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. For several years, the small house was leased to the Falmouth Service Center for a thrift shop, and the proceeds of the shop not only supported the food pantry but also maintenance of the historic building. In 2018, the shop relocated to lower Sandwich Road and the Town is determining the best uses for the Emerald House and its land.
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. For a few years afterwards, strawberries could still be found in June in the overgrown field behind the house.