NEMA Museums New England

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Museum Profile

Carpenter Museum

4 Locust Ave., Rehoboth, MA 02769

The Carpenter Museum, named in honor of major benefactors Elsie and Winsor Carpenter, is Rehoboth’s local history museum. Its mission is to collect, preserve, document, and interpret physical objects related to the town’s history; to connect the Rehoboth community with these objects and to local history in general; to provide the wider community with research support, especially in the area of genealogy; and to champion history as a learning tool. The Carpenter Museum’s collections consist of over 6,000 objects, photographs, archival materials, and rare books related to the area referred to as Old Rehoboth, which was established in 1643 and includes parts of what is now Seekonk and East Providence. Highlights include the Milton Hall Collection of archaeological specimens, King Philip’s kettle, original editions of Samuel Newman’s concordance to the Bible, 18th-century linen garments, a musical tall case clock made by Peregrine White, the porcelain tea sets of Col. Thomas Carpenter’s sons, woodworking planes made by Aaron Smith, 19th-century maps, vintage photographs of people and places, and drawings by local artist Joe Carpenter. Tours are available on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday afternoons from March to December. The Museum also houses a genealogy and local history library for use by appointment that complements the Trim Room of Genealogy, located in the Blanding Public Library. Yearly programming at the Carpenter Museum includes a half-day colonial history program for the town’s third graders and groups of high school students, a hands-on family day, a bus tour of Rehoboth homes, lectures, and historical impersonators.