Exploring Nantucket Nantucket Events

Sharing Drama & Fun of Our Island’s History

Both the Nantucket Historical Association and Egan Maritime Association open their 2023 featured exhibits on Memorial Day Weekend.

In the Nantucket Whaling Museum, downtown at 13 Broad Street, visitors can view more than 200 artifacts from the NHA’s collection in Summer on Nantucket: A History of the Island Resort. This new exhibit tells the story of Nantucket as a summer destination, from the opening of the first tourist hotels in the 1840s to the multi-billion dollar real estate, construction, and rental economy of today.

“We are excited for this exhibition which highlights so many items from our collection, all while telling the story of how Nantucketers reinvented their island from a whaling port past its prime to one of the world’s most sought-after summer destinations,” says Niles Parker, Gosnell Executive Director. “That transformation has brought opportunities and challenges that the island continues to grapple with. This exhibition explores a variety of themes showing that Nantucket history is about much more than whaling.”

To explore more about Nantucket’s rich history, see all the historic properties the NHA manages, and learn more about their 2023 programs, visit nha.org.

On Friday, May 26, Egan Maritime opens its Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum for the 2023 season. This year’s featured exhibition, Rum Runners and Rum Chasers: Nantucket, Prohibition & the U.S. Coast Guard, continues a series honoring the organizations that came together in 1915 to form the U.S. Coast Guard. This new exhibit presents how demands of war, technology, and law enforcement changed America’s oldest maritime military force. With the enactment of Prohibition, the government tasked the Coast Guard and its unique law enforcement powers to go after smugglers, bootleggers, criminal gangs, and rumrunners. Nantucketers cooperated and sometimes did not: partying remained a mainstay of life on our island.

Located 3.5 miles from the town center at a gorgeous property at 158 Polpis Road, the Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday. Courtesy rides to the museum on The Shipwreck Shuttle depart from the Visitors’ Center at 25 Federal Street Monday through Saturday on the half-hour, starting at 9:30 am until 3:30 pm. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the museum’s beautiful property along Folger’s March before you tour the dramatic exhibits. For Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum programs and details on Egan Maritime, visit eganmaritime.org.

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