The Historical Society of Old Yarmouth was founded in 1953 with the mission of preserving and developing community interest in the history of Yarmouth. Led by Caroline Siebens and Ann Maxtone-Graham the Society soon grew to more than 500 members who work to collect the objects and documents that convey Yarmouth’s past and promote the preservation of historical sites in the town.
In 1958, Guido Perera, a descendant of early Yarmouth settler Anthony Thacher, gave the Society an historic family house on Yarmouth Port’s Common, as well as 50 acres of adjoining woodlands. This generous gift is now the Captain Bangs Hallet House Museum and the Nature Trails. The Museum, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is today the only furnished sea captain's home on Cape Cod regularly open to the public.
The Historical Society of Old Yarmouth continues to actively carry out the mission by collecting Yarmouth’s past, and sharing that past with the local community as well as with visitors from around the world. The Society, led by a Board of Trustees, has two part-time staff members and a number of active and enthusiastic volunteers. Our operations include the Captain Bangs Hallet House Museum and 18th century kitchen, the Nature Trails, Kelley Chapel, and our administrative headquarters at the relocated and reconstructed Gorham Cobbler Shop (behind the Post Office on 6A). Our Archival Collections are now located there in a climate controlled archival storage facility. Our office is normally open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 AM – 3:30 PM or by appointment but is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each year we sponsor lectures, school programs, exhibitions, walking tours, concerts, holiday events, and other social and educational opportunities for the community. We also have an active publishing program designed to encourage historical scholarship about Yarmouth and make it available to all.
Captain Bangs Hallet House will have two afternoon tours from Thursday to Sunday. Click here for more details.