About the Chatham Historical Society

The mission of the Chatham Historical Society is to inform and educate present and future generations about the history and culture of Chatham and vicinity by collecting and preserving records of earlier generations and by exhibiting and interpreting art, artifacts, archives and places of historical interest.

The Chatham Historical Society was organized in 1923. Three years later, the society acquired the Atwood House – a gambrel-roofed house built in 1752. Except for the addition of essential electricity, the old Atwood House is unchanged from when it was built and is furnished throughout as it was during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Over the years, museum galleries have been added to the original structure without affecting its integrity. As a result of the major expansion and renovation to the museum completed in 2005, there are now eleven galleries with both permanent exhibits and temporary exhibits.

On the grounds are the mid-20th century Nickerson North Beach Camp, the Chatham School Bells display, and the Chatham Light Display, featuring the lantern house from Chatham’s twin light with its original Fresnel lens, which flashes its beam whenever the museum is open.

The reception room of the museum houses a unique gift shop featuring tasteful gifts, books, and fashion accessories that relate to our collections. It is not necessary to pay admission to visit the shop.

The Museum Exhibits are open from June through October plus additional days throughout the year. In July and August, the Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. In June, September, and October, the museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and free to members and children under 6. For more information, call (508) 945-2493 or contact administration at our contact page.

Other Departments: Administration, Archives & Research, and the Gift Shop are open year round. The Museum is also open for private tours, special events, and facility rentals throughout the year.

How to find us:
The Atwood Museum, home of the Chatham Historical Society, is located at 347 Stage Harbor Road in Chatham. Proceed on Route 28 to the small Traffic Circle in downtown Chatham where Stage Harbor Road begins. The Museum is about 1/2 mile on the left.

The Atwood Museum is affiliated with the N.E.M.A New England Museum Association, American Association of Museums, American Association of State and Local History, Cape and Islands Historical Association, Chatham Chamber of Commerce and the Costume Association of America.



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Location & Hours


Atwood Museum
347 Stage Harbor Road
Chatham, MA 02633