The Taylor-Bray Farm is a rare survivor of a type of property that once characterized the agricultural north side of Cape Cod. It is located on 23 acres of town owned property in the Hockanom section of Yarmouth Port adjacent to Black Flats Marsh and Chase Garden Creek. The property consists of a house and barn built circa 1780-1820, a one time antique shop that has been converted into the caretaker's residence, a semi-subterranean farm storage structure, five recently constructed livestock sheds, and a historic marker affixed to a large glacial erratic.
The site was occupied seasonally by Native American people at least 3,600 years ago, perhaps as early as 6,000 years ago.
The area was first settled by Europeans in the late 1630s while it was still part of Plymouth colony. The farm itself was established by Richard Taylor and his wife Ruth in 1639.
Captain Samuel Taylor was the farm's most notable occupant. He had a remarkable record in the Revolutionary War and subsequently embarked on a maritime career that saw him rise to the rank of captain.
The property remained in the Taylor family until 1896 when the farm was purchased by George and Willie Bray for $400. At the time, the property included 50 acres of uplands and adjacent marshlands which were capable of producing six tons of a combination of salt and fresh hay a year. The deed described the property as being in that part of Yarmouth known as Hockanom. It was maintained as a working farm by the Bray brothers.
After the death of George Bray in 1941, the farm was unoccupied for several years until it was purchased by Robert and Kathryn Williams in 1947. The Williams family took steps to preserve the old colonial farmhouse while bringing it up to mid 20th century standards. They began to raise sheep which were shown at many agricultural fairs around the state. They subsequently bought an additional 30 acres of land extending the farm up to Route 6A.
After changing hands again, the farm was acquired by the Town of Yarmouth in 1987 for "historic and conservation purposes" saving it from development. The site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
The farm is currently managed by the Town of Yarmouth and the non-profit Taylor-Bray Farm Preservation Association (TBFPA)
View pictures of the farm as it appeared over the years. These photographs were donated to the Taylor-Bray Farm Preservation Association by Elaine Wilkey who lived in the farmhouse at one time. The photos are dated from the late 1860s through 1960.