Captain Walsh House, c. 1796

The Walsh Family:
When Captain Keyran Walsh bought this house in 1796 it was relatively new but largely unfinished, which allowed the Captain and his wife to make their own impressions on it. As a result, Walsh House stood apart from others in the neighborhood because of the fine woodwork, unusual paint treatment (“wood graining” on the pine doors in the hallway and “marbled” stair risers), and striking wallpaper. Because the hallway was a different type of woodwork than the dining room, the “two” doors are actually a sandwich of the two styles. Though Captain Walsh rented his house in the 1790s, intending to return to it, he died at sea in 1807.

In 1969 the house was moved about 80 feet north of its original location and placed on a new foundation. A bequest from Dr. Frederick Sanborn of New York City allowed for the house to be initially restored. Until 2019, the Walsh House served as a space for administrative purposes, special events, and offices.

The Captain Walsh House exhibit has been made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

An Immersive Exhibit:
Note: The Captain Walsh House is open on a periodic basis until Summer 2022.

The hands-on exhibit of the Captain Walsh House creates a fully immersive experience that brings the world of a sea captain and his family to life circa 1800. The first-floor rooms have been furnished with touchable reproduction objects, which provide a sense of discovery and opportunity for exploration.

Visitors can touch every item in the Walsh House, providing a sense of discovery and the opportunity for exploration. Visitors are invited to sit at the dining table, lie on the bed, open drawers, handle kitchen implements, and try on costumes. Labels are hidden in drawers, inside books, and under dinnerware, providing context and information for guests to better understand everyday life in 1802 and draw connections between the past and present.

In addition, Strawbery Banke Museum reinterpreted the garden as an early-nineteenth-century landscape, utilizing heirloom plants.