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Aptucxet Trading Post Museum

Aptucxet Trading Post Museum
The Aptucxet Trading Post Museum Sits on the banks of the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne
It's tempting these days to think of Bourne as a place you travel through, either over the bridge or along the canal, in order to get to other places on Cape Cod.

But that is unfair to a town that has its own history and significance, not only to the Cape but also to the rest of Massachusetts.

Before the Cape Cod Canal was completed in 1917, this was the narrowest point on the Cape and was therefore and ideal point of trade between Cape Cod Bay in the north and Buzzards Bay in the south.

In 1627, the Pilgrims established the trading post here to take advantage of this location and facilitate trade with the Wampanoag Indians in Massachusetts and the Dutch in New York.

The current museum is a replica built in 1930 that sits on the foundation of the original building on the banks of the Cape Cod Canal.

Aptucxet Trading Post Museum Gray Gables
The Gray Gables Depot

Right next to the trading post is the Gray Gables depot, which was moved to this location in 1976 from its original location down the street in Gray Gables.

While most modern-day visitors believe that John F. Kennedy was the first US President to put Cape Cod on the map, it was, in fact, Grover Cleveland, who used to summer in the town of Bourne and moved his entire White House staff here for the duration of his stay each year.

The Gray Gables depot was built for Cleveland's own personal use for the duration of his presidency.

Aptucxet Trading Post Museum Windmill
The Joseph Jefferson Windmill is now the museum's gift shop
Also at the same location is the Joseph Jefferson Windmill, which served as a studio and a home for the acclaimed actor/artist, who used to hunt piping plovers with Cleveland's back in the day (that little hobby would cost the two men about $20,000 a bird nowadays since the piping plover is now on the endangered species list).

The windmill now serves as the gift shop for the trading post museum. Also on the site is a replica of a 17 century salt works.

Key Information

Location: 24 Aptucxet Road, Bourne, MA
Hours: Mon-Sat - 10:00am-5:00pm / Sun – 2:00pm-5:00pm
Admission: n/a
Telephone: (508) 759-9487


From the Bourne Rotary, take the Trowbridge Road exit (it's the first right if you're coming from off-Cape. About half-a-mile down, go straight through the intersection with County Road and Sandwich Road.

About a quarter-of-a-mile beyong that intersection, take a right onto Munument Neck Road. Go underneath the railroad and then take an immediate, sharp right again so that you're going back on yourself only on the other side of the railroad.

This is Aptuxcet Road, and the windmill will be about 300 feet up on your left.

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