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 2019
Harwich Goes to School
Our Brooks Academy Museum building is 175 years old this year! To celebrate, 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
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.
Harwich Train Exhibit
Our long-running train exhibit came to the end of the line. We bid it a fond farewell in winter 2016 as it was dismantled and taken back by the members of the Nauset Model Railroad Club who had built it more than ten years ago! The good news is, the club may soon be gaining more space, which means they may be able to resurrect the exhibit in their club space in Orleans. We will keep you posted.
1983 Thompson’s Clam Bar Documentary
We have converted the first 9 minutes of an 8mm film, the 1983 Thompson’s Clam Bar documentary. Donate to help us finish the entire 36 minutes.
A fishing party, c. late 19th century, enjoys an excursion to Bang’s Pond near Pleasant Lake.
The photo archive includes over three 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.