The mission of the Cuttyhunk Historical Society is to preserve the traditions, records and history of the Elizabeth Islands for the benefit of present and future generations. Launched in 1978 and incorporated in 1982, the Society owns and operates the Museum of the Elizabeth Islands on Cuttyhunk.  We are also responsible for the preservation of Tarpaulin Cove Lighthouse on Naushon Island.

The Cuttyhunk Historical Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and depends on donations, gifts, and grants to fund its many activities. Memberships are a vital source of funding for us, as are annual gifts. They create a dependable base of support that allows us to plan for future programs, events, and projects. Each gift goes directly to the activities that preserve the history and heritage of the Elizabeth Islands.


Initially founded in 1978 as the Cuttyhunk Historical Association by the Cuttyhunk Union Methodist Church, CHS has flourished thanks to a sense of preservation and support from islanders and visitors alike. As its focus and mission grew, the Association evolved into the Cuttyhunk Historical Society and was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in 1980. Exhibits were displayed in the school and the library as space permitted.

By the end of the decade, plans were underway to provide CHS with a permanent home. In 1991, thanks to the generosity of many and built on land donated by Oriel Wood Ponzecchi in memory of her parents, Cornelius and Muriel (Prindle) Wood, the current Museum of the Elizabeth Islands was dedicated. This building has provided CHS with a place to house its growing collection and library, host two exhibits each summer and engage the community in the stories, customs and history of the Elizabeth Islands.

CHS Board Members

Kathleen Patton, President
Katie Leeson, Treasurer
Carolyn Powers, Secretary

Sheila Barry
Bee Elmore
Amy Estabrook, Membership
Cathy Ford
Matt Lovell
Terri Lowell
Laura Mali-Astrue
Karen Nemiah, Investments
Marnie Prevost Weir
Lise Stone,  Annual Giving
Allie Thurston, Technology

David Warr/Board Member Emeritus, Building and Grounds

Museum Personnel

Libby Anderson, Collections Associate
Louise Garfield, Publications Editor