Exploring, preserving, sharing our rich heritage—
so it isn't lost forever.
Yarmouth was founded in 1639 by settlers from the
Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies.
They and those who followed have played an important role in shaping Cape Cod and the nation itself.
But for thousands of years many others have lived, fished, hunted, and died on this sandy peninsula and on the waters that surround us.
The Historical Society of Old Yarmouth (HSOY)
was founded in 1953 with a commitment to discover, preserve,
and celebrate the history of this place and all of its people
and to keep it from being discarded, misplaced, forgotten—
We have dedicated this website to all
who have left their mark here.
This is their story.
Explore Sea Captains' homes, windmills, grist mills, old inns, churches, and a 1639 farm where an archeological dig peers 10,000 years into the past.
They settled the land, sailed the high seas,
hunted whales, sold ice as far away as India, and spooked kids with macabre illustrations.
EPIC EVENTS & DISASTERS
Our people have seen more than their share of major events and disasters—from wars and epidemics to hurricanes and shipwrecks.
Historic and unpretentious, this non-denominational chapel in a secluded meadow offers a unique setting for a memorable Cape wedding or other event.
LEGENDS & MYTHS
From a whale that can be killed only with a silver harpoon to places that resonate to this day
with the spirits of former inhabitants.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF OLD YARMOUTH
From the earliest peoples who lived on these lands to the growth and evolution of the town,
the villages, and the people of today.