Established in 1955, the Historical Society of Santuit & Cotuit (HSSC) is committed to preserving Cotuit's heritage.
Our mission is to acquire, preserve, interpret and exhibit collections of historical interest to the villages of Cotuit and Santuit, while providing educational and cultural experiences that reflect the spirit and traditions of our community.
Who We Are
The HSSC grounds hold the Dottridge Homestead, the Cotuit Museum and attached Fire Museum, the Cotuit Archives, the Rothwell Ice House, Cotuit Museum Shop and Historical Kitchen Gardens. The buildings are open weekends from Memorial Day through Christmas. The archives are available for research, and the Homestead and museums are available for private tours by appointment.
HSSC is a 501 C3 organization located in the heart of Cotuit. The structure of the Society includes a volunteer Board of Directors. We employ two permanent part time staffers (Administrator and Gift Shop Manager) along with two financial consultants on an as needed basis.
Back in the 1950s, Mrs. Nita Crawford inherited the Samuel Dottridge Homestead and used it as the laundry for her historic hotel, The Pines. After there was no longer a need for the house, she embarked on an ambitious project to reconstruct the Samuel Dottridge Homestead on the corner of Main Street and Shell Lane to its original condition and make it the headquarters for HSSC. She asked her neighbors, friends, and local residents to search their attics, cellars, barns, and storerooms for anything that was used between 1800-1850. Dinner and dessert parties with formal invitations were among the many ways Mrs. Crawford raised enough funds to fully reconstruct the Homestead to an authentic dwelling of that time period. On June 13, 1964, 10 years after the Historical Society of Santuit & Cotuit was established, the doors to the Homestead were open to the public for the first time.
60 years later the Homestead has remained the headquarters of HSSC, growing to include a museum featuring Cotuit and Cape Cod history, the Cotuit Fire Museum, and a reproduction of a 19th century ice house. We have been able to continue flourishing as a Society and Museum as a result of our member’s and community’s support. Our Society is dependent on your annual membership dues and donations. It was a community effort to get our Society started, and it takes community support for us to continue.
Please become a member or renew your membership today.
Board of Directors
2018 Officers and Directors:
President Victoria Vieira-DiPalma
Vice President Elizabeth Johnson
Treasurer Faith Holway
Secretary Lorri Devlin
Community Liaison Stephen Hemberger
Curator Sharon Johanson
Education/Scholarships Terri Goldstein
Facilities Steven Devlin
Grounds Patricia Perry
Programming Vickie Vieira-DiPalma
Volunteers Sam Silva
Administrator / Archivist Cindy Nickerson
Gift Shop Melanie Curtis
Gift Shop Buyers Gail Fioretti, Beth Johnson
Historic Plaque Program David Johnson
Historian James Gould, PhD
Consultant Jessica Rapp Grassetti