J. Erik Jonsson Woods Hole Center

Hackerman House: First Floor

Lobby/Reception Area

The main foyer of the house serves as the lobby and reception area for the Center. Our receptionist greets meeting participants, familiarizes them with the facility, provides information on the Center as a well as on the Woods Hole and Cape Cod area. Brochures and information for local attractions of recreational, cultural or professional interest are on display for participants to collect. The gift shop offers Jonsson Center t-shirts, hats, tote bags, etc.

Living Room

The living room is now used in much the same manner as it would have been when the house was a private residence. Participants can sit in quiet study or read, small groups can have discussions, or individuals can relax and read the newspaper or the latest Academy report. Much of the furniture in this room is original to the time of the Academy purchase and has been refinished or reupholstered during the 1980's. The watercolor portrait of the house was commissioned from artist Connie Ward Woolard and purchased from revenues from T-shirt sales.

Sun Porch

The sun porch is likely the most frequently visited room and certainly the most popular at the Center. The room is used in a manner similar to the Living Room for small break-out groups, discussions, quiet study and reading. Many come here to simply relax and enjoy the view of the Harbor, as well as the beautiful sunsets over the Knob.

Dining Porch

Meeting participants enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinners on the dining porch, as well as on the lawn and the tables provided in that area. Since many of our meeting participants come from metropolitan areas with stifling heat such as Washington D.C., the cool New England summer breezes, and fresh air are delightful for the body, the mind and the spirit and contribute to the work and success of each meeting in subtle ways.

Dining Room

The dining room serves largely the same function now as it did when the house was used as a summer home. Breakfast and lunch are served each day there is a study group at the Center. All meal service is buffet and a selection of items is provided to accommodate everyone's dietary preferences or requirements. The Academy's interest and advice on good nutrition plays an important role in planning meal service for the groups and by good selection, one can eat a very healthy diet. The problem persists however that the food is tasty and of such good quality that it is hard not to overeat! Dinners are offered at the Center by prior arrangements.

The china on display in the cabinets and on the plate rail above the paneling is representative of china that was used throughout the history of the house. There were no complete sets remaining and what you see here transferred with the purchase of the house, as did the majority of the furniture in this room. The chandelier was purchased in 1986 to replace the original crystal fixture of similar style and size, which had been stolen from the facility prior to the Academy ownership.

Staff Dining Rooms

Probably used to provide space similar for the staff in the original residence, this room is used now for today's staff to have meals together, the chef's office as well as storage and production for the food services.


The Academy staff produces all of the food service for the Center. Foods are purchased from commercial suppliers from Boston, Providence, and New Bedford as well as local sources. The pantry and rear storage area, once an ice box, are conveniently placed and serve the modern needs in largely the same fashion as originally intended for a family.

Main Staircase

This dramatic main staircase was enlarged over the original and the Palladian arch was added at the top with the skylight, ascending two stories, internal to the wing. The chest at the top of the landing is a Chinese Temple Chest and was transferred with the purchase of the house. The framed color photographs on the walls are of the primary facilities of the Academies.


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