top of page


Welcome to our Volunteer Program! Thank you for joining us, our volunteers are at the heart of everything we do at The Mattapoisett Museum.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Mattapoisett Museum in any capacity, please write to or stop by in person during Open Volunteer Hours every Thursday from 10AM-12PM during our off-season or during Open Hours over the summer.

Volunteering opportunities include:

  • Transcribing journals in our collection

  • Greeting and giving tours of the museum

  • Administrative duties 

  • Cleaning and dusting the exhibit space

  • Working in the gift shop during events

Interior of the 1821 Christian Church

The Meeting House

  • Built in 1821 as the Christian Church, the pews are original, as are the floors, stairs, etc. The pulpit and sounding board (hanging above the pulpit) were rebuilt to duplicate the originals.

  • The chandelier is from the Universalist Church which was located on the SW corner of Barstow & Church Streets. The side lights have come from various old homes in town.

  • The church is managed by a group of trustees, and is still used for services a few times per year

Ashley Mural

  • This mural was painted in 1919 by Clifford Ashley, well-known marine artist, for his friend Gilbert Hinsdale. 

  • Titled “A Chart Of The Whale Coast of New England, c.1820”, it hung in Hinsdale’s house at 20 Water Street. 

  • It was given to the museum by Mrs. Polly Duff and was cleaned and restored before being installed above the pulpit.

  • You can read more here

A Chart of the Whale Coast of New Englan
Interior of the Mendell Gallery showing various ship models and whaling artifacts.

Mendell Room

  • These cases contain items related to sailing, whaling, or Mattapoisett’s ship building industry

  • Many of the items were made by men who sailed aboard whaling and merchant ships. Voyages were often long with much idle time and many a sailor became adept at wood, bone, and ivory carving.

  • The Mendell Room also contains a few more of Clifford Ashley's paintings. You can see one of the New Bedford Harbor on the far left of this photo

  • On the table in the center of the room under the plexiglass are log books from captains sailing out of New Bedford Harbor on Whaling Ships made out of Mattapoisett

Salt Works

  • On the balcony of the carriage house is a scale model of a salt works, such as those that operated around the harbor until the mid-1800s.

  • They extracted salt from seawater through evaporation in a series of wide, shallow vats.

  • With the increase of trade with other salt-producing countries, the building of the Erie Canal in New York State (which allowed easy shipment of salt from mines in the Syracuse area), the salt vats disappeared from our shores.

Mattapoisett Salt Works where a series of vats extracted salt from seawater.
1821 Eagle Hand Pumper, Mattapoisett's first fire apparatus.

Eagle Hand Pumper

  • This was Mattapoisett’s first fire engine, made in 1821 by, William Hunniman, an apprentice of Paul Revere.

  • It was hand-pumped, and water buckets were hooked onto the wooden spars

  • It was restored by the Mattapoisett Firefighters after it was found under an old lumber pile in the cellar of the sail-loft building

Sprinkler Wagon

  • This wagon was built in the late 19th century and was used to hydrate the dirt roads of Mattapoisett during the spring and summer in order to keep the dust down

  • As more streets were paved in the early 20th century the wagon was retired, but it is still occasionally brought out for parades and celebrations.

Studebaker Wagon used to water down the dirt roads of Mattapoisett to keep the dust down.
bottom of page