Friends of Westport Island History (“Friends”)

The Friends of Westport Island History is a non-profit organization whose goal is to keep our town’s heritage alive.

The Friends, in collaboration with community partners, has been instrumental in the creation of the Westport Island History Center at the Wright Landing to increase residents' and visitors' access to the collections and to provide a venue for public exhibits and displays, space for research, and space for archival storage.

Since its inception in 2018, the Friends have:

  • Hosted events, including a Scavenger Hunt, a Mother’s Day Tea, two annual galas, and lectures on local history

  • Created the Westport Island History Trail, a driving tour of island history with interpretive signs at each location. Download the Trail Guide with Driving Directions here

  • Produced three full-scale exhibits at the History Center

  • Scanned and cataloged thousands of historic images and documents

  • Collaborated with other Lincoln County historical organizations to create a schedule of county-wide events in celebration of the Lincoln County Bicentennial

  • Produced note cards and historical publications for purchase

Please join us on our journey to build on the visual and narrative stories of those who came before us by becoming a member of the Friends.

Current Exhibit(s) at the History Center, 38 Ferry Road

Public hours are on Sunday from noon to 2 pm or email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for a convenient time to visit.

Through Winter 2022, visit:

Portraits of Two Island Homes: Brothers Samuel and Cornelius Tarbox, Jr.  In 1784, Cornelius and Bethiah Tarbox settled their family on 137 acres of Westport Island, then known as Jeremysquam.  Through documents, letters, photographs and artifacts, this exhibit, tells the stories of two of their sons, Samuel and Cornelius Jr., and the lasting imprint they left on today’s Westport Island. A businessman and a statesman, Samuel was a founding father of, and active participant in, Westport’s nascent town government. Cornelius Jr., a mariner and farmer, created a lasting legacy and homestead for his descendants — who live here to this day.

Past Exhibits

My Island Home: Recollections of Verlie Colby Greenleaf of Westport Island took a look at the life and times of Verlie Colby Greenleaf (1891-1992) who bore witness to over a century of Westport Island's history.

Westport Island in Times of Pandemic, Epidemics & Outbreaks took a look at current and past public health events – influenza and others — that have impacted Island life. October 2020-July 2021.

Westport Island History in the News

"Chamber Chat" with the Friends of Westport Island History

Museum Showcases 100 Years of Westport Island Through Resident's Life

Families Explore and Learn with Westport Island Scavenger Hunt

Westport Island History Center Grand Opening

Westport Island celebrates History Center

Westport Island History Center Offers Preview

Westport Island history celebrated at annual meeting


Name Position
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Chair, Board of Trustees    
Jean Wilhelmsen-Exter Vice Chair, Board of Trustees    
Jeff Tarbox Treasurer, Board of Trustees    
John Henderson Secretary, Board of Trustees    
Paul Bonyun Trustee    
Callie Connor Trustee    
Dennis Dunbar Trustee    
Louana Frois Trustee    
Joan Mason-Bradford Trustee    
Gaye Wagner Trustee