West Gallery Renovations

West Gallery Renovations


MAY, 2018

Membership News


Robert B. Champagne-Willis, President
Martha Ball, Vice-President Sharon Lehman, Secretary Shirlyne Gobern, Treasurer

Mary Anderson, Membership Michael Hickey, Accessions Susan Hagedorn, Program

Gerald F. Abbott
Daniel Costa
Bernice Dangelas
Paige Gaffett
Carol Hill
Kristine Monje
Beth Taylor
Tobee McMellon,emerita

Pamela Littlefield Gasner, Executive Director

For several years, the Board of Directors of the Block Island Historical Society has sought to address the deteriorating condition of the West Gallery of our Society building.

At a recent meeting, the directors heard the plans of Daniel McLaughlin of Housewrights Design Build Corp to restore the West Gallery and kitchen. Mr. McLaughlin presented a comprehensive explanation of the work that needs to be done with detailed costs associated with this work.

Based on the information provided by Mr. McLaughlin, the directors approved the scope of work and unanimously voted “to ask the membership for permission to spend $325,890.00 from the endowment in order to complete renovations to the West Gallery.”

Phase IV Restoration West Gallery (Plat 6 – Lot 1)

Drawings provided by architect Tracey Dillon

Pursuent to our by-laws, President Robert Champagne-Willis, upon advice from the Board of Directors, is calling for a meeting of the membership of the Block Island Historical Society on Saturday, June 2, at 4 pm. The meeting will be held on the side lawn of the Society property on Old Town Road.

“Directors voted to ask the membership for permission to spend $325,890.00 from the endowment in order to complete renovations to the West Gallery.”

At this meeting, we will update the membership on the West Gallery restoration and ask the membership to approve spending $325,890.00 from our endowment fund to fund this project. Board Member Daniel Costa, with contractor Daniel McLaughlin, will explain in detail the scope of work to be done and the future use of the room and improvements to the building.

Arts and Crafts Guild Fairs

Arts and Crafts Guild Fairs

Local Arts and Crafts Guild Fair on the lawn

July 3rd ( Mon.) July 23rd ( Sun.)August 6th & 20th (Sundays)

from 9 – 2 pm. Sept. 17 (Sun) “Taste of BI” weekend and October 7th (Saturday with the Farmers Market) from 9 – 2pm

Arts & Crafts Guild Fair on Historical Society lawn – Special programs on the Porch with Sale of Captain Bob drawings and framed vintage photographs

75th Anniversary Exhibit  ‘Surrounded by Sea’ – July 1st – Dec 1st, 2017

75th Anniversary Exhibit ‘Surrounded by Sea’ – July 1st – Dec 1st, 2017

Coming to the Block Island Historical Society:

75th Anniversary Exhibit

‘Surrounded by Sea ’

Exhibit highlights the past 75 years of Collecting & Sharing Block Island History;4 updated rooms on display July1- Dec 1, 2017 at The Block Island Historical Society Museum

Block Island, RI (May 15, 2017)– The Block Island Historical Society is celebrating 75 years of educational programs and exhibits to the Rhode Island Community.

To celebrate, “Surrounded by Sea: 75 years of Collecting & Sharing Block Island History,” an updated exhibit will be on display from July 1 – Dec. 1st, 2017 at the Block Island Historical Society.


The 75th Anniversary exhibit was a team effort created by Executive Director/Curator, Pam Gasner and Board member/Special Exhibits Curator, Dr. Gerald Abbott with installation assistance by past Administrator and Executive Director of the Southeast Lighthouse Foundation, Lisa Nolan and long time member and friend of the Society, Rick Forman. The exhibit features historical artifacts and images from the permanent collection which was acquired in 1942. Four rooms highlight significant events and changes to the island over the years. Each display panel depicts memorable residents and newly digitized photographs of historic views long forgotten while promoting the importance of understanding the progression of history of one of the earliest maritime cultures and how it adapted to the heyday of the Victorian era while still keeping historic preservation as an island goal and ideal to the present day.

“We are excited to bring an overview of the past 30 years of exhibits curated by Dr. Abbott to the newly restored exhibit rooms,” said Pam Littlefield Gasner, Executive Director, of the Block Island Historical Society. “The Society has been an active part of the community for 75 years and we look forward to highlighting our history at the Block Island Historical Society.” We welcome new members and visitors to view the exhibits as well as the Museum Shop.

The Board of Directors of the Block Island Historical Society are pleased to announce this special exhibit and invites the public to our Opening Reception on July 1st from 5 – 8 pm.

Along with the 75th anniversary exhibit panels and display cases we will display highlights from  last year’s Archaeological exhibit curated by Kevin McBride and the staff from the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. Artifacts dating from 2000 – 4000 years old found in shell middens and sites of  the indigenous inhabitants of the Manisseans as well as other interesting displays relating to the history of Block Island that are in the permanent collection will be on display. The 75th Anniversary Special exhibit will be located in the two front rooms on the first floor of the museum and the two rooms at the top of the stairs on the second floor.”

The Special exhibit will be on display July 1st through Labor Day and weekends through Columbus Day with a special closing party in November.

Block Island Historical Society

18 Old Town Road
Block Island, RI 02807 – blockislandhistorical.org

Open daily 11:00 am to 4:00 pm Admission $6.00 adults; $4.00 senior/students & military; children free; info: 401 – 466 – 2481


The Block Island Historical Society is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the public to perform its educational mission. .

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.”