The Museum will be closed Sunday, January 20, 2019 due to the expected snowstorm.

Historic Properties

The Museum owns and maintains two historic properties: The White-Ellery House (1710) and the Captain Elias Davis House (1804). The White-Ellery House is open on select days from May through October. Guided tours of the Davis House are offered on select days—please call (978)283-0455 x10 or email to inquire.

The White-Ellery House (1710)The White-Ellery House at 245 Washington St., in Gloucester, MA

The White-Ellery House is one of a handful of surviving First Period buildings in Massachusetts that retains a substantial portion of its original interior fabric. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites because of its design, materials, and workmanship, and its plank frame construction. The house was built in 1710 for the Reverend John White, Gloucester's first settled minister, on the original Town Green. It exhibits an elegance and refinement commensurate with White's esteemed position in the community. The second owner of the house was James Stevens, who kept it as a tavern until 1740, at which time it was sold to the Ellery family. In 1947, when plans were unveiled showing Route 128 traversing the Town Green, the house was taken by the City of Gloucester by eminent domain, turned over to the Cape Ann Historical Association, and moved safely out of the path of the highway. Read more about the White-Ellery House here.

The Captain Elias Davis House, interior stairway. Photo by Steve Rosenthal, c. 2010.The Captain Elias Davis House (1804)

In 1796, Captain Elias Davis, Sr. (1758–1821) purchased land on Pleasant Street, also known as "Captains Row," in Gloucester's Harbor Village. He hired Colonel Jacob Smith (1765–1812) to design and build a three-story house for his family and took up residence in 1804. "Housewright" Smith was very active on Cape Ann during the Federal era of American architecture. Smith also built the Independent Christian Church in Gloucester and the Congregational Churches of Rockport and Manchester. Captain Davis married Lucy Haskell (1762–1847) on February 9, 1780. Their union produced thirteen children (six girls, seven boys), nine of whom lived to adulthood. Three sons followed in their father's footsteps and became sea captains. The interior of the Davis House, which can be seen on docent-guided tours, exhibits a stately mix of Georgian and Federal detail. Five rooms are decorated with the belongings of the Davis family and other treasures from the period. Read more about the Davis House here.