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Pace of Change 1910's to 1920s runs through Dec 2023

One period in the last one hundred years of fashion that change radically in a very short time was between 1910 to 1925. In fifteen years, designers disregarded 19th century conventions of the corset, petticoat, and the hourglass profile in favor of looser less restricted shorter and more comfortable outfits. desire

19th Century Bling Fashion runs through Dec 2023

This exhibit features eighteen women’s capes and capelets from 1850 to 1890. The coverings are black and all have intricate embellishments of the time. One reason for this extravagance may be the 1850 invention of the sewing machine, which helped the maker choose a large variety of textures and ornamental details.

Memory Collectors runs through Dec 2023

Our family photograph albums and scrapbooks are treasured heirlooms.  Each page offers a new story or anecdote about the people and places held within their pages.  They provoke memories, conversations, and storytelling that help us define who we are and where we come from.

 On exhibit are twenty 19th century photo albums and scrapbooks from Centerville families. These collectors of people, places, and past interests provide an insight to the people of this time.

Hollywood comes to Centerville   runs through Dec 2023

Hollywood comes to Centerville tells the story of the Kalmus family who summer in Centerville for several decades bringing many of their Hollywood friends with them. Herbert Kalmus intrigued with filmmaking and the color motion picture process developed the first successful color film which led to the incorporation of the Technicolor motion Picture Corporation.  Dr. Kalmus purchased a ‘gentleman’s estate’ in Centerville and gave it the name, "Fernbrook."  He and his first wife, Natalie, hosted many celebrities at the estate including Clark Gable, Cecil B. DeMille, Walt Disney, Gloria Swanson and Audrey Hepburn.

Filmed on Cape Cod   runs through Dec 2023

Movies Filmed on Cape Cod highlights ten Hollywood movies filmed in several towns around Cape Cod. The first being the 1903 silent film “Rip Van Winkle” filmed in Bourne to the 2016 film The Finest Hour filmed in part in Chatham.

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Centerville’s 19th century dressmaker   runs through Dec 2023

The room’s present occupant is a young lady who is using her bedroom as a sewing room. Our focus here is the Elias Howe 1872 double – treadle sewing machine. In 1846 Massachusetts born Elias Howe patented the first American lockstitch sewing machine.  This invention generated a great manufacturing expansion in history. Many facets of manufacturing benefited from the Howe machine such as hat making, shoe making, uniforms, upholstery and textile accessories all derived benefits from this new technology.

18th & 19th Century Small Armaments   runs through Dec 2023

This exhibit examines the technological changes of small armaments between 1780 and 1875, using rifles, swords, daggers and bullets from the museum collection.


As an example the bullet changes four times from 1810 to 1870. Muzzle loading rifles used small round lead balls which by 1846 changed to the Minnie ball (bullet) named after the French inventor Claude-Etienne Minie. As bullets changed so did the delivery method. Rifles evolved from the flintlock muzzle-load musket to the Trapdoor Rifle developed in 1870s which deployed the conical lead bullet housed in a brass casing. This was the rifle carried by Custer’s troops at Little Big Horn; much controversy lingers over the tendency of cartridges to jam under repeated firing (heat) and being possible contributor to the massacre.

Speakeasy   runs through Dec 2023

The Centerville Museum examines the history of those tumultuous times on the 100 years anniversary, in the exhibit Speakeasy. Utilizing museum objects, photographs and historical accounts of the day we recount the story of the prohibition era including: the bootlegging of rum runners row, Cape Cod’s involvement, several of the famous and infamous people, the phenomena that became known as the Speakeasy, and Centerville’s own Speakeasy.

Battles; Spies; Cooties The Great War   runs through Dec 2023

2018 was the hundredth anniversary of the United States’ involvement in the Great War. Centerville Museum examines the major battles, the development of espionage, the changes in the technology of warfare and the personal accounts of World War One veterans.

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Shipwrecks Mystery - Murder - Misery   runs through Dec 2023

Three hundred and fifty ships were known to have gone down or wrecked off the shores of Cape Cod between 1850 and 1900.  Thousands of lives have been lost on these ships.  This number does not address the hundreds of ships recorded as lost, with no record of where the ship went down or any evidence of wreckage. 


The CHM’s exhibit Shipwrecks tells the story of five prominent sea disasters, utilizing newspaper accounts, log books, historical photographs, paintings, personal letters and marine artifacts. We relate the drama and uncertainty associated with the sea and the unforgiving environment in which ships were forced to travel and the unparalleled sacrifice and heroism of the people who lived here to save them.

Exhibit videos past and present
The Pace of Change exhibit video   present

see a short video of the exhibit the Pace of change 1910s - 1920s

Click the image to view the video.

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19th Century Bling exhibit video   present

see a short video of the exhibit 19th Century Bling

Click the image to view the video.

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Speakeasy exhibit video   present

see a short video of the present exhibit Speakeasy

Click the image to view the video.

Battles, Spies, Cooties exhibit video   present

see a short video of the present exhibit on World War One

Click the image to view the video.

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the Waist exhibit video   past

see a short video of the past exhibit the WAIST

Click the image to view the video.

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What's Underneath exhibit video   past

see a short video of the past exhibit What's Underneath

Click the image to view the video.

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