steve Jobs’ mega yacht Venus are tenuous at best. I doubt publishing these photos will help get me my dream invite on board, but I’ll keep you posted. I can only imagine the stir true inside shots might make. All rights reserved.
The Woods Hole Film Festival Winter Film Series & Quicks Hole Tavern are proud to collaborate to present DINNER & A MOVIE, the winter film series of the Woods Hole Film Festival. Dinner and a Movie offers elegant dining with superb independent films at the Quicks Hole Tavern located at 29 Railroad Ave, Woods Hole. For $27 per person, select from a preset menu of sumptuous food prepared specially for the evening. This price includes entree and movie, but does not include beverage, dessert, tax or tip. Quicks Hole Tavern will offer two dinner seatings at either 5:15pm or 6:30pm and the screening follows at 7:30pm at Redfield Auditorium, WHOI, 57 Water Street, Woods Hole, a short walk down the street. Reservations are required for both dinner and the screening. The Woods hole Film Festival will offer a screening only option for $15 per person. Reserve by email email@example.com or call 508-495-3456. For online reservations and to read descriptions of the upcoming films please visit www.woodsholefilmfestival.org — evenings do sell out!
The Winding Stream
The Winding Stream tells the story of the American roots music dynasty, the Carters and the Cashes. Starting with the Original Carter Family, the film traces the ebb and flow of their influence, the transformation of that act into the Carter Sisters, June Carter’s marital alliance with legend Johnny Cash, and the efforts of present-day family to keep this long musical legacy alive. The Carters didn’t just play the music of the hill country. They helped invent it. A.P. was both composer and song collector, arranging snippets of ancient, musty melodies into commercial American popular music. Maybelle took the then-underutilized guitar and made it into the cornerstone of country instrumentation, in no small part by developing innovative ways of playing it that are now commonplace. And Sara became the first well-known woman’s voice in country music, stamping it with the eerie Gothic quality we find in so much of that genre’s canon now. The stream these three created has turned into a rushing river and has moved through several generations of musicians. Arguably, there would be no Folk Revival of the ‘60s without them, no country-rock bands of the 70s, and no alt-country hipsters of our present era. Will the Circle Be Unbroken? Keep on the Sunny Side. Worried Man Blues. Are You Lonesome Tonight? These are just some of the hundreds of songs the Original Carter Family presented to the world. It’s hard to overstate their influence on American music.
A mid-winter wassail with Solstice Singers, renaissance song, instrumental music, readings of the season and English sword dancing and a newly crafted mummers play.
Call me shutterbug. All year long, I wander around Woods Hole and snap photos with my iPhone. I post these photos daily on the Woods Hole Inn’s Facebook page under the moniker “Woods Hole Colors.” Maybe some of you already follow me there.
As we hurtle towards the New Year, I decided to review 365 days of my photo library and share my favorites. There are so many breathtaking vistas in and around Woods Hole, but I am always hunting for new light, a new angle, a new take. Somehow, the scenery manages to change and familiar spots continue to look new to me.
My photo of the year essay starts in the winter, perhaps my favorite season because it is new to me. As a wash-ashore aka former summer person (the lowliest form of life to a real Cape Codder:), the landscape I know so well never ceases to amaze me when bathed in snow.
A close second to snow scenes are winter sunsets. I am not sure if they are more beautiful because we need them to be to keep our spirits up in the cold, or perhaps we are more likely to appreciate them because they come so much earlier in the day. In any case, the light across the water with storm clouds hovering also captures my imagination.
When spring comes, I wait for these three cherry trees to blossom. You can see them from Woods Hole Road as you drive into town, and their high bloom only lasts a day or so, less if the wind blows hard. Perched as they are atop a hill in the golf course, these three sisters epitomize late spring for me.
Come summer, I like to visit Menemsha on Martha’s Vineyard. You can get there via the ferry to Vineyard Haven, then hire a taxi or hop the public bus system. This spring, I held an iPhoneography workshop at the Inn and on Sunday we visited this tiny fishing village. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a commitment to get all the way out to Menemsha. Off the grid. Rustic. Old school.
In late June, the Corwith Cramer comes back to her home port. This metal hulled clipper ship sails the seven seas with college kids aboard as part of the “Sea Education Association” (aka S.E.A.). Her slip in Woods Hole is right across the street from the Woods Hole Inn. All of a sudden, Woods Hole feels a bit more like the whaling village it once was.
High summer, the days are so long it does not get totally dark until after 9 pm. The view from the Eel Pond drawbridge is beautiful every day, but some days, with the stillness of evening settling the water to glass, a ferry perched on the horizon and the sky tingling with hues of pink and baby blue? Thank goodness for that iPhone in my pocket! Poems should be written about this channel, children named after it, world leaders brought here to fill their hearts with tranquility before global negotiations. I share the immeasurable healing power of a single vista.
Summer is a blur of guests from far and near with the streets of Woods Hole packed like Manhattan, the buzz of late night revelers walking in the warm air, buskers, beach days, sailing trips, outdoor showers, sand on the floor, piles of salty towels on the porch, little sleep and lots of fun.
Summer is all about parties and invitations. This was a memorial gathering in the forest outside the house of my friend Jill (a wicked talented architect) who lost her daughter earlier this year. It was an understandably muted festivity in honor of Lizzie, but there was plenty of square dancing after the pot luck meal.
Of course there are also spectacular summer sunsets, and many people have roof decks. Sweet huh.
Not every day is perfect. Sometimes the fog rolls in and you can hear the ferries talking to each other with their horns as they pass in pea soup of Vineyard Sound. A hush seems to fall over the village, even the street conversations are quieter. OK, you’re right – it’s perfect in a different way.
Then with a headlong rush comes fall. It’s later here because the Gulf Stream keeps temps high until the end of October. As my kids carved pumpkins on the front porch at Halloween this year, a gaggle of eighth graders came by in towels from a swim at the beach. (I think they were showing off, but whatever.)
For the final best photos of the year, I will take you home to a recent autumn picture of the Woods Hole Inn, where a warm welcome awaits you should you decide to come experience the Cape Cod seasons for yourself. If you have a favorite from my collection, let me know in the comments below.
Or follow me on Facebook, where I post seasonal images every day, all year long. #WoodsHoleColors
Always aiming to please,The Belles bring a variety of talents: singing, dancing, acting, wit, sass, and of course seduction to the stage. Every show includes a mixture of racy retro costumes, chorus line kicks, slapstick antics, sultry dance moves, and physical comedy skits. A troupe of dangerous flirts, rowdy rabble-rousers, and saucy comediennes, we will have you laughing, lusting, and longing for more.
Queens of the corset, sirens of the stage, dolls of the dance floor,
WE ARE YOUR VILLAGE VAUDEVILLE.
Take your marketing to the next level! Enjoy communication with your future customers! Network with others interested in growing their brand! TUESDAYS @ NOON $25 Per week or $275 for a season pass (That’s a free lunch!) (includes prix fixe menu with soups, salads, grilled cheese plus soft drink, tax and tip)
Tuesday Dec 9th – Best Practices for Online Reviews
Join us January 23 – 25, 2015 in Woods Hole for a knitting weekend in conjunction with our friends at Sage Yarns Falmouth.
Our Knit Cape Cod gathering kicks off on Friday night with a free wine and cheese welcome mixer at the Woods Hole Inn. On Saturday, Knit Cape Cod continues with two workshops plus lunch overlooking the waterfront at the new year round restaurant Quicks Hole Tavern (next door to the Woods Hole Inn).
Sunday is reserved for a knitalong on the Martha’s Vineyard ferry with plenty of time to explore the Vineyard Haven shops, visit the Alpaca Farm, enjoy lunch at the Black Dog Tavern or whatever your heart desires on the island. Extended parking in Woods Hole is offered as part of the package, to make this Sunday visit seamless for you. Who knew knitting across Vineyard Sound on the ferry could be so much fun?
You can read the entire itinerary for Knit Cape Cod with all the details right here. Rooms at the Woods Hole Inn (including TONS of extras) start at $369 for three days, two nights on the waterfront in stunning Woods Hole.
Locals are also welcome to join the Knit Cape Cod fun! Check out the packages page for all the details about booking for the Saturday Knit Cape Cod seminars and lunch.
Book this unique “Knit Cape Cod” weekend today by calling the Woods Hole Inn (508) 495-0248.
Join us at the Woods Hole Community Hall for all kinds of fun. Wreaths, local crafts, gifts Solstice Singers and more!
Join us for a Woods Hole Film Festival Documentary called “Jon Imber’s Left Hand” shown in our private theater and dinner presented by our excellent culinary team. Film showings at 3:30pm and 7pm. Dinner served between 5:30 – 6:30pm. Call 508-495-5500 for film details and reservations. Limited seating.
Get in the holiday spirit with decorator inspired rooms and wonderful Christmas displays including a tea shop, gift shop, Santa visits and more!
MBL Falmouth Forum Lecture Series – Rebel Souls: Walt Whitman and America’s First Bohemians
Justin Martin, biographer of Genius of Place: the Life of Frederick Law Olmsted
Lillie Auditorium, 7:30 PM
Lectures are free and open to the public.
An optional buffet dinner precedes each lecture at 6:00 pm at the MBL’s Swope Center. Tickets are $30 and must be purchased in advance at the MBL Communications Office, 127 Water Street, Woods Hole, or at Eight Cousins Children’s Books, Main Street, Falmouth. Dinner tickets are available until they sell out or until 5 PM on the Tuesday prior to the event. For more information, contact the MBL Communications Office at (508) 289-7423 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Performances will be held at the Woods Hole Community Hall, 68 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA.
Director is Joan Edstrom.
Reservations: 508-540-6525. Tickets: $15.00, half price opening night.
Cast: Adrienne Baumann, Robert Bock, Janet Gardner, Davien Gould, William Kennedy, Katie Stone, Joe Richards, Todd Sadler, Susan Schmidt, Tom Lyons, Cathy Smith and Dan Tritle.
Dan Tritle, the morning host on WCAI is playing Elwood Dowd.
Fall comes slowly to Cape Cod, with the height of our foliage season happening now in early November. As the nights begin to cool, winter storms start to head our way. We had our first nor’easter of the season last weekend, felt a little early for it especially when the snow began to flurry, but the old timers nodded like this was normal — Cape Cod can be wicked this tima yehr.
My Sunday started especially early as power was out. Here is the pole I discovered down in front of our neighbors at the Sands of Time.
With the generator humming early, Charlene put out breakfast and hot coffee as the winds howled outside at 50 MPH. We were able to warm up quiches, cakes and bread puddings and we added a platter of Dunkin Donuts because stormy days require extra fortification (and God forbid that generator did not work — I’m always thinking about the contingency plan:) Most of our weekend guests headed home as it was a Sunday, but the wind kept blowing all day long. By nightfall, the Woods Hole Inn filled back up again with islanders stranded in Woods Hole as the ferries stopped running. There was a really dramatic sunset, all purple and red with only the horizon glimmering with light. This photo barely captures it’s extreme beauty, but you can see the gusts of wind still moving across the puddles.
The next few days were the most stunning clear weather, and the north wind from the storm gave the trees a major wake up call – time to lose those leaves! This magical period with bright colors before the leaves tumble are some of my favorite days on Cape Cod.
Later in the week, I headed over to Martha’s Vineyard for a cocktail party, boarding the ferry at about 3.45 pm as the gloaming was setting in, and the weather looked extremely ominous once again. Another storm…already?, I thought.
I must admit, I was happy to be on a vessel this size, and am always confident in the judgement of the Steamship Authority captains who would never head out in unsafe weather. My thirteen foot Boston Whaler has been dry docked for the season, but I would not venture out with that mean looking cloud hanging over me in a smaller boat. As it played out, it looked worse than it was, and we had an uneventful passage culminating in this extraordinary view as we entered Vineyard Haven:
This bejeweled vision really gave me pause. Like, take a deep breath and relax. Count your blessings. Revel in the splendor of nature. Enjoy getting off the beaten path. Visit the Vineyard more often. Get your nose out of the camera phone and just look, take it in, appreciate the gift of this view.
Add this moment to the sunset that came two nights later, and I pinched myself for being lucky enough to live in as magical place as sometimes stormy Cape Cod. The winter winds will come, the leaves will fall, but each sunrise and sunset is it’s own small miracle here on the sand spit we call home.
As of today, we have received our 500th review on TripAdvisor Cape Cod. Six years in business, 500 reviews, 96% of which are four or five stars. Wow, I am grateful for all those guests who shared their experiences with the world. Sometimes I feel like Sally Fields at the 1984 Academy Awards: You like me, you really like me. But the online review system is not just an echo chamber of positives for us.
We use TripAdvisor as a way to listen to our customers, and most of the time they tell us they are happy. But every once in a while, well ergh, four times since we opened six years ago (but who is counting), they really let us have it. A “terrible” review can leave me sleepless for more than a few nights, brainstorming about the details and trying to fix every single one of the highlighted issues. I read a book once called “Every Complaint is A Gift” and the title really says it all (now you don’t have to read the book:) By studying the meta message in each negative, I know we can consistently improve.
As the old saying goes, the customer is always right. In this day and age of online transparency, the customer is more than that: our guests are a lifeline to growth and continued business. So we listen very carefully.
Thank you to each and every customer who took the time to write us a review on TripAdvisor Cape Cod — good, mixed or bad. We truly appreciate it. We know that your vacation days are precious, your business travel important. We care about the details of making your journey special.
One of the most gratifying thing about this zen-like focus on customer satisfaction is that we have a robust list of repeat guests, people who cherish us as much as we cherish them. They come back, time and again, and bring their friends. So we thank you all, and we hope to see you soon at the Woods Hole Inn, located in the small fishing village of Woods Hole, part of the town of Falmouth on Cape Cod.
Dave Zinno Quartet plays Woods Hole Community Hall with Jason Palmer, Tim Ray, Dave Zinno and Steve Langone.
Fall into autumn with a visit to Cape Cod, the perfect time to explore Woods Hole. There are so many exciting things to do in fall, looking at the fall colors is just one of them. Here, my TOP TEN reasons to visit Woods Hole this autumn.
#10: Ride the Shining Sea Bike Path
Before moving here, I had no idea of the splendor of riding a dedicated bike path, past beaches, lagoons, bird sanctuaries.. all without a car in sight. Falmouth’s Shining Sea Bike Path is a national treasure, especially as the fall colors bloom. Add the cool air, and it is the perfect time to explore Falmouth by bike. The bike path is 11 miles long, starting in Woods Hole and ending in North Falmouth.
#9: Sit a Spell
The ferry horn blows in the distance. The blue heron explores the shoreline, leaves tumble in the wind, a water bug sends ripples over the perfect reflection. You slow down, listen, and true relaxation sets in.
#8. Walk to the Light House Nobska Light is know as one of the most beautiful lighthouses in America, and it’s a short walk from the center of Woods Hole. Wander up here on a clear day and you can see Menemsha, Martha’s Vineyard, Falmouth Heights, even Tarpaulin Cove if you know where to look. Ferry boats pass in the distance, white clouds race overhead. Lie on the cool grass and imagine you’re in your own personal “Christina’s World.”
#7. Go Antiquing
I live for antique shops filled with clutter — old wooden boats, glass balls, ships anchors, crooked oars and wicker chairs. Here, treasures unknown await — a racy deck of playing cards, old letters, signs for businesses that no longer exist. Upper Cape Cod has a nice collection of these hideaways, plus an excellent yard sale scene. When you come to the Woods Hole Inn, I will share my secret sources with you, crafting an itinerary that includes a scenic drive and plenty of Cape Cod memorabilia.
#6. See the Sunrise over the HarborSure, anyone can walk around our charming marina any old time of day, but if you really want to see it at it’s VERY best? Sunrise! Every day this amazing show goes on and most people are still in bed. Not you! I tipped you off, now just get up and see it:) You can thank me later.
#5. Walk an Empty Beach
Fall colors bloom on the beach with the deep blue of the ocean setting off the autumn leaf peepers display. Long walks searching for seaglass and shells are in your future. I recommend Nobska Beach, Stoney Beach, Wood Neck Beach, Surf Drive or Chappaquoit but there are many others within an easy drive of here. You will not run out of beaches to explore while staying in Falmouth — there are over 70 of them!
#4. Eat a Romantic Meal on the waterfront
In the fall, the waterfront places fire up the wood stoves and these summer porches become the most delightful and romantic dining destinations. Try the Landfall, the Captain Kidd, Fishmonger, Phusion or the new Quicks Hole Tavern. There is a waterfront table with an incredible sunset view of the fall colors waiting for you in Woods Hole. Yum!
#3. Paint a Picture
#2. Enjoy a Hearty BreakfastGuests of the Woods Hole Inn enjoy a great spread of all you can eat treats like mini quiches, bread puddings, croissants, fresh cut fruit, Greek yoghurt, home made granola and lots of piping hot coffee. Who doesn’t want to start the day with a great breakfast? You will need it with all the activities we have planned for you.
#1. Daytrip to Martha’s Vineyard
From the Woods Hole Inn, you just walk across the street to hop on the ferry to visit Martha’s Vineyard. As the ferry pulls away from the slip, look back over the village of Woods Hole for the view above. The 45 minute ferry ride is part of the fun, with a great outdoor deck plus hot cocoa and beer inside.
Passenger tickets are $16 per person round trip. You arrive in Vineyard Haven where there are shops, bookstores and great restaurants to explore. Parking is tricky in Woods Hole, but as a guest of the inn we will take care of all that for you. It makes day tripping to the Vineyard delightfully easy.
That’s it, my TOP TEN. Hope to see you soon in Woods Hole! The fall colors await.
Girls just want to have fun or so my father likes to remind me. Although I am a serious college student during the rest of the year, I am an unabashed pleasure-seeker in the summer. And this summer at the Woods Hole Inn, my work and my play mingled most affably.
One might think that having grown up in Woods Hole, I’d be tired of the tourist scene. But for me, the bustling street life, the teeming beaches, and even the long lines for my double iced soy latte are all part of summer, and, seeing it all from the perspective of a Woods Hole Inn guest and blogger, I totally understand why our guests keep coming back.
Thanks to the Woods Hole Inn, I explored (and savored!) the restaurants, historic tours, and local museums and events through the eyes of a visitor and couldn’t have been more delighted. Early morning donuts at the Black Dog in Vineyard Haven, an afternoon lesson on Walsh roses at the Woods Hole Historical Museum, and one of the best sunsets over Eel Pond “on assignment”; who wouldn’t want to be a tourist or a guest blogger!
As my summer comes to an end, I would like to thank the pleasant and helpful staff at the Woods Hole Inn for giving me the chance to simultaneously work hard, learn tons, and play local traveler. It was a fantastic summer in Woods Hole!
-Guest Blogger, Gwen Martin
Where is the best beach in town? This is a question I hear regularly around town and especially at the Inn. Since our village is peninsular, you can’t walk 5 minutes in any direction without seeing the ocean and waterfront property is not exactly hard to come by. And although much of the ocean front real estate is private, the public beaches in Woods Hole each have something different to offer to both visitors and locals.
Confusing because of its name, “Stoney Beach” or “Stoney” (by the locals) is actually the sandiest beach in Woods Hole. Sheltered from the prevailing southeast sea breeze, Stoney is the perfect place to spend a day at the beach without getting sand in your sandwich, and by the middle of summer, the water is warm and welcoming for even the most novice ocean swimmers. Nestled between weathered cottages, Stoney is setback from the road, and, because it is an official town beach, a Life Guard is on duty during the day.
Venture a little bit farther in the opposite direction, and find the most scenic beach around just below Nobska Lighthouse with gorgeous views of the Lighthouse, Martha’s Vineyard, and the entrance to Woods Hole Harbor. The consistent southwest breeze makes Nobska Beach the perfect balmy day hang out spot and if you need some extra cooling-off, take a dip in the crisp water. Make sure to take a quick walk up to the Lighthouse to snap some pictures of the ferryboats going by.
Want to bring your dog to the beach? Or watch the sun set over the water from your car on a chilly evening? Then the “Town Landing” opposite Park Street is for you. It is somewhat hidden from the road, down a lengthy stone road, and, although the beach looks unappealingly rocky from first glance, swimming is actually a breeze because of its lack of sand bars and quick drop-off. You can venture out on the jetty too and slide into the cool, refreshing water.
No matter what you are looking for, the beaches of Woods Hole are sure to please. So grab a beach towel from the front desk and make your way to any one of these walkable beaches from the Woods Hole Inn. You can grab on iced coffee from Coffee Obsession (or an iced soy latte, my personal favorite) and the locally inspired “Bourne Farm” sandwich from Woods Hole Market on your way. — from guest blogger Gwen Martin
Woods Hole is a village of the town of Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod, and Historic Highfield Hall and Gardens is three miles up the road. Highfield Hall is a restored house surrounded by gardens and now used for art exhibits, cultural gatherings and events. The Woods Hole Inn is a perfect jumping off point for your Falmouth, MA lodging to explore Highfield Hall and the arts on Cape Cod.
This season at Highfield Hall, don’t miss the exhibit called “Portals and Passageways.” As you drive up Highfield Drive, you will see trees that have been “yarn bombed” with brightly colored knitting. This fabulous burst of color turns an everyday forest into a gaggle of well-dressed statues, anthropomorphizing trees into stately ladies on a stroll from the Hall. What a perfect welcome, a cheeky hello if you like, to this unusual exhibit.
The guided walk starts with “Fragment House,” a glass sculpture by Danielle Krcmar made with sea-glass suspended from wire and steel. Stepping in this little cubicle, you look back up at the main house and reflect on the nature of habitats, the joy of windows, and the wonder of scale. Poetry is carved on glass panels, the light glints on the fragments, and the summer wind breezes past you for a magical effect. You know what they say about people in glass houses…
As you wander the paths around the gardens, you will find other wonders from local artists — a series of mirrors installed in thin strips like trees in the woods (Andrea Thompson), a mossy path leading to a beautiful copper beech tree (Wendy Bagley), a geodesic peat moss hut called “Pan’s Portico” (Ben Silva), a felt covered sign inviting you to explore “Hither and Yon” (Salley Mavor) and much more. These sculptures and installations remind us of our relationship to the wild, of the nature of man’s need to build shelter, of the beauty of the dappled sunlight in the forest, of how lucky we are to have such skilled artists and craftsmen living on Cape Cod.
Great credit for the very existence of this resource in town goes to a group of dedicated preservationists who reclaimed Highfield Hall from the jaws of the wrecking ball and turned it into one of the best arts resources on Cape Cod. Special thanks to Jim and Ruth Clark, and others, for leading the charge. Our town is a better place for their generosity. One visit to Historic Highfield Hall will convince you, and if you are looking for the perfect lodging Falmouth, MA, please check out the rooms at the Woods Hole Inn, just three miles down Woods Hole Road from this cool spot.
From Guest Blogger Gwen Martin: Ever wondered what a New England seaside village looked like in the early 1900s? A walking tour of Woods Hole opened my eyes to what life was like here over a hundred years ago. Although the village is now home to four major scientific institutions with their laboratories and offices, back then only the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and National Marine Fisheries were in operation and only in the summer months, and they had fewer than 5 year-round employees each. And people think that Woods Hole is quiet during the winter now, ha!
During those early years, however, there was a thriving industry in Woods Hole that I would never have imagined. Its products were totally trendy and shipped worldwide. Any guesses? Roses. Walsh Roses to be specific. After years of experimenting while a gardener at the Fay Estate, Michael Walsh developed several strands of low-maintenance, beautiful, and unique Cape Cod roses. The Fays even hired an additional gardener, so Walsh could concentrate solely on developing his roses. The Fays wagered wisely, the Walsh rose did become world-renowned.
The Woods Hole Historical Museum’s tour guide noted that Walsh was an astute horticulturist. He repeatedly sent roses across the Atlantic to Paris flower shows, and, without fail, the roses were in full bloom upon their arrival two weeks later. And his Woods Hole rose grew to be one of the most famous exports of Cape Cod, known to travelers around the world for it’s distinctive color and simple bloom.
Although the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution now owns the land where Walsh’s roses grew, his Cape Cod roses also grow throughout the village alongside shuttered 18th century cottages, quaint churches, and treasures like the exquisite stone Bell Tower and the gorgeous stone building which is home to the Woods Hole Public Library, adjacent to Walsh Cottage at the Museum.
The Woods Hole Historical Museum has created a map of the main rose locations, and they hope that visitors and locals will take the time to walk around and see this remarkable living history, a wonderful activity while staying at the Woods Hole Inn.
- Gwen Martin, guest blogger
There are so many fun things to do in summertime on Cape Cod, but one of my favorites is a visit to the Woods Hole Historical Museum in Woods Hole, MA. This small gem of a collection is housed in an adorable 18th century farmhouse draped with rambling roses and accompanied by an equally charming barn filled with old sailboats, models and memorabilia.
This season, there are two exhibits at the Woods Hole Museum — one on the history of businesses in the village and the other a series of life-like drawings of fish and sea creatures by James Prosek, a noted artist, author and naturalist. His paintings are incredible, and made me think of a modernist Audubon. See more on his work here.
I took a special interest in the “Businesses of Old Woods Hole” exhibit, as I recently gave a talk on being an entrepreneur in the village of Woods Hole so I am aware of some of the incredible leaders that have made this little village what it is today. Lining the walls are biographical material and photos of small-town luminaries such as Elijah Swift, Walter Luscombe, Prince Crowell and others who built whaling ships, created the guano factory that once operated here, started the first banks and more. It’s really interesting (and inspiring!) to think about the challenges they faced, especially as so much has changed since then.
There are a few exhibits that never change at the Woods Hole Historical Museum — the small boat museum is essentially an old barn lined with the hulls, models and detritus of small wooden sailboats. There is a retired mirror dinghy (this class of boat developed in the 1930’s is still sailed on Saturday mornings at the Woods Hole Yacht Club), a Hereshoff or two and more. Best of all is a moment in the cool shade of this quaint barn, looking out at the sunny Cape Cod weather just thinking about all the happy hours sailors spent on these vessels before they were retired to this perfect spot.
There is also a model of the village of Woods Hole, a brilliant creation of miniature houses, docks, ships capturing Woods Hole in the 1890’s. It was made one winter by a crew of enterprising villagers, and it offers a birds eye perspective on the village that is well worth seeing.
When you come to Cape Cod in summer, don’t miss a visit to the Woods Hole Historical Museum located at 579 Woods Hole Road. Check their website for access and hours which are significantly greater in the summertime.
Each year, the Woods Hole Inn holds a very special contest where we ask guests to wear our distinctive t-shirt to a far flung or unique spot, take a photo and submit it to our Cape Cod photo contest. We are pleased to share the 2014 winners of this wonderful tradition, who will receive free nights at the Woods Hole Inn and other treats for their efforts.
The 2014 contest wrapped up in April of this year with submissions from far and wide — amazing locations as far away as Machu Picchu (two submissions actually!), the Great Wall of China, and Istanbul. Others managed to wow us with images from closer to home — up in the rigging of a 126 foot Schooner and aerial yoga were some of the most unique we’ve ever received. But the winning submission was the one that touched our hearts.
Jeanette is a professional dancer with the Miami City ballet, one of the largest ballet companies in the nation. After visiting the Woods Hole Inn in July 2013, Jeanette experienced every dancer’s nightmare: a torn tendon in her ankle which required major surgery. Her first submission pictures Jeanette in her hospital bed in a Woods Hole Inn tee. And miraculously, just a few short months later, she is back out on the stage performing a grand mattement again wearing her comphy tee. We are thrilled that our simple shirt was useful to her, and came along for the tough ride. I want to take this opportunity to thank Jeannette, once again, for sharing her special story with all of us and we look forward to welcoming her to the inn for her free nights stay plus lobster tacos in our farm-to-table restaurant Quicks Hole Taqueria.
The 2015 photo contest is just getting off the ground with the first entries in this week and posted on our Facebook page! We look forward to viewing your entries, wild and blustery or beautiful and serene from places as close as Boston to as distant as Timbuktu. Submissions can be made by e-mail or on our Facebook page, and come with your permission to use your image here. To vote for the audience favorite and see the newest entries to the 2015 contest, please visit this tab at WoodsHoleVacation.com.
Thank you to all who wear our tee to all corners of the world. Here are the other 2014 winners, with special thanks to all for joining in the fun: