The Block Island Historical Society Museum, Gallery & Shop are all located at the 4-way intersection in Old Harbor at 18 Old Town Road/Bridgegate Square across from the bank and Bagel Shop.
The white three-story building with cupola and red mansard roof is the headquarters for the Society. The building is listed as part of the National Register Old Harbor Historic District. The museum building originally known as the Woonsocket House ca. 1871,( a hotel & annex with rooms that were rented to summer visitors up until the 1970′s ) was purchased by the Society in 1945. It was the original homestead of Gideon Rose and later rebuilt as a boarding house by A.J. Rose and family.
The museum houses an extensive collection of significant artifacts related to Block Island’s history from early Manissean stone tools and points to early New England maritime and farming displays as well as colonial memorabilia and enlarged vintage photographs capturing life during the Victorian age. Two floors of exhibit rooms include fine furniture, Victorian collectibles, textiles, quilts, boat models, tools, fishing gear, historic maps, a reproduction of a Manissean midden, oral history tapes and other interesting displays.