Elmer Crowell Painting a Decoy

Taken in 1938. Elmer Crowell painting one of his duck decoys, surrounded by his work.

Harwich Goes to School

The Brooks Academy building is 175 years old!  We celebrate with a new exhibit about the history of Harwich's schools, from colonial days through the 1960s.

Brooks Academy 1887

Brooks Academy in 1887. Four men on the steps out front, and a high-wheel bicycle leaning on the column.

Cranberry Bog During Picking

View of cranberry bog during picking with boxes stacked on right and wagons and horses on left. Ralph U Brett Collection.

John H. Paine 1899 HHS Graduating Class

Black & white photo of Harwich High School graduating Class of 1899, with 31 people identified.


Per the recent developments and restrictions involving the COVID-19 virus, the Harwich Historical Society is taking as many precautions as possible at this time to ensure the safety of our members, volunteers, and the community.

The Brooks Academy Museum and Crowell Barn exhibits are currently closed to the public and we remain optimistic that we will be ready to open for the season as originally planned on Sunday, June 28, 2020.

Unfortunately we have had to cancel our participation in or postpone some of the events schedule for the Spring months and will do our best to provide updates regarding rescheduling these events. Please visit our Calendar for more information about specific events.

We strive to be responsible and proactive to ensure we all stay safe and hygienic, and have thus cancelled all upcoming committee meetings until further notice.

We have come to the agreement that having our Annual Meeting in April is not in anyone's best interests and will work to reschedule this as well.

Please stay home as much as possible, practice social distancing, and keep washing your hands!



The Museum exhibits are now closed for the season.

The Museum is open for research by appointment during business hours

from 9:30 until 3:30 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

To make an appointment, call the Museum at 508-432-8089 or email HarwichHistoricalSociety@verizon.net


Brooks Academy

Sidney Brooks built Harwich's first high school in 1844. Subjects taught were the typical high school curriculum and included surveying and navigation.

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Crowell Barn Museum

Explore the story of the Harwich bird carver A. E. Crowell and see examples of his work in the reconstructed Crowell Barn on the grounds of 80 Parallel St in Harwich.

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Cranberry Culture

Cape Cod’s largest exhibit dedicated to interpreting and presenting the history of Cranberry Culture on Cape Cod is here at the Brooks Academy Museum.

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John H. Paine Collection

A collection of historical documents, it preserves much local history. Collected by Josiah Paine, who was born in Harwich in 1836, and had interest in history and genealogy.

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Are you ready to get into some great history?

We have the collections, and the experts to help you find it!


Dick Moore

Dick Moore, past president of The Magic Lantern Society, demonstrates the special effects of a late 19th-century Magic Lantern. Come visit the Museum to see our exhibit of photos from the 1930s, originally shown on a "magic lantern," and now digitized through a grant from Community Preservation.

Have fun

3 girls

Three Harwich youngsters show off the sandpiper models they painted at Paul Phillips's workshop at the Elmer Crowell Barn. Stay tuned for announcement of additional carving and painting workshops in 2020.

Help out


Volunteer Albert Raneo  talks to Monomoy High School students about Cape Verdean culture and history in our Cape Verdean Outreach program. Albert was the HHS 2016  Claire Kenny Volunteer of the Year for his work with HHS.

Stop in, call or email

We would love to hear from you!

e harwichhistoricalsociety@verizon.net