In 1914, Guglielmo Marconi built a high powered wireless station in Massachusetts which he was never able to use. The receivers were here in Chatham and the transmitters were forty miles west, in Marion. The station was paired with a station in Norway to provide wireless communication between the two continents, using Morse code. Marconi's plans were interrupted by World War I. After the war, the station was bought by RCA and, except during World War II, stayed in operation as a wireless maritime station for over seventy years until 1997. During the war it was staffed by the U.S. Navy and operated as a key listening station for Nazi U-boat traffic.


This exhibit gallery tells the story of the station from its construction in 1914 to its closing in 1997.

From the beginning of wireless communication in the 1890s there has been a steady evolution in wireless technology. In the last few decades that steady evolution has become explosive.


This exhibit gallery tells the story of some of the more recent and intriguing uses of wireless technology, this year featuring “Radio to the Rescue”.  Radio communication ended the isolation of mariners at sea.  The valuable lessons learned from early - and even more recent - sea rescues are explored in new exhibits.  Learn how radio and satellite technologies keep people safe today, and help save countless lives by aiding the Coast Guard in maritime rescues.

This 650 foot long trail takes you to the top of the hill behind the station. On the way you will learn about some of the many antennas that were used over the life of the station. You will be able see the base of the 360 foot antenna mast that was installed with five others when the station was built and you will have several vistas of the surrounding area.

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