The Cape is full of history, and that history is on full display at the Elijah Cobb House. First constructed in 1799, the former sea captain’s home now serves as the very first permanent museum for the Brewster Historical Society. The space is a half-century in the making, as the society has been around for 50-years, yet never had its own permanent museum space until now.
When first built the location was part of Harwich, a home for the seaman who spent his days traveling the globe. Family members lived in the home until the early 1940s when it was sold and renovations were made. By the time the society took possession of the home it was in need of repairs once again.
Purchased for $575,000 in 2014, the society put another $365,000 into renovations, paid for with a $150,000 matching grant made available by the Massachusetts Cultural Society and with dual Community Preservation Fund grants, plus monetary gifts from locals and area businesses. The project included restoring the fireplace in the home’s keeping room and adding new paint in period colors. The overall aim was to bring the home back to the condition in which it once appeared, centuries ago. The large kitchen hearth and beehive oven were maintained in the process.
The group then added artifacts and paintings to each room from the society’s own collection, giving the public the opportunity to view the home during limited hours, on certain days of the week. You’ll find clothing, books, furnishings and personal possessions displayed through the home. There’s even a large anchor sitting in the yard that likely came from a mid 1800s-era ship.
While the society first opened the Elijah Cobb House for viewing last summer, it also maintains local history with a restored house and windmill from the 18th century at Windmill Village.