Barnstable Harbor through the years

Now on display at the Jones house, Many old items from Barnstable harbors past. Never before photos and memorabilia from  private collections. Many photos and videos of early trap fishing in and around the harbor. The building of the Iconic "Howard boats" structure where business thrives today. The Barnstable Marine story in photos from the earliest days of that thriving centerpiece of Barnstable harbor today. Many personal items from local collections are on loan to us for this special exhibit that will run through the summer. If you wanted to see what Barnstable harbor was in it's early day, ..Don't miss this opportunity to see some great items before they are returned to their respective owners!

Summer 2013 Newsletter

Annual Meeting: June 12 

It's Annual Meeting time again. Where has the year gone? Our Annual Meeting is June 12, 2013 at 7pm.

It's been a busy year at the Historical Society. A group of volunteers gave the front of the house a fresh coat of paint. Recently a crew from Sheriff Jim Cummings' Community Outreach Program completed painting the west side of the house. We hope to have the entire house done by fall.

We've hired a new Document Coordinator / Gift Shop Manager for the season. Dawn Labenski lived in the Village for several years and is excited to become involved with BHS. She is also an expert painter and is working with us before Opening Day, June 18, to put a fresh goat of paint on several of the exhibit rooms.

A group of gardening volunteers, helped by Steve Vetorino and Wayne Norwood, cleaned the yard of winter debris and cleared a wonderful old stonewall in the back section. Bobbi Cox and her volunteers have begun some landscaping around the house with traditional New England plantings of boxwoods and lilacs.

Our "Ship's Captains of Barnstable" exhibit of last summer was very well received and led beautifully into this year's special exhibit, "Barnstable Harbor Through the Years." Everyone is invited to stay after our brief business meeting to enjoy a glass of wine and a preview of the exhibit.

We have decided to down size our Gift Shop this year to give the Strategic Planning Committee a chance to assess our space needs and how best to accommodate, first, our wonderful collection and, second, things like the Gift Shop. It will be in the same area as last year.

This fall will also be a busy time. We will be joining with Sturgis Library for our annual fundraising event, Autumnfest, as well as hosting a fun-fort-the-family Antique Tractor Show. We are planning another exciting Boutique in December.

A big thank you to those members who checked a volunteer opportunity box. We hope to contact you soon. We appreciate your offer!

This year we are proposing a few By-Law revisions, mainly to clear up some vague wording. The major part of the By-Laws remains unchanged, however. The revisions are provided below for your review. Please look them over since a membership vote is required to accept the changes.

The Board of Directors, Barnstable Historical Society


Changes in Our By-Laws 

Please check over before our Annual Meeting

These are the by-law revisions which will be presented at the Annual Meeting for consideration by the membership present and voting.

As approved by Board of Directors at May 18, 2013 meeting.

To replace the current three classes of membership (Individual, Contributing and Life) with the following six classes of membership, so as to coincide with those classes currently listed on the membership application form: Individual, Family, Sponsor, Patron, Benefactor, Leadership.

To change the due date for the payment of dues from June 30th to December 30th so as to coincide with the fiscal year. 

To eliminate the time deadline (at least two months prior to the annual meeting) for appointment of a nominating committee. 

To amend the Secretary’s duties to include the filing of annual reports with the Massachusetts Secretary of State. 

To eliminate the requirement that the Treasurer’s payment of bills in excess of $100 be approved by either the Executive Committee or the Board of Directors. 

To amend the Treasurer’s duties to include the filing of annual tax returns with the I.R.S. and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. 

To increase the number of directors from not more than nine (9) to not more than twelve (12). 

To amend the Board of Directors’ duties to include the filling of any vacancies among the Officers and Directors. 



An Arcadia Publishing Co. publication, “IMAGES OF AMERICA: BARNSTABLE” has been published by Stephen Robert Lovell Farrar and the Barnstable Historical Society. Available now in our online gift shop for $22. Quantities are limited, so purchase yours soon!


Future Events/Exhibits for 2013  

June 12: Barnstable Historical Society’s ANNUAL MEETING, 7 pm
September 14: Autumnfest, Fund-Raising Auction & Party with Sturgis Library.
September 21: Oyster Festival, a Fund-Raiser with our friends from Barnstable Village Business Association.
October: Antique Tractor Show, date to be announced.

The Society is open throughout the year, by appointment, to those seeking information. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 1pm – 4pm, June 18 through October 14. 


Other Local Historical Society Events 

June 7 - Centerville Historical Society
Annual Gala at the Capt. David Kelley House
June 8 - Historical Society of Santuit & Cotuit
10am - 2pm, Annual Strawberry Festival
June 14 - Osterville Historical Society grounds
Farmers’ Market Opening Day
June 19Osterville Historical Society
Volunteer Luncheon
June 26Centerville Historical Society
10am - 3pm, Centerville House Tour
June 29Centerville Historical Society
3 - 5 pm, Book Signing and Ice Cream Social


Barnstable Historical Society Newsletter Staff & ContributorsRichards French, Marilyn Fuller, Brian Hickey, Nancy Viall Shoemaker

Would you like to publish an article on Barnstable History in our newsletter? If so, please contact us at 508-362-9207 or

    Images of America: Barnstable

    A new book from the Barnstable Historical Society...
    Buy Now!

    In 1639, Barnstable was established by the Plymouth Plantation Colony as the third town on Cape Cod. Over time, Barnstable was divided into seven distinct villages: Barnstable, Centerville, Cotuit, Hyannis, Marstons Mills, Osterville, and West Barnstable. Each of these communities grew and developed their own libraries, schools, churches, and general stores. Local industry was abundant, and residents were employed as blacksmiths, cobblers, copper smiths, and farmers. Saltworks, cranberry bogs, shipbuilding, and light industry all supported the area. Barnstable documents the evolution of the town between the 1839 bicentennial celebration and the 1939 tercentenary and shows how the advent of both the railroad and steamed-powered ships spurred great change in the town's communities. Today, economic life revolves around Hyannis while the other villages have become more residential in nature.

    The Barnstable Historical Society, established in 1939, is dedicated to preserving, sharing, and exhibiting the history of Barnstable. Curator Stephen Robert Lovell Farrar selected images from the archives of the society and from the private collections of its members to tell this compelling story of change.

    Copyright © 2013 by Stephen Robert Lovell Farrar and the Barnstable Historical Society
    ISBN 978-0-7385-9836-9
    Paperback: 128 pages
    Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (April 15, 2013)

    Support the Barnstable Historical Society and purchase the book from us directly in our new online gift shop! Quantities are limited, so order today!