This Has Been a Year of Many Firsts
First, we got hit by a Pandemic,
and that resulted in our first year of not opening any of our Museum Doors to the public.
It was our first year of not meeting together for our monthly meetings,
The first year of meeting by Zoom,
The first year of voting by Zoom,
The first year with a full season of presentations done remotely,
The First Masked Antique Show,
The First Masked Yard Sale which was a huge success.
As we have navigated our way through all this, we have also had to examine ways to trim expenses as a result of less income from fundraising opportunities. As a result, we are moving into the digital age with the bulk of future newsletters being distributed electronically. This will result in a huge savings both for printing and postage expenses.
Thanks to those of you who have recently updated your email addresses to help make this transition. For those of you who haven’t provided current email addresses, please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org asap with a current address if you want to continue receiving newsletters. AND be sure to include your email address when you renew your membership.
Wishing you the best fall and holiday season. With the coming new year, we look forward to once again being able to meet and greet visitors to our Museums.
Eileen Seaboldt, President
A Message from the President
The first time I saw and even touched the posts was on a cold winter’s day, February 5th of this year (2020). They were simply beautiful. In fact, being in their presence I literally experienced chills, and it wasn’t from the cold! Just thinking about their survival was mind blowing. Members of the Snow family had seen fit to preserve them for 376 years (the English firstcomers from Plymouth arrived in April of 1644 and began post and beam construction of the meetinghouse/ fort immediately, as was their custom in Plymouth twenty-four years hence.) Mark Herman, the curator of the Eastham Tool Museum, was kind enough to open the museum so I could see these iconic planks. He had long professed their value to whoever would listen. So, there we were staring at these special red oak posts. Amazing!
I have always had an affinity for old things. I try and imagine the people who owned them and used them for various purposes. Our dining room table was fashioned circa 1820 and was found by a cousin of mine in an abandoned log cabin in Putnam County, Tennessee. I love polishing this two-hundred-year-old table and thinking about the people who sat at it before my family passed around the pot roast and mashed potatoes. I wondered what they talked about and what kind of meals were served upon it.
Similar thoughts occurred to me while gazing upon the ancient planks. Attached to them was a narrative about the first church and those that preached there, as well as a history of individuals who came in possession of the ancient planks over time. Early Eastham folks were apparently good at re-purposing things. In 1720, according to the history taped to the boards, Joseph Cole “bought the disused Meeting House, applying its framing and boards to build for himself & his wife, Mercy Hinckley and son Joseph, his dwelling on today’s Canal Road, Orleans, a mile SW of its original site.” The David Snow family occupied the home next, then the posts were given to a cousin when the home was re-designed. The beams were stored at his home in Chelsea, but his son eventually returned them to the Cape and stored them in his Orleans dwelling. Albert Elmer Snow presented the posts to the Historical Society in May of 1969, “for posterity to admire and brood upon.”
And that is what was occurring, just as Albert Snow had willed it.
It is our hope that those who wish to see them for themselves can have the opportunity to do so once the Swift-Daley complex re-opens.
The Story of the Original Eastham Meetinghouse Posts
By Patty Donohue
Mayflower Passenger Memorial Stones Project at the Old Cove Burying Ground
September 1965 - September 1966
By Marca Daley
Fifty-five years ago, in late summer/early fall of 1965, the Eastham Historical Society, under the leadership of Frederick H. Jewell, decided to pursue a project to provide memorial stones for the unmarked graves of Mayflower passengers Constance Hopkins Snow, Giles Hopkins, and Lieut. Joseph Rogers in the old Cove Burying Ground.
It was a daunting project, but was successfully completed in just eight months, with a dedication ceremony that followed a few months later. The details of the project might have remained obscure, had not a relative of Joseph Rogers requested information from the EHS Archives.
Following is the story of the memorial stones, as told through key articles in the Curator’s scrapbook, local newspapers, and the Mayflower Quarterly. It’s a story of perseverance and determination and we thought you might enjoy reading it, using the primary sources available in our archives.
A Timeline of the Project
Meeting of the Eastham Cemetery Unit / Background to the Project
Letter to the Editor Outlining the Project in The Oracle
Article in the Cape Cod Standard Times (CCST)
Letter from Frederick Jewell Announcing Completion of the Project
Slightly Salty by George L. Moses - a Feature Article in CCST
Photos of the Stones in The Oracle and in The Mayflower Quarterly
Photos taken at the Dedication Ceremony (CCST)
Article Announcing Completion of the Project (CCST)
Explanation of the Project and Description of the Dedication in The Oracle
Click here to read the articles in full.
EHS Volunteers Hard at Work!
We all know about Spring Cleaning, but recently our EHS volunteers have been busy with Fall Projects and Clean-up. At the School House, Jim was busy putting in the newly arrived brick order. The walkway looks great! And YOU can order a brick through our website, www.easthamhistoricalsociety.org keeping in mind that the next ‘installments’ will be in 2021.
After our successful fall yard and plant sale, several of us got together to spruce up the Swift-Daley museum entrance by scraping, calking, and repainting doors and windows. It was a 3-4 day job, and the results are great! And if anyone is wondering, there are 50 small window panes in that big kitchen window!
Just for Fun: One of our most popular posts on Facebook
150th Year Celebration of our 1869 Schoolhouse Museum
Thank you to Lower Cape TV for featuring the 150th Year Celebration of our 1869 Schoolhouse Museum