Historical Societies & Museums
Cape Cod Art / Annual Art 2015 / Art & Entertainment, History, People & Businesses, Recreation & Activities
Writer: Cape Cod Life Publications / Photographer:
Eastham Historical Society
The Eastham Historical Society is home to two historical venues, which host a number of activities and events for the summer season. Built in 1741, the Swift-Daley House offers visitors a display of antiques from Colonial to Victorian times. Built in 1869, the Schoolhouse Museum is a historic, one-room schoolhouse set in its original glory for kids to come and “play school.” The Schoolhouse will host lectures by Jake Klim, author of “Attack on Orleans,” on July 12, at 7:30 p.m., and Bill Flynn, the author of “A Drumbeat Too Near,” on July 30, at 7 p.m. In addition, join the Historical Society on Saturday, August 8 at its 38th annual Outdoor Antiques Market at 9 a.m. For more information, visit easthamhistoricalsociety.org.
John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum
The JFK Hyannis Museum serves as a center for fascinating JFK memorabilia as well as hosting lectures and educating people about Cape Cod’s famous Kennedy family. The museum is in the process of a major remodeling and renovation project. Opening June 3, the exhibit “Jack and Bobby Kennedy: Brothers First,” depicts the dynamics between the brothers from their youth, to their time at the White House. In addition, the museum has expanded its Speaker Series to nine lectures. Sergei Khruschev, son of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev, and Rory Kennedy, daughter of Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy, are some of the notable speakers this year. For more information on the museum and its offerings, visit jfkhyannismuseum.org.
The Historical Society of Old Yarmouth
Founded in 1953, the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth offers visitors a chance to be immersed in Yarmouth’s past in multiple buildings, including the Captain Bangs Hallet House Museum and the Winslow Crocker House. On Saturday, June 27, at 1 p.m. join the historical society in “Down Street Walk and Talk,” a guided costume tour of historic places, events, and facts, going from the Yarmouth Fire House down Route 6A to the Thacher Playground. On Friday, August 7, the exhibit “Two Thousand Years of Yarmouth History,” will display historic artifacts recently found in a Yarmouth resident’s backyard. The summer season will close August 9 with the Summer Music Gala featuring the Cape Cod Jazz Quintet with Bart Weisman and a silent auction and wine reception. For more information, visit hsoy.org.
Atwood House & Chatham Historical Society
Operating since 1923, the Atwood House and the Chatham Historical Society date back to 1752 and the house has remained unchanged since its original construction. Beautiful artwork, tools, and treasures from Victorian and Colonial times adorn the museum. On June 21 at 2 p.m., Jan Nickerson and Don St. Pierre will speak about the camps on North Beach off the coast of Chatham, in their lecture titled “A Special Time: Life at the North Beach Camps,” On July 25 from 5 to 7 p.m., join the society for their annual summer celebration, “An Evening to Remember,” a night of cocktails, hors d’oeurves, and a silent auction, which helps fund the Atwood House. For more information, visit chathamhistoricalsociety.org.
Osterville Historical Museum
The Osterville Historical Museum, home to the Captain Parker House and the Herbert F. Crosby Boat Shop, kicks off the summer season on June 11, which will also be the reopening of the Van Winkle Boat Shop housing the latest additions to the society’s wooden boat collection. Visitors can also tour a newly redesigned exhibit, “Sail Into History,” which details the process of constructing Cape Cod’s iconic Crosby boats. “Pigs & Pearls,” an annual festivity, takes place on July 12 from 5 to 7 p.m., and includes an evening of fresh, local food supplied by the society’s Farmer’s Market vendors. The following week, enjoy the Village Day Antique Car Parade on July 18, which features over 70 cars on the grounds. On August 13 the museum hosts the 24th Annual Antiques Show, which has over 30 antique dealers from across New England. For information, visit ostervillemuseum.org.
Falmouth Museums on the Green
The Falmouth Museums on the Green, home to the oldest building on the town’s green, is a charming and fascinating place showcasing the town’s history both for visitors to Falmouth and year round residents. The museum includes the Hallett Barn Visitor Center, the Cultural Center, the Wicks House, and the Conant House. Each of these venues offers a variety of innovative programs and educational opportunities throughout the season. The museum has a number of new and ongoing exhibitions for 2015, including “Victorian Life in Falmouth.” Walking tours are provided every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. starting June 9 and running through October 22. On Friday, August 7, join the museum for a night of 1940s fun and dancing at a cocktail party fundraiser, “Swinging on a Star.” Featuring big band era music, a caricature artist, an exhibition of 1940’s fashion, and more, the night is sure to be one you won’t want to miss. For more information, visit museumsonthegreen.org.
Orleans Historical Society
The Orleans Historical Society and Museum features special yearly exhibits and is currently hosting “The Orleans Life-Saving Station,” an exhibit that pays tribute to the men who risked their lives off the coast, and “150 Years from Rail to Trail,” a look at how Orleans was transformed by the rail line. In addition to the museum, the Historical Society houses the Motor Life Boat CG36500, responsible for rescuing 32 survivors from the tanker Pendleton in 1952 off Chatham’s coast. This summer, the Society hosts lecture series on some Tuesdays and each Wednesday morning, called, “Kids at the Museum” which gives children the chance to learn about the town history through projects and crafts. In late July and early August, catch the performances of “The Girl from Quanset,” based on an operetta performed at an Orleans girls’ camp in the early 1900s. For more information, visit orleanshistoricalsociety.org.
Harwich Historical Society
The Harwich Historical Society, located in a former historic schoolhouse, has many happenings to look forward to this summer. One of the most exciting is the acquiring and opening of the Elmer Crowell Barn on the grounds of the museum. Crowell was a master decoy carver and painter, and the barn houses Crowell and his son’s workshop. The workshop will showcase an exhibit featuring tools, carvings, photographs, and other media focused on Crowell and his craft. The barn is the site of carving demonstrations throughout the season. In addition, the museum opens its newest exhibit on Thursday, June 24, titled “Harwich Between the Wars: Challenge and Change,” which examines the difficult times endured by the town residents from the end of the Civil War to World War I. The exhibit includes fashion, changes in technology, and other artifacts. For more information, visit harwichhistoricalsociety.org .
Wellfleet Preservation Hall
Wellfleet Preservation Hall serves as a gathering spot and a shared space for the community, hosting numerous events, functions, and happenings throughout the year. The hall has a full schedule for the summer of 2015, with music, poetry, galas, and more. Some highlights include the Provincetown Film Festival, being held at the hall June 18- June 21. The following week, “Taste of the Town,” the hall’s annual fundraising event will take place on June 27. Restaurants and caterers from the mid to lower Cape provide the food for this night of fun. The hall also runs a number of series throughout the summer, including the “Local Lens Series,” which focuses on local filmmakers and their projects, and the “Bright New Stars” series, which gives up-and-coming musical artists a chance to perform. For more information, and a full calendar of events, visit wellfleetpreservatiohall.org.
Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum
The Pilgrim Monument stands as a beacon for historic Provincetown. The tallest all-granite structure in the United States, the monument was built to commemorate the Mayflower Pilgrim’s first landing in Provincetown in 1620. The Provincetown Museum, located at the base of the monument, serves as a way to further educate visitors about the rich history of Provincetown and the ways it played a role in both Pilgrim and American history. The museum’s current exhibitions include, “Capture 1614: Our Story —a Wampanoag History,” and “The Fine White Line: Faces Behind the Prints,” which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the famous “Provincetown Print.” The museum and monument are open daily throughout the summer. For more information, visit pilgrim-monument.org.
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