Two New Summer Exhibits Open the Summer Season at Atwood House & Museum
Published on Friday, April 28, 2017
Two New Summer Exhibits Open Season at Atwood House & Museum
Two new Special Exhibits will open the Museum's summer season this year on May 26.
Chatham in the Military: As our Nation emerged into a United States, wars shaped not only the boundaries of territories but the spirit and culture of who we are today. Chatham, like many small early colonial towns in our country, lost many men who fought for "freedom and justice" through time. This exhibit focuses on some of our local heroes, their uniforms and military gear and how our community was impacted by the major wars.
This exhibit is proudly sponsored by The Kemper Family Foundations.
Windows into Time: Clothing and Artifacts: Wander through the centuries exploring the development of clothing and other handmade goods in rural Northeast America. When Chatham grew from a sparsely populated farming and fishing community into a more affluent town hosting tourists from around the nation, fashions reflected the impact of increased wealth, education, transportation, and cross-cultural influences. Early settlers who struggled to feed themselves and stay warm were later replaced by industrious merchants selling local and imported goods as our local community began to thrive over three centuries.
This exhibit is proudly sponsored by The Max & Victoria Dreyfus Foundation.
Atwood House & Museum is located at 347 Stage Harbor Rd., Chatham.
Museum is open year around for special events, tours and research.
Exhibits will be open May 26 – October 28. Days and hours are posted on the website at www.chathamhistorical.org. The museum gift shop is open during museum hours and for all special events.
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and free to members and children under 6.
For more information or images, call (508) 945-2493 or contact the Museum Director, Danielle Jeanloz, at email@example.com.
Chatham in the Military and Windows through Time
Through the use of our extensive collection of textiles, we have created two new exhibits for 2017 – Chatham in the Military and Windows into Time.
Chatham in the Military pays tribute to the many local men who fought for our country’s freedom. The Revolutionary War (1775-1783), the Civil War (1861-1865) and the early years of World War I are all represented. We have an array of artifacts from each war as well as Army, Navy, and Coast Guard honor rolls on display. Exhibits include a musket, a pistol from the Revolutionary War, a gun cleaning kit, a Tommy gun replica and a hydrogen pump for inflating the blimps of World War I. A brief history of the Coast Guard in Chatham highlights its importance to our town. View a model of the Naval Air Station in North Chatham and its story as well as a description of the role of the Marconi Station as it related to Chatham.
Included in this area of the exhibit is an array of historic American flags from our collection. Not only does it show the growth of our country but the patriotism of our people who hand-sewed flags and added stars as new states entered the union. The Flag of the Revolution or Grand Union Flag (1776), the Bennington Flag, handmade 13-star flags and an early printed flag are all fine examples of well-preserved patriotic textiles.
Windows into Time is a grand tour through Chatham from our early beginnings through the Roaring Twenties. Using a series of vignettes, one can experience how Chatham grew from a native Monomoyick settlement into a farming and fishing village and then into a community of increased wealth, education and transportation, eventually supported by tourism which abounds today.
In 1656, William Nickerson purchased land from the Monomoyick tribe. His settlement of Chatham is the basis for our first vignettes, The “Monomoyick Trail” and the “Beach Scene.” We can observe what life looked like by seeing a Monomoyick Wetu, a domed hut made of saplings and bark used by Northeastern American tribes, as well as an early settler woman handwashing her family’s clothing by the beach and drying it atop bushes.
From 1700-1800, we see the “Age of Homespun.” Through the warmth of a keeping room scene, we experience what clothing was worn, a handwoven coverlet, and christening dress. During the “Age of Independence,” schools and churches were added to the community. We see the schoolmaster and student, teaching and learning.
The “Age of Transportation” brings the arrival of the railroad to Chatham. This and the popularity of the automobile brought an influx of people to the town and thus arrived the “Age of Tourism.” Hotels began to flourish; visitors arrived wearing their finery and then headed to the beaches in their bathing costumes.
Chatham accommodated the interests of its visitors and tourism grew. As the “Roaring Twenties” arrived so did Prohibition. Chatham’s coastline was a perfect setting for rum-running. (Listen to our audio story). Women’s clothing in this era changed from longer dresses to flapper styles and fancy lingerie.
At the center of our exhibit is a wonderful horse-drawn sleigh complete with a gentleman in top hat and long coat and his lady in her cloak, set in a winter’s scene.
Rounding out the show is a children’s hands-on play area with toys of the past. There are paper dolls to dress from different eras, block puzzles to solve, as well as a riddle board, nursery rhymes, tongue twisters to learn, and the ever-popular Museum scavenger hunt.
All eleven exhibit areas and galleries will be open as of Memorial Day weekend. Be sure to visit the website or join the email list for updated information of special events and lectures.
Come into Atwood House & Museum this summer and experience how our community came to thrive over three centuries.