Many visitors of Eastham check out the Fort Hill Overlook and drive right past the Captain Penniman House. Although the two-and-one-half-story house features a unique Second Empire style, few know the history behind it. The Captain Penniman House was constructed in 1868 by (you guessed it) Captain Edward Penniman.
Penniman was born in Eastham in 1831 and began fishing when he turned 11. He fell in love with fishing and at the age of 21, he moved to New Bedford to join the lucrative whale fishing industry. He eventually became a boat captain and by the end of his career in whaling, he had become one of the most successful whale captains in New Bedford.
After his whaling career, Penniman moved back to Eastham where he purchased 12 acres of land and had this home constructed. Today, the property is owned by the National Park Service and the residence is home to the Penniman family’s archives and artifact collection, both of which offer amazing insights into Captain Penniman’s life and the whaling industry in New England.
Tours of the home happen from May to June. Typically at 11 am each Monday and Friday. The grounds of the home are open from sunrise to sunset every day.
- Built: 1868
- Original function: Home built by/for Captian Edward Penniman and his family
- Architect(s): Captian Edward Penniman
- Year added to NRHP: 1976
- NRHP number: 76000155
- Status: The home is owned and maintained by the National Park Service. Grounds are open to the public from sunrise to sunset.
- Admission cost: Free
Captain Penniman House Location
- Address: 70 Fort Hill Road
- Town: Eastham
- State: Massachusetts
- GPS: Lat 41.8184869 Lng -69.9661816
- Parking notes: There is a public parking lot located on Fort Hill Road, just about 100 feet east of the home. Parking is free and the lot can hold about 20 cars. The parking area is also used by visitors who are walking the Fort Hill Trails.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE