A Brief History of Tales of Cape Cod

Tales of Cape Cod, Inc is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and disseminating Cape Cod’s unique history. Founded in 1949 by Louis Cataldo, who was soon joined by Dorothy Worrell, the organization was one of the first in the country to preserve oral history, via the tape-recording of interviews with “old time Cape Codders.” The organization now possesses a substantial library of these invaluable personal recollections.

In 1960 Tales of Cape Cod initiated an effort to acquire the Old Custom House of Barnstable Village to be used as a museum. This fine old building is now operated by the Town of Barnstable as the Trayser Historical Museum. In 1971 the Old Jail of Barnstable Village, dating from the early 1600’s, was also acquired through the efforts of the organization. And in 1972 the Old Colonial Courthouse, also known as the Old King’s Courthouse, was acquired from the Baptist Church to be used as the organization’s headquarters.


Iyanough Grave Site, Cummaquid, November 2008.

Iyanough Grave Site Land, located in the village of Cummaquid, is also owned and maintained by Tales of Cape Cod. A portion has been used for Indian Burials. The organization is committed to supporting our Native American friends and their local heritage.

Beginning in 1991, Tales of Cape Cod launched its own half-hour television program which features an eclectic array of tapes and interviews pertinent to different facets of Cape Cod history, and which is regularly broadcast across Cape Cod.

Tales of Cape Cod also sponsors a popular summer lecture series that is held at the Old Colonial Courhouse, starting at 7:30 on Monday evenings in July and August.  These enjoyable events provide visitors with the opportunity to meet the evening’s speaker, and homemade refreshments are served afterward.

Tales of Cape Cod is a Cape-wide organization, with a membership drawn from all who have an interest in preserving and learning about the history of this precious peninsula. Donations, which are tax exempt, are greatly appreciated and enable Tales of Cape Cod to achieve its many goals, one of which is the continuing renovation and restoration of our historic building.