History

Originally, the Captain Howes House, this beautiful historic home was built in 1849 by Captain Frederick Howes (1812 – 1882). Recently, it was listed on the National Historic Register. Captain Howes had a long distinguished career captaining many ships all over the world. He invented the “Howes Sail” which was easier to manage, allowed for a smaller crew and increased speed. He also patented a version of the grapnel anchor. The Howes House is one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Yarmouth: steeply pitched roof, gabled front end, two widows walks, two side porches (now enclosed) and distinctive “gingerbread” on the bargeboards and eaves encircling the house.The building is a post & beam frame on a block granite foundation and still has its original plastered walls and ceilings, wide pine flooring, spiral staircase, fireplace, large door window and french doors. The proprietors felt a strong sense of care in maintaining as much of the original structure as possible when renovating the beautiful old home. We hope, upon entering The Optimist Café that you find it as charming and beautiful as they did.

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