ancestryink fisherman

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Friends With Benefits

Let me quickly explain that title, lest you assume genealogists are some kind of randy bunch.

I checked the hours for the Falmouth Historical Society yesterday and discovered they were open. What with the chilly rainy morning, I figured it was a good time to sign up for a new membership, and hightailed it down to their offices on Main Street, located in the Museums on the Green compound.

Memberships are great.  Not only does joining the local historical society make you feel like a real citizen of your new town, but it helps out the historical society, allows access to their research library and archives, and clues you in to events and volunteer opportunities.

I was immediately led into a small, back office to fill out the forms.  It turns out there was an Accessions meeting going on in the research library, with all the 'histy' VIP's present.  Objects under review were lined up on the floor surrounding the conference table.  I wanted to take a picture of "the historical society at work," but felt somewhat like this would be exposing CIA operatives on a secret mission - I know that makes no sense, but there is a confidential element to accessions sessions.  I also didn't want on my first visit, to be earmarked as some sort of annoying paparazzo.

Back to the benefits.

Joining the historical society can also yield unexpected benefits.  After filling out the forms, I was handed a 'new member' gift of three books:

Dyer's "Hotels & Inns," "Residential Falmouth," & Theodate Geofrrey's "Suckanesset"

These are no small "booklets."  Two of them are around 170pp. printed on nice stock, and all are filled with wonderful historic images of Falmouth and town dignitaries of yore.  "Suckanesset" abounds with juicy stories of old Falmouth, with chapter titles such as:  "Jackson's Wooden Head," "The Awashonk's Massacre," and most exciting to me - "Whalers of Falmouth," and "Privateers and Prizes."  I can't wait to settle down for a good read.

So, go forth and become a friend with benefits of your local historical society.  You will also undoubtedly meet some of the "sharpest tacks" in town, and be greeted with enthusiastic welcome, as I was yesterday at the Falmouth Historical Society.

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