Thursday, September 22, 2011

All Around the Common

Spent another lovely few days on the Cape (Cape Cod, MA). And since we weren't biking we had plenty of time for house museums.

As we approached the Captain Bangs Hallet House in Yarmouth Port traffic slowed to a crawl. A long line of cars cruised around the green searching for a parking space. Without realizing it we had wondered into the annual "All Around the Common" event that's held one Sunday each autumn. The two house museums, church, and artist's home which surround the common are all open to the public and free of charge for the afternoon.

Once parked my husband immediately spotted the straw hatted man casting antique fly rods on the green and went to inquire and try his hand at flicking his wrist.

The Captain Bangs Hallet house had a cookie and cider table set up on the front porch and a steady line of visitors. The usual tour had been dispensed with for the day. There was no second floor showing but each room on the first had a well informed period costumed guide. The house is "the only fully furnished Sea Captain's home open to the public on Cape Cod". And the earlier period kitchen in the basement of the home has a collection of early household gadgets.

Does the name Edward Gorey ring a bell to you? Didn't to me either but you might recognize his pen and ink drawings that still frame the introduction and credits on PBS Mystery! Gorey was an American author,artist,playwright and set designer who lived in one of the oldest homes on the common. It's now a museum dedicated to his life's work.

The art sale was held in the New Church. The church was built in 1870 by a group of Yarmouth residents who were followers of the 18th century theologian Emanuel Swedenbborg. Today it's owned and managed by a non-religious organization and is used as a community site.

I'll soon post another entry on one more house museum on the common, the Winslow Crocker House.

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