Postcards from Falmouth: St. Barnabas Church

By any measure, St. Barnabas Church is distinct. Reverend Will Mebane, Jr. recounts the history of its founding: how the Beebe family pushed to establish the parish, and chose Gothic Revivalist architect Henry Vaughan to build a church unlike any other in Falmouth. 

“We like to be known as the parish of the community,” he says, “so we are constantly opening our doors and welcoming nonprofit organizations and other entities to use our beautiful campus.” In the summer months especially, that campus is a hub of activity – for example, did you know that the 70th annual Strawberry Festival was celebrated this June? 

Explore the oral history and digital exhibit, and learn for yourself how St. Barnabas became part of the fabric of Falmouth’s community!

See our Saint Barnabas Church 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: The Old Stone Dock

The Old Stone Dock of today might be easy to overlook, but its past self lives on in our vintage postcard collection – and in our oral history from Kevin Doyle, former president of the Old Stone Dock Association. He takes us back to the days when the Dock was a cornerstone of Falmouth commerce, and from there to the transformations wrought by the arrival of the railroad on Cape Cod.

“If you were to go down to the shore today, there’s a sign that says it’s the kiddie pool,” he says. But as his oral history proves, there’s a lot more to the story than that!


Dive into our Old Stone Dock digital exhibit.

Explore the postcard collection here.

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

Book Discussions for Juneteenth

To celebrate Juneteenth, please join us at the library for one or all of the following book discussions!

Please join us for the monthly meeting of the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club as we discuss this month’s selection The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom.  Come pick up a copy of the book at the Reference Desk and join us, Thursday, June 2nd at 4pm, in the Hermann Meeting Room, to share your thoughts! Register Here.

“This is a story of a mother’s struggles against a house’s entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina.”



Please join us for a special Book Club meeting to discuss On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed. Come pick up a copy of the book at the Reference Desk and join us, Wednesday June 15 at 6pm, in the Hermann Meeting Room. Register Here.

“As Juneteenth morphs from a primarily Texan celebration of African American freedom to a proposed national holiday, Gordon-Reed urges Texans and all Americans to reflect critically on this tangled history. A remarkable meditation on the history and folk mythology of Texas from an African American perspective.” ― Lesley Williams, Booklist, starred review

The FPL Fiction Book Club is currently meeting in person in the Hermann Room this month. June’s book is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and we’ll be meeting on Tuesday June 21st at 4pm. Register Here.

“Two half sisters, unknown to each other, are born into two different tribal villages in 18th century Ghana. Effia will be married off to an English colonial, and will live in comfort in the sprawling, palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle…Esi will be imprisoned beneath Effia in the Castle’s women’s dungeon, and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, where she will be sold into slavery. Stretching from the 18th century to the present, this modern masterpiece moves through generations and places.”

Pseudoscience & Archaeology

Pseudoscience & Archaeology

How the Media Blends Fact & Fiction: ‘The Indiana Jones Effect’

Join the Falmouth Public Library on Wednesday, May 18th via Zoom from 7pm-8pm for the online lecture of Pseudoscience & Archaeology: How the Media Blends Fact & Fiction ‘The Indiana Jones Effect’ by Marie Zahn.  Registration is required.  To register online click here or call us at 508-457-2555 x7.

Marie will discuss how the evolution of science fiction has affected the public view of archaeology. Throughout the history of sci-fi, archaeological plot lines have become more popular in recent times. While this has furthered public interest in archaeology, the science fiction origins of the “ancient alien theory” have tarnished the view of legitimate archaeological studies. From H.P. Lovecraft to Indiana Jones and Doctor Who, the impact of the entertainment industry on archaeological research is examined.

Marie Zahn, a Cape Cod native, is the Director of the Brooks Academy Museum and A. Elmer Crowell Decoy Barn Museum for the Harwich Historical Society, as well as serving as the Administrator for the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth. Prior to this, she spent several years working on an early 18th century shipwreck as an archaeologist, conservator, and science education coordinator.

This free, online lecture is sponsored by the Trustees of the Falmouth Public Library.

Joy of Learning classes in April!

Come join us in April for our ever-popular “Joy of Learning” series! We have offered Joy of Learning classes for many years, in April and October. They are taught by educators and other experts on a volunteer basis, for adults and for teens at a high school/college learning level.  Come learn something new and have fun!  This program is free, sponsored by the Friends of the Falmouth Public Library.

We are offering three classes beginning on the first week in April; two will be online via Zoom, and one will be in-person (update: the Meditation and Mindfulness class is now full, but the first two have space!). Go to for more details, and to register for any or all classes! You can register at the first week’s class. We recommend registering early, as some classes have smaller limits. For more information, call the Reference Desk at 508-457-2555 x 7, or email us at

My Antonia (online via Zoom)

Mondays, April 4, 11, 25 and May 2, 10-11 AM (doesn’t meet on Patriots’ Day)

Join Joanne Holcomb, a retired English teacher and English department head at Falmouth High School, as she leads a four part discussion of assigned readings from My Antonia by Willa Cather.  The novel tells the stories of an orphaned boy from Virginia, Jim Burden, and the elder daughter in a family of Bohemian immigrants, Ántonia Shimerda, who are each brought as children to be pioneers in Nebraska towards the end of the 19th century. The first year in the very new place leaves strong impressions in both children, affecting them lifelong.

This novel is considered Cather’s first masterpiece. Cather was praised for bringing the American West to life and making it personally interesting.

Space is limited to twenty participants. Registration is required, go to  Please read Book I (plus the dedication on the opening page) before the first session.  Library copies will be available at the reference desk to check out.

Rituals and Festivals:  Cape Verdean, Portuguese and other Immigrant Place-Making Celebrations in Falmouth and the Cape (online via Zoom)

Tuesdays, April 5, 12, 19 and 26, 10-11 AM

Based on recent historical research, this course with returning instructor Miguel Moniz will examine rituals and festivals in Falmouth from an anthropologist’s perspective. Case examples to talk about these concepts will be drawn from the history and importance of various community rituals in Falmouth, using the celebrations in migrant communities as a starting point. These include the Holy Ghost/Espírito Santo Feasts, Strawberry Festival, the Cape Verdean Club’s Regional Beauty Pageant in the 1960s, the Day of Portugal, clambakes, the Fourth of July, the Falmouth Christmas Parade, war memorials, Jamaican Buffet Night at Coonamessett Farm, the Village Green Nurse’s Fetes, church festivals, Firemen’s Memorial Sunday, and celebrations around the Pilgrim monument anniversary in the early 1900s.

From Falmouth, Miguel Moniz (PhD, Brown University) is an anthropologist at the Center for Research in Anthropology (CRIA)-ISCTE/Instituto Universitário de Lisboa in Portugal and Director of the Migrant Communities Project (New England/Portugal). He was a visiting scholar at Brown University from 2019-21 where he was the Michael Teague visiting Professor of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies (FLAD) in Fall of 2019. Moniz’s research examines migration, labor history, race and ethnicity, civil society organizations and rituals.

Guest speakers who have first-hand knowledge of these events will be invited to participate, including Lew White, author of the book Sopas about the Fresh Pond Holy Ghost Feast, and others TBA.

Registration is required to get the Zoom links, go to Registrants can attend any or all sessions!

Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life (in person, Hermann Foundation Room)

(update: this class is now full, waitlist only)

Wednesdays, April 6, 13, 20 and 27, 3:15-4:15 PM

Jon Kabat-Zinn is an internationally known scientist, author, and meditation teacher who founded the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester. Over the four weeks of this Joy of Learning seminar, we will read and discuss one of Kabat-Zinn’s most influential books: Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life (library copies will be available at the reference desk to check out). 

In addition to the book discussion, approximately half of each session will be spent learning and practicing specific meditation and mindfulness techniques discussed in the book, including guided and silent meditation, mindful movement and walking, mindful eating, compassionate kindness meditation, and more.

Janet Gardner earned a certification in teaching mindfulness meditation as part of her training through the Kind Yoga School in Centerville, MA. She has been leading group meditations and teaching yoga around the Cape since 2016, and has recently taught Chair Yoga at the library! Having meditated regularly for several decades but not (yet) achieved enlightenment, she considers herself an advanced beginner in the practice of mindfulness. She also works at the library, in Acquisitions.

Space is limited to 20 participants. Registration is required, go to  Library copies of the book will be available at the reference desk to check out.


Understanding your Cat

We are delighted to welcome Cat Behavior and Retention Specialist Rachel Geller on Monday afternoon, March 28th at 2 pm, for a Zoom presentation by the Falmouth Public Library. She will talk about what a cat behaviorist does and the most common problems she encounters, and then answer some cat behavior questions from the audience! Click here to register and get the Zoom link.

Rachel Geller, Ed.D. is the Founder and President of All Cats All the Time, Inc. which is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to promoting the adoption of cats and preventing their surrender and abandonment by helping cat/animal shelters and cat access cat behavior counseling free of charge.

Rachel is currently a cat behaviorist for cat/animal shelters all over the world, including working with adopters, training shelter volunteers and instituting surrender prevention programs. She also provides individual cat behavior help to cat parents. She is certified as a Cat Behavior and Retention Specialist, Humane Education Specialist, Pet Chaplain®, Fear Free Shelter Specialist, American Association of Feline Practitioners Cat Friendly Veterinary Advocate and RedRover Reader.

She is the author of Saving the World, One Cat at a Time: What I Know about Cats, and Why You Should Know It Too, which is available at the library and at Eight Cousins Books-Rachel donates 100% of her proceeds from the book to cat shelters.

This event is free and appropriate for adults and teens.