Hoxie House
Hoxie House
4.5
About
Built in 1637, this is believed to be the oldest house on Cape Cod.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

The area
Address
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • eatbread
    Lakeland, Tennessee2,960 contributions
    Interesting and historic
    Very interesting and historic building. Beautiful setting. The tours were closed when we visited, but walking the outside was still worth the visit. Very cool glass windows and hardware can be seen. Would be nice to have some informational signs on the outside.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 17, 2023
  • Cape C
    1 contribution
    We Learned So Much History In One Hour
    The docents here are very knowledgeable. We learned the origins of the term "windfall" and "dead as a doornail" and many other historic terms and items. So worth going to. Admission is only $5 per person and is well worth it. A very peaceful place and we still can't believe we got to see the inside of a house built in the 1600s. There was a young boy in our group and he learned quite a few things about if he was to live in that house in that time period. Well worth the visit.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 10, 2023
  • Christina K
    New Baltimore, Virginia73 contributions
    Worth the trip!
    This historic home is the oldest house on the Cape and one of the oldest in New England. Tour was very interesting for adults, teens and kids. Second floor does not appear to be accessible, but the entrance and first floor is. Grounds are pretty and right near Sandwich center. Definitely worth the trip!
    Visited June 2022
    Traveled with family
    Written June 27, 2022
  • Kathy T
    Boston, Massachusetts11 contributions
    Remarkable home from early 1600’s
    We have had a house at the Cape my entire life and never knew about this place!! Beautiful home from the early 1600’s. Absolutely remarkable. Our docent was knowledgeable and lovely. We could not have asked for a better time. A bonus was seeing two swans and their seven signets swimming by in the pond next door!!!
    Visited August 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 20, 2022
  • Historichousenerd
    Boston, Massachusetts2 contributions
    A Poor Interpretation of a Historic House
    My colleague and I have visited over 100 historic houses including over 40 First Period homes. We are both historians and museum professionals with interests and experience with architecture and material culture in the 17th century. We both agree that the Hoxie House has the worst interpretation of any historic house museum we have yet visited. The sheer volume of incorrect information was difficult to keep up with. Many historic sites offer "folk" etymologies for common phrases, often incorrect, but the Hoxie House actually crystallizes these misconceptions into a handy sheet so that you enjoy more bad history at home! Many of the misconceptions that we heard could have been dispelled by basic research. Our guide informed us that the king would not allow the colonists to be an iron forge in the colonies for the first 100 years of settlement, one guest even questioned this and the tour guide doubled down on how true this statement was. In reality, the Braintree Furnace was constructed in 1644, the Saugus Ironworks lasted from 1646 until 1668, and the Taunton Ironworks survived from 1656 to 1876, for 220 years! We were told that sugar wasn't brought to America from the West Indies until the 1800s, which would have come as a shock to the New England merchants and the Barbadian plantation owners growing wealthy on that very trade in the 1600s. Apparently, Rebecca Nurse was subjected to a swimming test during the witch trials, despite the low prevalence of the method in the colonies of no evidence of its use during the Salem Witch Trials. Supposedly, American Indians didn't go into houses because settlers didn't bathe; people were much shorter back then; only men sat in chairs with arms; they cut their bread in illogical ways; people cleaned their chimneys by tying two chickens to the end of a rope. The guide was careful to note that the last fact was questionable, making all the others seem more legitimate in comparison. The interior of the house looks very little like a true first period home. Allegedly it was altered to better accommodate bus groups, and the spaces left would be alien and illogical to the 17th-century residents of the home. In addition, the guides talked of all kinds of invented taxes, conflated the colonial period with the revolution, and had a poor grasp of daily life of the 17th century. By making caricatures of the men and women of the 1600s, the interpretation does a disservice to history. For every person who walks away from the Hoxie House thinking they've heard the true story of American history, our public understanding of the past erodes a little more. There's no humanity here, no empathy, only facts that docents have failed to question for decades.
    Visited July 2015
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 25, 2015
  • kelly48571
    Schaghticoke, New York89 contributions
    the worst historic house tour I have ever had
    I am dismayed to read positive reviews of the tour of the Hoxie House. I am a retired museum professional and have never heard more misinformation given on a tour. One example: a "halpert"- spelled by the guide- used to "clean out the chimney" was actually a halberd, a military accoutrement used by the sergeant as a badge of office in the 18th century. Example two: children in the 17th century were swaddled in the cradle for 3 years to protect them- except for when they used the potty chair- of course while their heads were developed properly at age 3,their bodies were atrophied, so they were tied in the corner until age 5, when their bodies would have developed and they were put to work with their parents." Too bad as it is a great house with some nice furnishings.
    Visited September 2011
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 25, 2011
  • Diane G
    Sheffield, United Kingdom46 contributions
    Small, but fascinating!!
    Visited this house in September 2015 for the third or fourth time. It's small, but the staff make it really come alive and you come away feeling you've visited the past. Strongly recommend if you're in the area.
    Visited September 2015
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 11, 2015
  • Lisa L
    Burlington, Vermont14 contributions
    This tour is for everyone.
    I brought friends who are history buffs. First we visited the Quaker Meetinghouse, studying the gravestones and then we headed to Hoxie House. It was the perfect history afternoon. I've been on the tour before and I learned many new things. Grace and Chip were remarkable docents on the day we visited. They made the stories of the early days of Sandwich come alive.
    Visited July 2018
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 5, 2018
  • Maureen F
    Boston, Massachusetts28 contributions
    Great building but the tour guides were sorely lacking
    I am a docent at a historic home in Boston and had recently been on a tour of the Pierce House in Dorchester, a First Period home from around the same time as Hoxie House. While Hoxie House has some amazing features and details (esp the one original leaded glass window, on display), the tour guides were very focused on their (inaccurate) explanations of colloquial sayings rather than the construction, history and understanding of life in this 300+ year old home. I was incredibly disappointed with the tour and ended up explaining features in the house from my own knowledge of 17thC homes to my boyfriend, when the tour guides had no information.
    Visited July 2015
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 31, 2015
  • Deborah L
    East Greenwich, Rhode Island50 contributions
    Entertaining and informative
    A beautiful restored 17th century saltbox which is the oldest house in Sandwich. The docents were entertaining and informative about life in this time period. The explanation of the origin of many present day sayings was amusing. A very enjoyable and personal experience.
    Visited October 2014
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 13, 2014
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
185 reviews
Excellent
134
Very good
37
Average
9
Poor
3
Terrible
2

Kathy T
Boston, MA11 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
We have had a house at the Cape my entire life and never knew about this place!! Beautiful home from the early 1600’s. Absolutely remarkable. Our docent was knowledgeable and lovely. We could not have asked for a better time. A bonus was seeing two swans and their seven signets swimming by in the pond next door!!!
Written August 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Historichousenerd
Boston, MA2 contributions
Jul 2015 • Friends
My colleague and I have visited over 100 historic houses including over 40 First Period homes. We are both historians and museum professionals with interests and experience with architecture and material culture in the 17th century.

We both agree that the Hoxie House has the worst interpretation of any historic house museum we have yet visited. The sheer volume of incorrect information was difficult to keep up with. Many historic sites offer "folk" etymologies for common phrases, often incorrect, but the Hoxie House actually crystallizes these misconceptions into a handy sheet so that you enjoy more bad history at home!

Many of the misconceptions that we heard could have been dispelled by basic research. Our guide informed us that the king would not allow the colonists to be an iron forge in the colonies for the first 100 years of settlement, one guest even questioned this and the tour guide doubled down on how true this statement was. In reality, the Braintree Furnace was constructed in 1644, the Saugus Ironworks lasted from 1646 until 1668, and the Taunton Ironworks survived from 1656 to 1876, for 220 years! We were told that sugar wasn't brought to America from the West Indies until the 1800s, which would have come as a shock to the New England merchants and the Barbadian plantation owners growing wealthy on that very trade in the 1600s. Apparently, Rebecca Nurse was subjected to a swimming test during the witch trials, despite the low prevalence of the method in the colonies of no evidence of its use during the Salem Witch Trials. Supposedly, American Indians didn't go into houses because settlers didn't bathe; people were much shorter back then; only men sat in chairs with arms; they cut their bread in illogical ways; people cleaned their chimneys by tying two chickens to the end of a rope. The guide was careful to note that the last fact was questionable, making all the others seem more legitimate in comparison.

The interior of the house looks very little like a true first period home. Allegedly it was altered to better accommodate bus groups, and the spaces left would be alien and illogical to the 17th-century residents of the home.

In addition, the guides talked of all kinds of invented taxes, conflated the colonial period with the revolution, and had a poor grasp of daily life of the 17th century. By making caricatures of the men and women of the 1600s, the interpretation does a disservice to history. For every person who walks away from the Hoxie House thinking they've heard the true story of American history, our public understanding of the past erodes a little more. There's no humanity here, no empathy, only facts that docents have failed to question for decades.
Written July 25, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kelly48571
Schaghticoke, NY89 contributions
Sep 2011 • Couples
I am dismayed to read positive reviews of the tour of the Hoxie House. I am a retired museum professional and have never heard more misinformation given on a tour. One example: a "halpert"- spelled by the guide- used to "clean out the chimney" was actually a halberd, a military accoutrement used by the sergeant as a badge of office in the 18th century. Example two: children in the 17th century were swaddled in the cradle for 3 years to protect them- except for when they used the potty chair- of course while their heads were developed properly at age 3,their bodies were atrophied, so they were tied in the corner until age 5, when their bodies would have developed and they were put to work with their parents." Too bad as it is a great house with some nice furnishings.
Written September 25, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diane G
Sheffield, UK46 contributions
Sep 2015 • Couples
Visited this house in September 2015 for the third or fourth time. It's small, but the staff make it really come alive and you come away feeling you've visited the past. Strongly recommend if you're in the area.
Written December 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lisa L
Burlington, VT14 contributions
Jul 2018 • Friends
I brought friends who are history buffs. First we visited the Quaker Meetinghouse, studying the gravestones and then we headed to Hoxie House. It was the perfect history afternoon. I've been on the tour before and I learned many new things. Grace and Chip were remarkable docents on the day we visited. They made the stories of the early days of Sandwich come alive.
Written August 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maureen F
Boston, MA28 contributions
Jul 2015 • Couples
I am a docent at a historic home in Boston and had recently been on a tour of the Pierce House in Dorchester, a First Period home from around the same time as Hoxie House. While Hoxie House has some amazing features and details (esp the one original leaded glass window, on display), the tour guides were very focused on their (inaccurate) explanations of colloquial sayings rather than the construction, history and understanding of life in this 300+ year old home. I was incredibly disappointed with the tour and ended up explaining features in the house from my own knowledge of 17thC homes to my boyfriend, when the tour guides had no information.
Written July 31, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deborah L
East Greenwich, RI50 contributions
Oct 2014 • Couples
A beautiful restored 17th century saltbox which is the oldest house in Sandwich. The docents were entertaining and informative about life in this time period. The explanation of the origin of many present day sayings was amusing. A very enjoyable and personal experience.
Written October 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

redeco
Warren, MA9,462 contributions
Hoxie House is one of those places you'll want to see if you like early New England architecture. Research indicates that the house was built in about 1637 and it is likely the oldest house on Cape Cod. The classic saltbox shingled home was built for the town's second minister, Reverend John Smith and his family. The name Hoxie comes from Abraham Hoxie, a whaling captain who bought the house in the 1850's.

It is remarkable that the early features survive so intact and it's because its inhabitants never converted the house with modern comforts. It remained into the 1950's without central heat, plumbing, or electricity. The town of Sandwich purchased the house in the late 1950's and restored it to represent the seventeenth century.

The cost of touring the small house is only $3 and the interpreters are interesting and informative. It's well worth the stop.
Written September 7, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Walter C
Denver, CO1 contribution
Jul 2018 • Family
Very affordable admission to this attraction, sitting on its own little hillock overlooking a private pond. The two docent/volunteers on duty today were extremely knowledgeable and engaging storytellers. They provide a history of the house, as well as a thorough overview of what life would have been like in the 17th century. We loved learning about the etymology of several common sayings ("upper crust", "raining cats and dogs", "pop goes the weasel") and they provide a print-out for you to take away. My kids, 12 and 14, were rapt, as were their parents. It's a tremendous way to spend about 45min out of your trip to the Cape.
Written July 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Waggonerj
Gulf Shores, AL151 contributions
Nov 2017
Built in about 1675, this building was once home to Rev. John Smith, his wife Susanna and their 13 children. It is fun to tour and see how people lived back in the 17th century. The view of Shawme Pond next to the Hoxie House is a favorite of mine.
Written January 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 177
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Hoxie House - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Hoxie House



Hoxie House Information

Excellent Reviews

134

Very Good Reviews

37

Hoxie House Photos

54