Hyannis Historical Society

Mural by  Jackie Reeves and Mary-Ann Agresti

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The room at the Hyannis Library was filled to hear historian Nancy Shoemaker, March 28. She presented dozens of historic photos of Hyannis and recounted many stories that went with them. Later, many audience members shared their own recollections of local history.

We hope to share some of her photos on this website in the near future!

Oak Grove Cemetery Tour: A Stroll Through History

The Hyannis Historical Society and the Barnstable Historical Society presented a well-attended walking tour of Oak Grove Cemetery off Sea Street in Hyannis July 30. Historians Nancy Viall Shoemaker and Rev. Stephen Trimble hosted nearly 40 participants who ambled over the gently rolling lawns and lanes while enjoying tales of those who found their final rest there.

Historians Nancy Viall Shoemaker and Rev. Stephen Trimble describe the impressive Castonguay chapel, built by Harold Castonguay as a memorial to his daughter. Castonguay, president of the Hyannis Cooperative Bank, was a noted collector of classic cars and helped restore the historic Baxter Grist Mill near the Yarmouth/Hyannis line.

The sphere marking the graves of Benjamin and Elizabeth Baxter is a fitting tribute to their globe-trotting lives. English born, they sailed to America in Capt. Baxter’s ship, then back to England for the birth of her first child. During a subsequent journey to India, Elizabeth gave birth to a child in the Straits of Malacca and another in Bombay Harbor.

The tour pauses at the grave of Susan Godoy, beloved for her contributions to the musical life of Federated Church of Hyannis. Godoy lived in the pink octagonal house on South Street built by her great-grandfather Capt. Rodney Baxter. A prodigy born in 1921, she performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1934; an organ march she composed was played at her Radcliffe graduation.

Email us at: hyannishistorical@gmail.com

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