Captain Elias Davis House Tour
Downtown Campus, 27 Pleasant St, Gloucester, MA
Free with admission, registration required
The Captain Elias Davis House, located in Gloucester’s downtown neighborhood, was constructed between 1799 and 1804 and has been the headquarters of the Cape Ann Museum since 1923. Elias Davis and Lucy Haskell Davis, the original occupants of the Davis House, were representative of Gloucester families who moved to the Harbor Village in the years following the American Revolution and became heavily engaged in maritime pursuits, most importantly foreign shipping and the fishing industry. In keeping with life in the early 19th century, the first floor of the Captain Elias Davis House is furnished and decorated with domestic and personal items. The Davis House exhibits a mix of late Georgian and Federal detailing inside and out; recently interior spaces have been enhanced with period appropriate wall coverings and carpeting.
Many of the objects in the house actually belonged to Elias Davis and his descendants, and include:
- A drawing of the Davis family crest from County Hereford, England.
- A portrait of the captain painted c.1790 by an unknown Antwerp artist.
- The outfitted medicine chest and instruction book used by Captain Davis in his role as ship's doctor.
- Passports for two Davis family vessels, the ship Cadmus and the brig Augusta, signed by James Madison and John Adams respectively.
- A sampler stitched by Captain Davis's daughter Mary, naming all 13 of the captain's children.
- A pencil drawing of the house itself, done from memory by son Soloman Haskell Davis in 1830 while he was away at sea.
This tour will share the history of the house, its occupants, and its unique interior features and historic objects. The tour is free with admission, but registration is required.