Walking Tours & Art Night at the Museum

Walking Tours & Art Night at the Museum

Walking Tours & Art Night at the Museum

Every Thursday Evening 6 – 9pm – Dodge Street Stroll

Get Ready for one of Block Islands newest additions to the summer season! The Block Island Art Trail Map is available around Town highlighting current gallery shows and exhibits. This season there will be  a special Art Trail Night event and the Dodge Street Shopping Strolls on Thursday evenings.

Every Thursday evening in July and August shops will be open along Dodge street ending at the Historical Society at Bridgegate Square on the corner of Dodge and Old Town Road and will offer sales and special events.

All participating members of the Art Trail Map will be displaying a poster to remind everyone that the Art Trail Night and the Thursday Night Shopping Stroll is on its way.

Last season the participating galleries were — Spring Street Gallery, Jessie Edwards Gallery, Greenaway Gallery, Block Island Blue Pottery, The Historical Society, Dunn Town Studios, the revolving artists at the Block Island Airport and the private studios of Marilyn Bogdanffy, Sean and Leslie Hartnett and Ben Wohlberg —  Stay tuned for the schedule this year as many galleries will be offering special classes or demonstrations specifically on Thursday Art Nights.

 **Thursdays in July & August

10 am Walking Tour of Old Harbor with guide: Sean Kunic

Art Trail Night & Dodge Street Stroll with Scavenger Hunts at the museum – August 3rd & 10th from 6 – 8 pm

Art Night  at the museum with Special Programs on the Porch

 Aug 24 & 31 from 6 – 8 pm

Please come stroll and enjoy learning more about the creative side of Block Island!

Keep and ear and eye out for additional featured stops that will join in to offer a special experience for evening participants.

Summer Exhibit Opening Reception

Summer Exhibit Opening Reception

Special Summer Exhibit Opening Reception

“Surrounded by Sea”:

75 Years of Collecting & Sharing Block Island History

 Sat, July1st 5 – 8 pm

Refreshments. Public welcome

Museum Shop & Gallery features: collectibles & antiques, framed vintage photographs, unique t-shirts, map reproductions, postcards and prints. Sales support the Museum’s  operations.

Stop by to see the new improvements, exhibits & purchase a treasure!

Opening Reception for 2017 Summer Exhibit

“Surrounded by Sea”

If you would like to discover a little more about the place you’re visiting than where the nearest beach is and how late the ice cream parlors are open, you’ll want to visit the Block Island Historical Society Museum for this year’s Special Summer Exhibit: “Surrounded by Sea: 75 years of Collecting & Sharing Block Island’s History”

Updated exhibits in the converted Victorian seaside hotel, formerly known as The Woonsocket House (1871) tell the story of Block Island’s history from the earliest days of fishing and farming to the development of a Victorian tourist destination after the breakwater was built in the 1870’s.

Archeologists, under the direction of Prof. Kevin McBride in the late 1980’s, discovered a year round Manissean village site on the island, carbon dating it back to 500 BC. Educational displays include stone points, blades, arrowheads,sturgeon scutes, tools and ceramics. (The Manisseans were the indigenous coastal people who inhabited the Island for over 4000 years)

The special summer exhibit rooms focus on the maritime history of Block Island encompassing the cultural significance of fishing, farming, architecture, lifesaving, the North & Southeast Lighthouse history, historic hotels, early home life and folk art.

The Museum will be interpreting the long history of the island through scavenger hunts, educational programs and new items in the Museum Gallery & Shop.

Other exhibits showcase historic maps, new information on the archeological surveys conducted around the island since Hurricane Sandy, newly donated objects, photographs and other memorabilia that give you a peek into daily life and industry on the Island over the past 500 years.

The newly digitized historic photographs and vintage clothing displays bring back a period of time that has long disappeared.

The Opening Reception for the summer exhibit will be held Saturday, July 1st from 5 to 8 pm. Admission:  $6 Adults, $4 seniors/students. The reception is  free and museum is open to all ages during this event. Refreshments served. Open Daily starting June 23th 11 – 4 pm. Research & Tours by appointment.

To learn more, visit the Block Island Historical Society or call 401.466.2481.


Cemetery Tours

Cemetery Tours

Island Cemetery Tours

Karin Sprague, stone carver & Executive Director, Pam Gasner

Cemetery Tour:

Sept 17th (Sunday) @ 2:00 pm

$15 Adults. Members & Children $10

Event Location: 

Meet At the West Side Road entrance of the Island Cemetery, across from the Ball/ O’Brien Skate Park


Island Cemetery, Block Island,  Rhode Island  02807

Contact Info: 

(401) 466-2481


Tours also available by appointment weekly from June – Oct. @ the Island Cemetery off West Side Road

The custom tour costs $10 per person summer scheduled tours. $50 -$100 group tours


If you like exploring history and mystery in a beautiful setting, don’t miss the Island Cemetery Tour led by Pam Gasner, Executive Director during the summer season by appointment and in the fall together with Karin Sprague, Rhode Island stone carver (Sept. 17th, 2017). Set high on a hill at the corner of West Side Road and Center Road, the cemetery offers stunning views of the island, the ocean and the Great Salt Pond.

Highlights of the tour on “Notable Women of Block Island”  include discovering the story of Block Island’s influential women while exploring the symbolism and sculpture of  stone memorials. Executive Director, Pam Gasner brings her knowledge of the Island’s history and Karin Sprague, her unique understanding of New England gravestone art and stone carving techniques.

Other Cemetery Tours will be scheduled during the season – look for postings.

“Surrounded by Sea” 75th Anniversary Exhibit

“Surrounded by Sea” 75th Anniversary Exhibit

“Surrounded by Sea: 75 years of Collecting and Sharing”

July 1st – December 1st, 2017


Special Summer Exhibit highlights the history of the founding of the Society and the rich maritime culture of the island.

2017 Summer Exhibit Description

This year’s Special  Exhibit: “Surrounded by Sea”   is located in four newly updated rooms in the museum. Admission to the Historical Society is  $6 per person; Members and Children free. Student and Senior rate: $4.00 . Come meet our staff, Board of Directors and tour our unique collections.

Initiated from a collaboration of the Block Island Historical Society Directors and staff, the exhibit rooms on the 1st and 2nd floors have been remodeled to exhibit objects from the archives as well as newly donated collections from the community at large that showcase historic maps, postcards, ledgers, scrapbooks and other memorabilia that give you a peek into daily life and industry on the Island over the past 500 years.

One of the most intriguing items is an actual swordfish bill engraved with images of Southeast Lighthouse, oxcarts and other scenes of island life. Original artwork is on display in the Museum Shop & Gallery featuring images of “Lost Block Island” by C. Sperry Andrews and vintage photographs from a family’s visit in 1913, black & white original photographs by RI photographer Carmel Vitullo from the 1960’s, Drawings by local artist, the late Capt. Bob. A special print will be available by the artist Victor May showing a double ender landing on the beach at Pole Harobor in the 17th centery. Posters by local artists and special edition t-shirts are also available.

Special guided Tours of historic sites and cemeteries around the island are available upon request. Special fees apply.


Historical Society Fall Open House

Historical Society Fall Open House

  Historical Society Fall Open House

Saturday,November 25th 5:00 pm

“All are welcome to visit the Block Island Historical Society Museum for an evening of family fun on the porch and in the gallery shop of our historic Woonsocket House Museum building.

During our Thanksgiving Open House the museum’s 75th anniversary exhibits will be open and the staff and Board of Directors will be on hand to answer any questions you have about the island’s history and the museum’s collection. All proceeds go to the Society’s ongoing efforts to maintain the Society’s headquarters. Come support us while enjoying yourself and meeting members of the community.”