East Sandwich, MA 02537
The Nye Family of America Association, Inc. is an historic non-profit organization with the following interests:
First, we preserve, restore, and open to the public seasonally the Benjamin Nye Homestead & Museum. It is the oldest house in East Sandwich, built in 1678 by one of the first settlers of Sandwich. Benjamin Nye (1620-1706) was a farmer, miller, and active citizen.
With rooms restored to different eras, the Homestead & Museum is furnished with interesting antiques from the colonial period through Victorian. This diverse slice of Americana helps us understand life before electricity powered our homes. The museum also features displays of Nye Family memorabilia donated to us by our members over the years.
Second, we serve as an organization for Nye family descendants. We have two volumes of published genealogy available, ongoing collection of family data which is available on ancestry.com, a reunion held every other year, a fall newsletter and an e-newsletter. Our membership and Board of Trustees does include people who are not Nye descendants, but who wish to support our museum and projects.
Third, we own two other historic buildings adjacent to the Homestead & Museum. The East Sandwich Grange Hall, built in 1889 was once the home of East Sandwich Grange #139, a farm family fraternity which did much to improve life for the rural population. We continue that heritage by operating the hall for community benefit in modern terms – meetings, music, contra-dancing, yoga classes, historic programs and small private gatherings.
In 2009 we acquired a circa 1855 grist mill building which was moved here from Centerville in 1889. It sits on the foundation of the grist mill built by Benjamin Nye in the late 1660s, which stood from 1669 to 1867. The current mill building is unfortunately in a state of serious decay. Possibilities for its repair or restoration are under investigation.
The Nye Family Association has a strong interest in local history, especially in East Sandwich and Spring Hill Village a few miles away where Benjamin Nye built his first home. We have documents and artifacts from the homesteads of several other local families: Hoxies, Holways, and Armstrongs.
Finally, we are located in a rural part of town at the center of what was once a tiny farming village, with 18th century homes along a winding road. We work to preserve this historic atmosphere in any way we can. We have a management agreement with our neighbor, the Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, with whom we maintain nature trails and wildlife habitat.
We hope that you find our website useful and interesting, and that you come to the Benjamin Nye Homestead & Museum for a visit.