Chatham in Barnstable County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
The Josiah Mayo House
— Chatham Conservation Foundation, Inc. —
The Josiah Mayo House sits along Main Street across from the Town Hall, as it has since it was built nearly 200 years ago by Josiah himself, a blacksmith who came to town from Brewster. Although it’s been moved on the site – it originally stood farther back from the road – and had small ells and additions added and removed over the decades, the core of the house, as it was built by Josiah for his bride Desire Harding, remains intact. Even much of the hardware on the doors and windows are original, made by Josiah himself.
The house originally sat on four acres of land including the land where the Cape Cod Five Bank sits today. Josiah was a prominent Chatham citizen, and his house would have been a focal point in the village during his lifetime. He was postmaster from 1822 to 1862, and distributed the mail first from his kitchen and later from a small ell built onto the eastern side of the house. He was also town clerk and treasurer for 26 years.
Josiah and Desire ran a small dry goods store in the ell, and as the mail volume and store sales increased, it was necessary to move both functions to a separate
The interior of the house has been altered from its original configuration, as has the second floor, which would have been two bedrooms for the family’s four children (two boys and two girls). Several generations of Mayo descendants lived in the house until 1938 when it was sold and used for a variety of retail purposes until the entire property was purchased by the Cape Five Bank. Although the furniture in the house is not original, the house’s parlor has a display of the Mayo family Bible, a sampler, ledger, a tintype and portrait of Josiah.
By Tim Wood, Cape Cod Chronicle
Chatham Conservation Foundation, Inc.
Chatham’s Land Trust – established 1962
"… preserving land for the benefit of the people, plants, animals and ecosystems of Chatham."
The Chatham Conservation Foundation serves to protect more than 820 acres of Chatham’s upland, marsh and waterfront through acquisition by purchase or gift by holding Conservation Restrictions. Protected space provides priceless opportunities for people to experience the wonders of nature and connect to wild places in a world that is rapidly becoming over-developed.
Protected land is also working 24 hours a day to provide important ecological services for Chatham. Forested uplands absorb rainwater, sequester carbon, cool the air, and support wildlife habitats and biodiversity. Salt marshes mitigate against rising sea level, improving resiliency and helping with flood control. Pondfront land supports a variety of rare and endangered species, including turtles and flowering plants.
The foundation continues to acquire and protect additional properties, maintain public access, conduct professional land stewardship activities and sponsor educational programs.
CCF maintains walking trails in Chatham: Barclay Pond Trail off Old Queen Anne Road, the Robert Verity Clem Trail on Frost Fish Creek in North Chatham and Strong Island in Pleasant bay.
A Board of Trustees and an Executive Directive lead the foundation. On site work is done by volunteers under the supervision of a Land Steward.
The unique character of Chatham is identified with our environment. Those of us who care about nature and preserving it for the future have an opportunity to “think globally and act locally”.
The Mayo House was gifted to the Chatham Conservation Foundation in 1974 by the Cape Cod Five Bank located next door. In 2016 , the foundation received a grant from the Community Conservation Act to restore the exterior of the building with a new roof and siding. The shutters were removed and a front door appropriate for the 1800’s was installed. At the same time the house was restored, it was repurposed as the headquarters of the Chatham Conservation Foundation. However, some areas of the house will remain open to the public for viewing the original architectural details and some of the Mayo family items.
Mini Meadow on Main
The Chatham Conservation Foundation has replaced the traditional lawn at its headquarters at the Mayo House with a selection of all Cape Cod native plants in keeping with the mission of the foundation. In contrast to a lawn that requires excessive water and harmful additives to maintain, this planting will support pollinators, thrive with little maintenance after initial establishment, provide visual interest and demonstrate the possibilities of using native plants in our gardens.
All these plants prefer the lean sandy soil of Cape Cod, and require little if any additional supplemental watering, no fertilizers or soil amendments, and an annual cutting of dead flower stalks in early spring.
Erected by Women’s Club of Chatham.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Colonial Era • Environment • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 41° 40.846′ N, 69° 57.49′ W. Marker is in Chatham, Massachusetts, in Barnstable County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Blackberry Lane, on the right when traveling west on Main Street. The marker is across the street from the Town Hall. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 540 Main Street, Chatham MA 02633, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. History of Chatham (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named History of Chatham (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memory of the Pioneers of Chatham (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Chatham Civil War Monument (about 600 feet away); The Godfrey Windmill (approx. ¼ mile away); The Men Of Chatham (approx. 0.3 miles away); Chatham Railroad Depot (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Atwood School (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chatham.
Also see . . . Chatham Conservation Foundation. (Submitted on February 13, 2021, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 13, 2021, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 52 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 13, 2021, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.