Scudder’s Wharf

Scudder’s Wharf

In the 1820’s, Asa and Daniel Scudder built a sail repair shop at the end of Scudder’s Lane, just at the edge of the harbor. The brothers and their families also ran a variety store in the barn on the Main Street end of the lane. Quickly this area became known as Scudder’s Wharf, and thereafter the road was officially named Scudder’s Lane.

The sail repair shop at Scudder’s Wharf was an important stop for local sea captains who embarked on long journeys and needed supplies including sails, ropes, barrels and rigging. Fisherman also needed water and salt to go out to the Grand Banks (Georgia’s Banks) off of Monomoy to go cod fishing. It was at Scudder’s Wharf that large schooners would also deliver products and goods. These deep-water vessels traveled overseas to Europe and down to Venezuela and the South Pacific. Asa built and kept his schooner, the Comet, at this wharf while working and raising his family.

Asa’s son Nelson was a sea captain and Commander of the Saxony of Boston in 1842. When not sailing, Nelson continued to run the sail repair shop and variety store with his brother and family. In time, Nelson retired from the sailing and fishing industry. Power vessels were starting to come into Barnstable Harbor, and the industry was moving towards the more economical steamships. Eventually, Nelson decided to relocate the sail repair shop to his homestead. 

In May 1867, the barn was moved by a number of men including Harry Hopkin, Josiah Jones, Abraham Fuller and Samuel Mitchell. These men drew pictures and flaked the barn – took it apart piece by piece – numbering all of the boards sequentially on the North, South, East and West side so that they could rebuild it just as it was. It is likely that this barn was moved by oxen and relocated to its current location at 2400 Main Street.  It remains majestic and strong, withstanding Cape Cod Nor’Easters, blizzards and the salty elements of Cape Cod for almost 200 years!

– Melanie Deveikas