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 1730colonialhouse@gmail.com. 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.

2022 Updates

The Greater Cape May Historical Society is proud to announce a 2022 Financial Stabilization Grant award from the New Jersey Cultural Trust.

The grant award establishes a cash reserve for historic preservation and collection projects. Preservation is ongoing and an essential part of our mission. Successful grant writing is critical for supporting history projects and the Memucan Hughes Colonial House. However, it frequently requires the organization to pay for the work prior to receiving reimbursement funds. With this grant award, the Society can borrow, then later replenish, the cash reserve funds which takes the pressure off the operating budget. According to the New Jersey Cultural Trust, the Financial Stabilization Grant Program helps non-profit organizations address "operational challenges that threaten their stability and to help build greater operational capacity to manage and advance their work and achieve their missions."

New Jersey Cultural Trust logo


The Colonial House will be closed for the season on August 31st due to staffing issues.

We do open for private tours based on the availability of the Guide. While we are a free museum, if you would be so kind to make a donation that day for our Colonial House maintenance program, it would be appreciated.

Send questions to 1730colonialhouse@gmail.com

The Greater Cape May Historical Society’s mission is to collect, preserve, and document, interpret and share the history of the greater Cape May area. Since 1975, our organization’s founding principles are an ethical, open, and friendly group of volunteers to maintain the Society's mission and vision. We are a community-based organization who recognizes that diversity, inclusion and equal access are fundamental principles. Therefore, our stewardship of the Memucan Hughes Colonial House and our virtual collections are free and open to the public. We encourage visitors who engage with the Society to share their observations, interpretations, and ideas at any time in order to engage in a forum for difficult conversations; discuss the complexity of history, understand the iterative process of history, and in doing so, find opportunity for those words to be spoken and heard with an open mind and heart. 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.

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.