Did you know?
The museum is home to the Old Jail, constructed as far back as the 1600s. It was moved to the current site about 40 years ago and now is where the Barnstable Village ghost tours begin.
The Coast Guard Heritage Museum has two floors of exhibit space. On the first floor, we feature the origins of the Coast Guard, beginning with the Revenue Cutter Service in 1790. Next is the U. S. Life-saving Service, which we preceded by the Massachusetts Humane Society. This year, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the greatest small boat rescue in USCG history, it is featuring a special exhibit on the heroes of the Pendleton and Fort Mercer rescues.
In addition to the museum building, which is a former US Custom House and was later a Post Office, the property includes the Village Smithy, a working blacksmith shop with daily demonstrations, and "The Oldest Wooden Jail in America". The Jail was relocated to the site from another site nearby, and has recently been opened to visitors.
The Coast Guard Heritage Museum at the Trayser opened its doors for the first time in May of 2005. Two former Navy men, CDR Maurice Gibbs (ret) and Lou Cataldo, a local historian, were the driving forces behind the initial idea.
The group expanded when three former Coasties - Jim Walker(USCG), of the American Lighthouse Foundation, Albert L. "John" Manning(USCG), and CPO Dan Davidson(USCG) -the last two charter members of the Eastwind Association - came on board. John Manning eventually served as President of the organization. Capt. Robert L. O'Brien (USCG Ret), former comptroller of the USCG, was a charter member.
We are open from May through October. Our hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10 AM to 3 PM.