29. Josiah Mayo House

540 Main St.
Josiah Mayo House

The Josiah Mayo House is an excellent example of life on Main Street Chatham in the 1800’s. This charming three-quarter Cape was built between 1818 and 1820 by Josiah Mayo, a blacksmith by trade, who married Desire Harding in 1820; they raised four children in this home. Their home also housed the Chatham Post Office while Josiah served as Postmaster for 40 years; he also served as Treasurer for 27 years, and as Selectman for two years.

Later, the ell was used as a dry goods store and finally to house official Town documents after Mayo was selected to be Town Clerk in 1847, at which post he served for 26 years.

The house remained in the Mayo family for 5 generations until 1938, and subsequently had three owners before it was purchased by the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank in 1974, when the bank was located across the street from its present location. The Mayo House originally sat farther back from the street, and was moved by the bank to make room for the new bank building and parking lot. Two years later the bank donated the house to the Chatham Conservation Foundation, which has restored it and opens the house every summer to visitors. Volunteer docents give tours to visitors from throughout the United States and many foreign countries.

The Mayo House will serve as an information center for the Chatham 300 Committee from March 2012 to December 2012; they will distribute event schedules and answer questions at a desk in the Mayo House reception area.