FALMOUTH— The Falmouth Historical Society, which owns and operates the Museums on the Green, has announced several planned changes for the historic 1790 Dr. Francis Wicks House on its campus in Falmouth.
Earlier this spring, the local historical society hired Steve Kady Masonry Construction of North Falmouth to repair the leaky chimney at the Wicks House. This fall, M. Duffany Builders of Falmouth will put a new roof on and create new gallery and exhibition space in the rear section of the house.
“We expect and plan for ongoing repairs to historical structures,” said Mark Schmidt, Executive Director of the Museums on the Green. “However, this project also gives us the opportunity to create a dynamic new exhibition space inside the house.”
Schmidt said, until now, the rear of the house has only been used for storage. The new exhibition space will allow the society to feature more items from its extensive archives, as well as those from private collections.
Falmouth artist Karen Rinaldo will be among the first to exhibit in the Museums’ new gallery, which should be completed early in 2020. Her work, “The First Thanksgiving/1621”, is currently on loan to the Museums on the Green from The National Association of Congregational Christian Churches through 2021 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims in the New World. The impressive oil on canvas depicts the 52 Pilgrims and 91 Wampanoag Indians who gathered at Plimoth Plantation in 1621 for what would become known as the first Thanksgiving.
Earlier this year, the historical society received $125,000 from The Falmouth Community Preservation Committee to support the project. The state also earmarked funds and awarded the society a Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund grant of $75,000. Part of the grant has enabled the society to hire Building Conservation Associates from Newton, MA, to conduct a Historic Structures Report on the Wicks House.
“The report should give us a better idea how the house looked and was utilized in the 18th and 19th centuries and will serve as a guideline for necessary restoration work in the future,” Schmidt said.
He added, “Having individual, local and state support has made these projects possible. Because so many people are deeply committed to preserving important structures within our community, the historic Wicks House will continue to be a place to enjoy now and for generations to come.”