Stories from the Archives: Gustavus A. Hinckley Photographs of Barnstable

This blog highlights interesting items from the Sturgis Library Archives. Today’s highlight is a collection of gelatin print photographs of Barnstable taken by Gustavus A. Hinckley in the late 1800s.

Gustavus Adolphus Hinckley (1822-1905) Photographs of Barnstable (MS. 33)

Barnstable resident Gustavus A. Hinckley (1822-1905) spent the later part of his life compiling local history and documenting life in Barnstable at the end of the nineteenth century.

Hinckley was born in Barnstable in 1822. His work as a machinist and manager in the mining industry brought him to live in various places around the country. After returning to Barnstable in 1872, he spent his time in semi-retirement as treasurer of Barnstable Savings Bank and passionate historian dedicated to preserving Barnstable history. 

As a known authority on Barnstable genealogy, Hinckley transcribed all early vital and town records as well as Barnstable County probate records that dealt with town residents. He visited cemeteries and recorded all names, dates, and inscriptions and filled notebooks with sketches of area houses. Hinckley took the photographs in this collection as part of his effort to document life in Barnstable during the late nineteenth century.

Hinckley Photographs of Barnstable

West Barnstable at the corner of 6A and Route 149. West Parish Cemetery is on the right.

Barnstable Village east of courthouse. The sign to the right says “Livery Stable.” The stable is on the left.

West Barnstable, north of church.

Dimmock neighborhood.

West Barnstable, Bursley House. There is a load of hay going into the barn on the left.

Overlooking Beale Way from Old Jail Lane.

Bacon Farm, 3420 Main Street Barnstable.

These photos and other archival material are available for in-library use. Fragile materials may have photocopying restrictions. To access archival collections contact us at or call the Library directly at (508) 362-6636.

To see the findings aids for our archival collections, click here.

You can search the archives by name and subject using the CLAMS online catalog.