1869 Schoolhouse Museum - Celebrating 150 Years in 2019
NOTICE: Due to the COVID-19 guidelines, the Schoolhouse Museum is currently closed - check back as we evaluate re-opening
The 1869 Schoolhouse Museum is located at 25 Schoolhouse Road at the intersection with Nauset Road across from the Cape Cod National Seashore Visitors Center. Built in 1869, it served Eastham students in all eight grades. The original and remaining of three schoolhouses consolidated on that site until about 1906 when two additional one-room schools, one from North Eastham and another from South Eastham were added. Together they served the Town until 1936 when the remaining pupils moved to a newer building, also located on Schoolhouse Road. The old building (on right) stood abandoned until 1965 when the newly-formed Eastham Historical Society sought a place to house the town’s historical treasures. The school building, then well on its way to decrepitude, was purchased, restored, and became a museum.
A large pair of whale jawbones formerly framed the gateway to the museum, but deterioration forced their removal a number of years ago. One of those jawbones is on display inside the Museum.
The Schoolhouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2008 a new museum addition was opened (left). The museum displays objects from the various facets of the town’s history including Native American artifacts, farming and shipwreck displays, the Life Saving Service, daily life in town.
The schoolroom, now a children’s “hands on” museum complete with its original schoolmaster’s desk, is furnished to replicate how it looked in earlier days. (below) Children of all ages are encouraged to sit at the desks, look at the books and “play school.”
Schoolhouse Museum after a fresh coat of paint - September 2017
Schoolhouse Museum as it looked in 1963 when purchased by Eastham Historical Society