Our Story

sunset at the landfall

patio

boat

"What was here before Landfall was here?" Well, there really was nothing here except a sandy beach and a sea wall. But over the years, Landfall has been constructed of wood taken from old shipwrecks and boards from old buildings. A removable wall divides our dining room in the spring and fall so we can keep our customers comfortable from the outside elements. The small windows over the French doors in the front of the restaurant were once the transom windows in the Breakwater Hotel - a hotel that once stood on Penzance Point here in Woods Hole. The big gothic window came from a library. The stained glass window showing the wharf and waterfront scene came from the Prosser mansion of Penzance Point.

The Grecian urn, called an amphora, which hangs from the rafters, came from the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Greece. It was pulled up in a fisherman's net beside the island of Evvia, and is over 2,000 years old.

The curved pieces of wood at the top of each piling which butt up against the overhead beams are called "ship's knees." These are the ribs of an old schooner which broke up on the shores of Cuttyhunk Island.

The authentic lobster pots, harpoons, buoys, oars, lamps and other seagoing paraphernalia that are festooned from the beams, were gifts from some very special friends.

Because of its waterfront location, Landfall has had many encounters with Mother Nature since it was built in 1946. There have been ferocious hurricanes (Carol in 1954, Donna in 1960, and Bob in 1991) that have pounded and flooded the restaurant. Hurricanes Edna in 1954 and Gloria in 1985 brought high water and strong winds, but did not live up to their expectations. Then there are the memories of the preparations for the hurricanes that threatened, but graciously veered eastward to the open Atlantic (Daily in 1958, Esther in 1961, and Gerda in 1969, to name a few). And of course there have been numerous northeasters throughout the years that have provided high winds, rain, and snow.

Landfall was started in 1946 by a man who grew up around here in the summertime. His sons now own and run it.