Exhibits & Collections

Welcome to the Exhibits and Collections section. The Society owns thousands of artifacts, including clothing and textiles, works of art and tools.  Additionally there are manuscripts, documentary artifacts, periodicals, photographs, a research library, and other resources available to the public.

The Society displays its collection through permanent as well as changing exhibits.

 Exhibits for 2020

Harwich Goes to School 

Our Brooks Academy Museum building turned 175 years old in 2019!  To celebrate, one of our main exhibit this year is Harwich Goes to School, a look back at key dates in the history of Harwich schools.


The Houses of Captains’ Row

Along a stretch of Route 28 in West Harwich, there are a number of wonderful houses, dating from the mid 1700s through the mid 1900s.  Many of these once belonged to Harwich’s sea captains.  More about this exhibit.


The Art of C.D. Cahoon

Charles D. Cahoon (1851-1861) was a Harwich native who became a successful painter. The Harwich Historical Society is proud to exhibit these works from its permanent collection. More about this exhibit.


Sketches of Old Harwich   

Reproductions of Lawrence B. Robbins’s sketches of Harwich circa 1930, done as a project under the WPA during the Great Depression. Some of these reproductions are for sale.


Our Permanent Exhibit  

Cranberry Culture

     The Harwich Historical Society at Brooks Academy Museum features Cape Cod’s largest exhibit dedicated to growing the first commercial crop of cranberries in the nation, and still today produces the finest cranberries on earth in its bogs.

The history of cranberry farming is documented here with photos, artifacts and hands-on activities.

Included is a diorama of a cranberry bog showing the history of harvesting techniques and built by students at the Cape Cod Regional Technical High School.



Photo Collection

A fishing party, c. late 19th century, enjoys an excursion to Bang’s Pond near Pleasant Lake.

The photo archive includes over four thousand photographs, chronicling Harwich people, places, industries, and events.

This collection can be researched year-round by appointment.

Please call or email the Society for information.