The Cape has its share of striking mid-century buildings, but even among them, the Dome in Woods Hole is unusual. It was built by Buckminster Fuller in 1953, at the behest of architect E. Gunnar Peterson, as the restaurant for the now-defunct Nautilus Motor Inn. You might remember eating there in its heyday—with or without an umbrella to shield you from the occasional leaks caused by its flexible construction! Though it wasn’t exactly welcomed by Falmouth residents at first, it soon earned a reputation as a special place to dine.

Peterson’s son Joel, former owner of the Dome, recorded this oral history for our collection. He brings us the inside story: the restaurant’s rise and fall, the controversy that surrounded it, and the eclectic guests it’s seen over the years. The Dome postcards in our collection are from his time as owner and manager – did you get one in the mail, once upon a time?

Visit our Dome digital exhibit page here.

Explore the postcard collection online here.

Postcards from Falmouth is a local history project of Falmouth Public Library, funded by a LSTA grant and administered by the MBLC.

Postcards from Falmouth: Falmouth Heights Ball Field

If you’ve set out to enjoy Falmouth in the height of summer, chances are you’ve been to the Falmouth Heights ball field. But have you heard of the Falmouth Falcons, or learned how that ball field came to be?

Let the late Richard Kendall take you back in time, to a boyhood spent practicing, playing ball, and facing off against local legends on this iconic field. His oral history spans the early days of Falmouth Heights to the postwar era of the Cape Cod Baseball League, where he rubbed shoulders with professional talent and watched new players get to know the game.

Visit our Heights Ballfield digital exhibit here.

Explore the postcard collection online here.

Postcards from Falmouth is a local history project of Falmouth Public Library, funded by a LSTA grant and administered by the MBLC.

Postcards from Falmouth: Greetings from the Waquoit Congregational Church


“It takes a name to make a town.  It takes people to make a community.  Falmouth is a community rich with people, places and memories.”
                                                                Succanessett Snapshot, by Troy Clarkson
The Falmouth Public Library is delighted to roll out the first Postcards from Falmouth oral history, which is part of a series recently added to the Digital Collections@FPL.  As recently featured in the Falmouth Enterprise, the oral history project is truly a community effort and definitely illustrates Troy’s take on our community as quoted above.
So without further ado….

If your first thought of Waquoit is the white steeple of Waquoit Congregational Church, you’re in good company. Join Reverend Nell Fields for a tour through the history of this iconic church, from summer-only services to remote outreach during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Learn about the quirks of its restoration, the personal touches left by congregations past, and just what kind of church you could build for for $1300 in 1848.

Again, the Library thanks all our historians (past, present, and future), our interviewers (Barbara Kanellopoulos, Troy Clarkson, and Anna Lee), and the Staff at FCTV (Bob Fenstermaker, Allen Russell, and Andrew Richards). We also thank the MBLC for awarding us this lovely grant because we are now better enabled to realize a new paradigm for the Library’s approach to local history collections–the active facilitation, preservation, and celebration of Falmouth, its history, its people, and most especially its evolving local story told through the eyes of current and future residents.   

Explore more of the Library’s postcard collection here.




This Postcards from Falmouth Oral History was funded by a LSTA grant & administered by the MBLC.  The content around it was provided by Anna Lee, the FPL grant assistant.  Contact Anna for more information about the project at


Welcoming New Staff at FPL

We are happy to welcome Anna Lee to the Falmouth Public Library staff as a cataloger.

Anna began working at the Library this past summer helping out with the  Postcards from Falmouth project.  Responsible for scheduling oral histories and working in the digital archives, Anna also pushed out the most intriguing and delightful posts on Instagram from our historical postcard collection.

With her background as an English major, with emphases in both linguistics and creative writing, Anna has acclimated quickly to cataloging, especially fiction.  Anna’s favorite  genres are Fantasy, Science Fiction, and nature writing–“anything with an environment you can get lost in, real or not.” Some of her favorite books are Watership Down, by Richard Adams, and Dime-Store Alchemy, by Charles Simic.

 Anna thinks the “best thing about public libraries is how varied their services can be, and how librarians are always working to offer more.”  The most surprising thing about libraries now that Anna works in one is “just how many things change behind the scenes that a casual visitor might never notice.”  Indeed! Things sure have changed for new FPL catalogers–just consider examples found in the Library’s historical documents of Anna’s predecessor‘s practicing the “Rules for Library Hand” at the turn of the century.

Welcome Anna!

Unearthing Local History & Scientific Samples

There are plenty of gems in our historic postcard collection, from views of old Falmouth industry to vacation spots that survive only in memory. Even among them, this 1984 membership postcard from the MBL is unusual! The front image of this postcard is an 1897 photograph of MBL students performing fieldwork at Quisset Harbor, and the woman in the center is Gertrude Stein. Her brother Leo holds a sample jar up beside her.

Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) is best known as one of the central figures of the Lost Generation: an unconventional poet, writer, and artist who pushed the boundaries of her arts during the chaos of the World Wars. But before she became the Gertrude Stein the world remembers, she considered a career in medicine. In the summer of 1897 she came to Woods Hole to take an embryology course at the MBL. (Read more here!)

She never did receive her medical degree. Instead she left the United States for thirty years, and went on to publish, provide wartime medical aid, and befriend and inspire the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Henri Matisse, and James Joyce.

Between their pictures and messages, postcards unearth some unusual samples of history. Take a look at our collection and see what you can discover about Falmouth!

A Gertrude Stein reading sampler from FPL:

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, by Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein: Selections, edited by Joan Retallack
Gertrude Stein Has Arrived: The Homecoming of a Literary Legend, by Roy Morris


Postcards from Falmouth is made possible through a LSTA grant administered by the MBLC.

Postcards from Falmouth Project: Oral Histories Resume!

We are delighted to be back in the FCTV studio recording more oral histories for the Library’s Postcards from Falmouth grant.  Just as we began filming the interviews last winter, the pandemic fell upon us and forced us to suspend the effort.  What a heartening project to resume!  It serves as an example of how our community can be brought together by the love of our beautiful town and its history.  We are grateful for our historians, and we are thankful to our interviewers–Barbara Kannellopoulos and Troy Clarkson–and the amazing staff at FCTV–Bob Fenstermaker, Allen Russell, and Andrew Richards…and let us not forget our most awesome grant assistant, Anna Lee!

Last winter we recorded Rabbi Elias Lieberman on the East End Meeting House of the Falmouth Jewish Congregation, Reverend Will Mebane of Saint Barnabas, and Reverend Jonathan Drury of the First Congregational Church.  We also interviewed Bill Swift on the Dwight Estate once located on Mill Road, Dick Kendall on playing youth baseball in Falmouth Heights, Kevin Doyle on the Old Stone Dock, and Donald Fish shared many memories of Falmouth back in the day, too.

The next round of histories include Camille Beale and Nancy Eldridge remembering Main Street, Rob Blomberg (pictured) on the history of the Woods Hole Library, Joel Peterson on the Dome Restaurant, Mark Pearson on the College Light Opera Company, and Mark Schmidt on the Falmouth Historical Society.  Catherine Bumpus will also discuss the history of Nobska Light, and Jane McLaughlin will join Catherine in a discussion on the Mary Garden in Woods Hole.

The oral histories, which are based upon our collection of historic postcards, will be available for viewing once the post-production work is completed. 

Stay tuned and let us know if you, or someone you know, is a Falmouth historian!

This project is made possible through a LSTA grant administered by the MBLC.

An Update on “Postcards from Falmouth,” a Local History Project

It was just about one year ago that Library staff kicked off the creation of an oral history grant and began recording local historians discussing landmarks and locations inspired by the Library’s collection of historical postcards of Falmouth. Although recording remains suspended in an effort to keep our community safe during the pandemic, work on the project carries on in various ways.  

First, we wish to introduce Mary Loftus, our grant assistant, who has hit the ground running and brings much experience to the project as well as a  neighborly manner and a keen interest in local history. Welcome on board, Mary!

Aside from planning more programs with speakers on local history topics, we are also completing post-production work on the oral histories we have recorded.  These recordings not only include Revered Jonathan Drury,  Reverend Will Mebane, and Rabbi Elias Lieberman; but they also include locals Donald Fish, Bill Swift, and Kevin Doyle. 

On an unhappy note, however, we were very sad to learn that one of our historians, Dick Kendall, recently passed on. Mr. Kendall grew up in Falmouth and served the town in many ways.  His account of playing baseball on the Falmouth Heights ball field is not only priceless but illustrates perfectly the exact goal of the project—preserving Falmouth’s history as told by its residents.

While we have many more local historians on deck to record as soon as we can get back into the studio at FCTV, we invite all of the community to contribute in our effort to capture and preserve memories of our beautiful town!  Here are ways you can help take part in the project:

  • Visit the Postcards from Falmouth digital exhibit and share your memories in the comment sections.
  • Interview your favorite Falmouth local historian about Falmouth “back in the day,” or share your own recollections with the Library.  Send submissions to . Submissions may be included in the Library collection or shared through our social media.

Be sure to contact Mary if you have any questions at or call (508) 457-2555 ext. 2951.

Digital Collections@Falmouth Public Library


Have you visited the Digital Collections@Falmouth Public Library?

We just created a new webpage that organizes all of the Library’s locally significant digital content onto a new webpage for easier access.  Take a look


In addition to the very popular digital versions of the Falmouth Enterprise, the Annual Town Reports, and the Falmouth Public School Yearbooks, the Library has also added a few unique collections described below.

Postcards from Falmouth, a Library project with the express goal to capture, collect, and digitally preserve and share the evolving history of Falmouth.  Share your stories of Falmouth “back in the day” by clicking on the historical postcards.

Read the Ships Logs of Falmouth whalers.  In fact, the Library is in the process of transcribing the logs.  Contact us if you’re interested in helping out.

Follow along as we upload images of the Library’s art collection, which includes the work of many local artists.

And don’t forget to check out our community created content, too: 

The Upper Cape Camera Club Summer Exhibit

Falmouth at Home, a collection of photographs that document our days staying close to home during the pandemic. Send us your photos!



Upper Cape Camera Club Summer Exhibit 2020 at FPL

In May of 2013, the Falmouth Public Library installed a railing for displaying art in the Adult Collections Room. The first exhibit was the work of the Upper Cape Camera Club. The Library has hosted the UCCC every July ever since. Not wanting to miss the fabulous work of this group we are presenting the 2020 Exhibit in our digital collections.  

The Upper Cape Camera Club is a group of photographers whose mission is to provide an opportunity to develop skills, learn new skills, and share their images in a friendly supportive environment. From beginners to professionals, they welcome all who are interested in photography. To learn more about the group, visit their website here.



The East End Meeting House was the topic for the first Postcards from Falmouth oral history recording at FCTV. Troy Clarkson interviewed Rabbi Elias Lieberman, who shared a wonderful history of the Meeting House. For instance, did you know that the East Congregational Religious Society, owners of the Meeting House, gave it to the Falmouth Jewish Congregation in 1982? According to the Director of the American Jewish Archives, the gift was “the first time (in history) that Christians have given Jews a building for congregation.” In fact, Rabbi Lieberman also mentioned that the Church of the Messiah carried on the friendly gesture by helping bring the Torah to Falmouth, which came all the way from London, as it was there that sacred Scrolls and other ceremonial objects and vestments that were captured during the Holocaust period were repaired and then distributed throughout many parts of the world.

What a nice way for the Falmouth community to make history!

The oral histories are part of a two-year local history/community engagement grant based upon the Library’s historical postcard collection. The recordings are on-going and will be available for viewing next year. Contact us for more information.

We’ll keep you posted!