Greater Cape May Historical Society

The Greater Cape May Historical Society is the steward of The Colonial House. The Colonial House or Memucan Hughes House was originally a tavern and the family home of Revolutionary War patriot Memucan Hughes. The house is an unsung survivor from Cape Island’s very beginning and thought to be one of the oldest surviving houses on Cape Island. The Colonial House is also the headquarters of the Greater Cape May Historical Society.

The Colonial House is open to the public at no charge from June 15th to September 15, Wednesdays through Saturdays from 1pm–4pm. The house is also open during Victorian Weekend in October, and for the December Candlelight House tour in the National Historic Landmark city of Cape May, New Jersey.

The Colonial House is open by appointment after September 15. We respectfully request a minimum of 24 hours notice. Please send email to There is no fee. The house is free to all visitors. Donations gratefully accepted to help maintain the Colonial House. We are a 501c3 non profit organization—a volunteer only organization since 1975.

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The Greater Cape May Historical Society’s (GCMHS) mission is to collect, preserve, document, interpret and share the history of the greater Cape May area. Since our founding in 1974, the Society's mission has been maintained by an ethical, open, and friendly group of volunteers. We are a community-based organization that recognizes the fundamental principles of diversity, inclusion, and equal access. Therefore, our stewardship of the Memucan Hughes Colonial House, and our virtual collections, are free and open to the public. We welcome people from all backgrounds to attend, question, and contribute to the Society for the future historians who will succeed us and adopt these principles.

New Jersey Council for the Humanities
New Jersey Cultural Trust
Cape May County NJ logo
NJ Historical Commission
Families First card

The Greater Cape May Historical Society saved the Colonial House from demolition in 1974. The Society, a 501c (3) nonprofit organization, receives funds from membership, gifts to the Society and grants administered by the Cape May County Culture & Heritage Commission; the New Jersey Historical Commission; the New Jersey Cultural Trust and the Society is a qualified organization of the New Jersey Cultural Trust; the NJ Council for the Humanities; and from other grant opportunities.

Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey Historical Commission / Department of State, and the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders through the Cape May County Department of Tourism, Public Information and Culture & Heritage.