61 Whig St
Dennis, Massachusetts 02638
Phone: (508) 385-2232

Seeking Volunteers!

You can volunteer by sending your contact information to or by visiting the Manse on an afternoon it is open.

There is usually a docent for each room who has been provided with information relevant to its history and furnishings. Training is simple. The room history is in written form, with observing or shadowing experienced docents all part of the training. There are period costumes available to add to the ambiance. A simple skirt or slack outfit is also suitable.


Both museums are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They are owned by the Town of Dennis and managed by a Select Board appointed committee. Their furnishings and collections are owned by the Dennis Historical Society. They have ADA entry, and docents in period costume who guide you through the history of each room.

The Josiah Dennis Manse, a two-story salt box, end chimney or half house, was built ca. 1700. An addition on the west side, in 1736, turned it into a complete house with a center entrance. In the early 1900s the rear summer kitchen, now a Maritime Room, was added. Major preservation and stabilization in 2010, funded by the Town of Dennis Community Preservation Fund, saved the home. In 1728, the people of the East Precinct of Yarmouth provided this house to their first minister, Rev. Josiah Dennis, who served them until his death in 1763. The East Precinct was incorporated in 1793 as a town called Dennis, named in honor of the man who shepherded their souls, during a time of colonial rule. The Manse offers a view of Dennis history from the colonial period to the end of the age of sail.

West Schoolhouse was rebuilt in 1810, on the site of the original ca. 1745 Nobscusset neighborhood schoolhouse. This timber frame school was designed and constructed by Nathan Stone, Jr., son of the second minister of the East Precinct. He was a Boston apprenticed house-wright, who had attended the original one room schoolhouse. Ca. 1850, American education developed a graded school system. Falling into disrepair, the one room schoolhouse was moved across the King’s Highway for use as a barn and then transformed into a Cape Cod style gift shop. In 1973, condo development threatened demolition and it was moved to the grounds of the Josiah Dennis Manse to become a museum of colonial and early American education. A Town of Dennis Community Fund grant provided major structural preservation and stabilization in 2023.

A picture of the Josiah Dennis Manse Museum building an image of a wedding dress in the East Parlor an image of a blacksmith on Colonial Day

Hours and Admission:

These are seasonal museums, open Thursday and Saturday afternoons, 1 pm to 4 pm, from June 29 to September 14 and for special events. There is no admission fee. Donations are appreciated.

  • Manse Opening Day, Saturday, June 29, 1 to 4 pm, features Reverend Josiah Dennis & his wife Phebe
  • Colonial Day, Saturday, August 17, 10 am to 3 pm, features colonial re-enactors and related demonstrations, both indoors & outdoors.
  • Autumn at the Manse, Saturday, Sept. 14, 1 to 4 pm, features Spinning & Weaving
  • Christmas at the Manse, Sunday, December 8, Noon to 3 pm, features natural decorations, refreshments, and a trolley ride to the Dennis Village Stroll.
  • Group tours of any size can be arranged, outside of our normal operating hours, for a nominal fee; contact us at to schedule.

Visit the Dennis Historical Society website, link above, for up-to-date information on the 2024 schedule.

Mon. Closed
Tue. Closed
Wed. Closed
Thu. Closed
Fri. Closed
Sat. Closed
Sun. Closed

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