Katharine Lee Bates House

This house was built in 1810 by Mayhew Hatch, a direct descendent of Jonathan Hatch, one of the original founders of Falmouth, Mass.

It was the birthplace of Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929), author of “America the Beautiful.” Although this is what she is best known for, Bates was also a professor and author who wrote books and articles about social reform.

A graduate of Wellesley College, Bates became a professor of English literature and wrote one of the first-ever textbooks on it. Throughout her career at Wellesley, she shared a house with her close friend and companion, Katharine Coman.

The house was owned for many years by Captain Benjamin Franklin Jones, a successful whaling captain, and son of Captain Silas Jones. Benjamin’s son, George Washington Jones, was Falmouth’s postmaster from 1889 to 1927, and also owned and lived in the house. As the rest of the houses on the street were dressed up to be or built in the more elaborate styles, this one stayed unchanged, reminiscent of the days when Falmouth was a sleepy village.

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