About Dennis Historical Society

Mission Statement

To preserve, promote and present the history of Dennis, Massachusetts

Dennis Historical Society - Weir Fishing

Objectives of the Society

The Dennis Historical Society, Inc. is an educational organization established to stimulate an interest in local history, to promote scholarly effort, to foster the continued collection and preservation of historical data and material, and to cooperate with individuals and other organizations having similar interest.

About the Society

The Dennis Historical Society was formed in 1963 to accept gifts of Dennis-related artifacts for use in the Captain Theophilus Baker House and Barn Museum at the 1801 Jericho Historical Center, built for sea Captain Theophilus Baker, which was presented to the town in 1962. Our scope increased in 1967 when the town purchased the 1736 Josiah Dennis Manse, home of the first settled minister of the town.

In 2002 restoration of the 1867 West Dennis Graded School was completed. The second floor was set aside for the Dennis Maritime Museum and a replica of a graded school room. One room is established as a late 1800s school room available for use by today's teachers for educational children’s programs. The other room houses changing special historical exhibits.

Dennis Historical Society - Salt Works

Both the 1736 Josiah Dennis Manse and the 1867 West Dennis Graded School have preservation restriction agreements between the Town of Dennis and the Massachusetts Historical Commission to ensure both the architectural and historic integrity of these buildings.

The Museums and land are owned and maintained by the Town of Dennis. The Dennis Historical Society owns the artifacts in and promotes these Museums. Each is operated by a committee whose chairperson is on the DHS Board of Directors, ensuring schedule and activity coordination between all events.

DHS maintains the Pauline Wixon Derick Library, home of the Dennis Historical Society Archives, at the West Dennis Public Library. Please see the Library heading.

DHS also operates a continuously expanding web-accessible Digital Archive. Please click on the Archives heading.

The Dennis Historical Society also sponsors programs of historical interest for their members and for the general public. We interact with other Cape Cod historical organizations through membership in the Cape and Islands Historical Association and various programs and interchanges.