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Virtual Walking Tours

You can now experience local historian Bonnie Snow’s virtual walks by utilizing the interactive trail maps of historic main street walks. Learn about the fascinating lives of Orleans' early residents and the various eras of some of the architecture. 

Tours: East Orleans, Main Street or Historical Sites

CHO Programs

Click below for a list of our current and future programs that you can view anytime and anywhere, including history talks and tours, oral histories and more.

CG 36500

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Orleans has a rich history of shipwrecks and life-saving efforts. A recent example is the Motor Lifeboat CG36500, made famous in the Feb 1952 rescue of survivors of the tanker Pendleton.

Orleans' 225th Birthday!

History and geography of Massachusetts are central to the third-grade curriculum throughout the Commonwealth. Yet the 225th anniversary of Orleans' incorporation recently made Social Studies lessons for 28 third-graders at Orleans Elementary School (OES) even more special...

The VISION of the CHO (Orleans Historical Society) is to bring history and culture to life, thus inspiring a shared sense of community and pride in the rich heritage of Orleans.

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70th Anniversary of Pendleton Rescue

On February 18, 1952, the crew of the CG36500 set out from Chatham Harbor (Massachusetts) to rescue crew members of the tanker S.S. Pendleton that had split in two during a ferocious winter storm. This night mission was extremely dangerous, even suicidal. Miraculously, the CG36500 returned to the Chatham Fish Pier with 32 survivors from the ship. To this day, it is considered “the greatest small-boat rescue in Coast Guard history.” Seventy years later, the CG36500 returned to the Fish Pier to participate in ceremonies honoring those involved in this disaster and historic rescue.