JOURNEY THROUGH FOUR CENTURIES
OF THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
WITHIN A FEW SQUARE MILES
Here's just a preview of the many historic sites you'll find in Yarmouth. Some, like the Captain Bangs Hallet House, are museums open to the public according to posted schedules.
Captain Bangs hallet House MUSEUM
There are more than 100 houses in New England that have been turned into museums. On Cape Cod there is the Captain Bangs Hallet House—listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is one of the premiere examples and the only fully furnished sea captain's home on the Cape regularly open to visitors.
It is at once both personal and representative, providing an intimate glimpse into how sea captains' families lived and entertained in the 1800's.
The home is arranged as if Captain Hallet was just returning from one of his many voyages to China, likely 16 to 18 months duration, and features period furnishings, silk, porcelain, and other antique pieces—plus an extensive maritime exhibit and a fully-equipped colonial summer kitchen. The museum is not handicap accessible.
Knowledgeable docents lead guided tours and relate lively stories of Yarmouth captains' hair-raising adventures at sea during the Golden Age of Sail when American-designed and American-built ships like the Clippers designed by Donald McKay helped open the world to international trade on a global scale and propel our young nation into supremacy as a maritime power.
11 Strawberry Lane (just off the Old King's Highway/Route 6A),
on The Common, Yarmouth Port
Tours Mid-June to Mid-October, Thurs-Sun, 1-4 (Last Tour 3 PM)
The museum is not handicap accessible.
Admission $5 for adults; FREE to kids, Yarmouth residents,
and Members of the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth.
(P.S. If you're not yet a Member, that's okay. Because right now
you can take advantage of our Free Membership Offer. Just click
on the JOIN button at the top of this page.)
Although this small chapel is not routinely open for visitors, it is available for private gatherings and celebrations and provides the serenity and ambiance of a small church nestled in a secluded meadow—yet just steps from the Old King's Highway. It has become a popular setting for many memorable summer weddings as well as baptisms, anniversary celebrations, memorial services, concerts and even theatrical events.
To inquire about the rental of Kelley Chapel for a wedding or other event, contact Marie Tardo at 508.362.3021.
THE NATURE TRAILS
Over 50 acres of Cape Cod woodland with walking trails that lead you around Miller’s Pond and back. The land was originally the site of the first private golf course on the Cape and then later allowed to revert to its present natural state (some of the original layout is still visible to the sharp-eyed). The Trails are open every day of the year from dawn to dusk to all who enjoy the outdoors. FREE— ALL DONATIONS WELCOME. (Our thanks to David A. Blake for the brief video above.)
OTHER NEARBY SITES OF INTEREST
Yarmouth NEW CHURCH
Built in 1870 by followers of Swedish scientist, philosopher, and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, it's directly across from The Common. The building, no longer a church, was recently restored to its once proud and beautiful condition.
It contains meticulous Gothic details, elaborately hand-painted and stenciled walls. The Foundation responsible for the restoration is dedicated to bringing the best of arts programming to this area of the Cape.
266 Main Street (Route 6a, the Old King's Highway/Route 6A),
at Strawberry Lane across from The Common, Yarmouth Port
See more at: www.yarmouthportcommon.org
WINSLOW CROCKER HOUSE
This house, and the Thacher house located next door (but not open to the public), are both owned by Historic New England (SPNEA). Originally located
in West Barnstable, the house was moved to its present location in 1936 by Thacher, an avid collector of antiques and a descendant of Anthony Thacher, one of the three original founders of Yarmouth. Miss Thacher used the house as a backdrop for her collection of colonial furniture, hooked rugs, ceramics, pewter, and other decorative arts.
250 Main Street (the Old King's Highway/Route 6A), Yarmouth Port
Open the second and fourth Saturday of each month, June through mid-October
Tours 11am-5pm, on the hour, last tour 4pm
See more at: www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/winslow-crocker-house
EDWARD GOREY HOUSE
Purchased by author/illustrator/set designer Edward Gorey in 1979, this 200-year-old sea captain’s home became a museum after his death in 2000 and
is now dedicated to Gorey's life, work, and his devotion to animal welfare.
8 Strawberry Lane, (just off the Old King's Highway/Route 6A),
on The Common, Yarmouth Port
The house and its annual Gorey exhibits are open to the public
from April through December.
See more at: www.edwardgoreyhouse.org
Originally settled in 1639 by Richard "The Rock" Taylor, and located on the edge of a picturesque salt marsh, the farm became the home of Samuel Taylor in 1788 after he returned from fighting in the Revolutionary War. Samuel built the extant farmhouse partially from the remains of the earlier home, married his sweetheart Lucretia, and had three daughters. Following in the footsteps of many of his Yarmouth neighbors, Samuel took to the sea and eventually became a deep water sea captain who made 28 trips to places as faraway as India and China.
The property remained in the Taylor family until 1896 when George and William Bray, two brothers who had worked for the Taylors, purchased the property. The Brays continued to operate a working farm until 1941. In 1947 the farm was acquired by the Williams family who added to the home and brought sheep to the farm. In 1987 the Town of Yarmouth acquired the property “for historic preservation and conservation” purposes.
The farm, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, includes a small flock of sheep, goats, Highland Cattle, and poultry. It is also the site of an ongoing archaeological dig, which recently uncovered evidence of human presence dating back some 8,000 to 10,000 years to nomadic people of the Paleolithic and Early Archaic periods.
108 Bray Farm Road North, Yarmouth Port
The farm is open during daylight hours. There is no admission fee although donations are accepted. Call the Yarmouth Historical Commission at 508-398-2231 ext. 1292 for additional information.
See more at: www.taylorbrayfarm,org
JUDAH BAKER WINDMILL
Built in 1791 and named after its original builder, Judah Baker, this mill was moved several before it came to its current location. As large commercial mills appeared in the Midwest, local mills, including this one, fell into disuse.
In 1953, the mill was donated to the town of Yarmouth along with the surrounding Windmill Park, which includes a small swimming beach on
Bass River. In 1999, the windmill underwent an extensive renovation and
now appears in its original condition.
89 River Street, South Yarmouth
Open seasonally. Call the Yarmouth Historical Commission at 608.398.2231 ext. 1292 for a schedule.
Yarmouth Friends Meeting was the second Meeting of that faith in America, established in 1659. The present “new” meetinghouse erected on half an acre donated by Friend David Killey in 1808 is over two centuries old and has a thriving membership today holding regular Sunday meetings. In the adjacent cemetery with its small, modest gravestones, lie generations of Quakers who settled and lived in this area.
Quaker Meeting House
58 Main Street, Quaker Village, South Yarmouth
Silent Service every Sunday at 10 AM
BAXTER GRIST MILL
Built in the early 1700s for grinding corn, the mill was operated until 1900, when electricity and commercial flour became readily available. The mill was restored in the 1960s by Harold Castonguay and George Kelley and given to the town of Yarmouth. It was the first site in Yarmouth to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Route 28, West Yarmouth
Open seasonally. Call the Yarmouth Historical Commission at 508-398-2231 ext. 1292 for a schedule.
ANCIENT CEMETERY, GRAVESTONE CURSE
Cape Cod natives have always had a reputation for saying what they mean without beating about the bush. In this historic cemetery in Yarmouth Port, among the many old markers sits this gravestone. On its face it appears like many others, identifying the soul who lies below. But on the backside is this unmistakable curse, by one very angry individual. According to reports, family members did not wish to have the inscription appear. But the deceased prepaid for the stone and the inscription, and had the stonemason swear it would be placed just as visitors find it today.
Ancient Cemetery, Ancient Way, Yarmouth Port