About Emerald House
The town bought 4.67 acres abutting the East Falmouth Elementary School on Davisville Road in 1995 with an eye to using the parcel for recreation, such as school playing fields. Not long afterward, the Falmouth Historical Commission proposed saving the century-old house at the front of the property as a typical example of the farmhouses of the Portuguese immigrants who settled in East Falmouth and became prominent strawberry growers. Several East Falmouth residents took the idea to town meeting, where it found support. The small house is now leased to the Falmouth Service Center for a thrift shop, and the proceeds of the shop not only support the food pantry but also maintenance of the historic building.
Manuel Emerald, who came from Sao Miguel in the Azores, bought the land in 1906. He later acquired eight more acres on the other side of the road — where Emerald Lane is now ― and grew strawberries and turnips. The last of his eight children, Bea Emerald Burdo and Lewis Emerald, sold the property with the house to the town for $100,000. When the thrift shop was getting established, strawberries could still be found in June in the overgrown field behind the house.