Logo   Nantucket Whaling Museum
Nantucket grew rich on whaling. Here's the fascinating story...




Artifacts, photographs and stories of the whaling trade fill the Nantucket Whaling Museum, but nothing tells the story so well as the dramatic, gigantic 46-foot-long (14-meter) skeleton of a sperm whale.

The whale washed up on Low Beach in 'Sconset in 1998, and soon died. After scientific study, its skeleton was preserved so visitors could marvel at the size and strength of these extraordinary creatures.

Compare its size with that of the fully-outfitted whaling boat and imagine the doughty mariners who left the relative safety of the ship to hunt and (usually) bring back a creature many times their size and strength.

Part of the museum building was once a manufactory for whale-oil candles, built in 1847. Exhibits show how the candles were made, and the importance of this source of light to New England homes and businesses in the mid-19th century.

Other exhibits include scrimshaw (artful carving on ivory), finely-woven Nantucket lightship baskets, period costumes and furniture, and paintings, many of them portraits of prominent whaling captains and merchants.

"Going on the Whale," carved wooden tableau on the Whaling Museum, Nantucket MA

On the museum's roof is an observatory with fine views of Nantucket harbor and the town. Climb the grand staircase to enjoy the panorama.

Nantucket Whaling Museum
15 Broad Street (map)
Nantucket MA 02554
Tel 508-228-1894

More whale lore? Visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum and Mystic Seaport.

—by Tom Brosnahan

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Nantucket Whaling Museum

Nantucket Whaling Museum.





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