Visit Historic Chatham Homes and Museums

Many Chatham homes and other buildings throughout the Massachusetts town are of historical significance. Perhaps even your Chatham Bed and Breakfast has an interesting past. Chatham is certainly a town that celebrates its history, and that can easily be viewed by visitors.

Atwood House Museum
347 Stage Harbor Rd
Chatham, MA
(508) 945-2493
www.chathamhistoricalsociety.org

The Atwood House was built in 1752 by Joseph Atwood. He was a sea captain and actually constructed the house himself. The Atwood House is very special in that it is one of the only one of the Chatham homes that is preserved in its original form. The home is similar to Cape Cod homes of its day. The first floor has a washroom, kitchen, several sitting areas and two bedrooms. The second floor consists of an open attic and a large bedroom. Original stencil work can still be seen around the fireplace in the second floor bedroom. Most rooms are furnished with artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries. In addition to touring the historic home, visitors can view the gallery of portraits and learn a great deal of maritime history. There is a tiny gift shop on-site that has some Cape Cod related items for sale, which are perfect for remembering your stay at a Chatham Inn. The Atwood House Museum offers a glimpse into the area's history and is most certainly worth exploring.

Chatham Railroad Museum
150 Depot Rd
Chatham, MA

The Chatham Railroad Museum structure was built in 1887, and was an actual working railroad station. The wooden building has classic Victorian accents, like many historic Chatham homes, and one can't help but let their mind wonder about historic travelers that passed through the railroad station. Even if trains are not a primary interest of yours, the pure beauty of the restored station is worth a visit. There are several model trains set up throughout the museum, but the real deal is located outside. Visitors can walk through an old 1918 caboose that has also been restored. Museum workers hold a great deal of knowledge and are available to answer any railroad related questions. Admission to the Chatham Railroad Museum is free, but donations are accepted. The museum is open from June through September. Operating hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Chatham Lighthouse
38 Main Street
Chatham, MA 02633
www.lighthouse.cc/chatham/index.html

The Chatham Lighthouse is a place that holds an extensive history. Much of its past, however, includes reconstruction. The original tower was built in 1808 and another tower was added several years later. Poor construction was the cause of the first few reconstructions. Stronger materials continued to replace older, weaker building materials. The beach near the lighthouse was subject to intense erosion and the second tower was in serious danger of falling. As the years went, by the lighthouse went through yet another reconstitution, which included a larger home for the lighthouse keepers. The older tower finally crashed onto the beach below in the 1870s. Today the Chatham lighthouse is operated by the US Coast Guard. Tours take place on Wednesdays from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm. Visitors even have the opportunity to climb the 44-steps to the top of the tower and gaze at the beauty of the Atlantic.