At night, and sometimes during the day, surfmen of the U.S. Life-Saving Service walked the beach to warn off ships standing in danger and to report stranded or wrecked ships so rescue efforts could begin. The halfway house was the place where men on the beach patrol exchanged brass tags with a patrolmen from the adjoining station to indicate that their patrols had been completed.

Formerly located half-way between the Cahoon’s Hollow and Pamet River Life-Saving Stations on Cape Cod, this small building was typical of halfway houses, which were used by the U.S. Life-Saving Service and Coast Guard from the 1870s through the 1930s. Unused for several years, and half buried in the sand in a nearly inaccessible area, the halfway house was extracted by helicopter, trucked to Mystic Seaport Museum in 1969, and restored in 1974.