Peter Werden I [1569-1638]

Peter Werden came to the United States in very early colonial times, probably in the late 1620s. He settled first in Lynn, New Plymouth Colony (MA), but later moved to Yarmouth (now East Dennis).

We have little official records of Peter except his will dated Yarmouth, February 9, 1938, proven in Plymouth, March 5, 1638. In the calendar of those days, the new year began March 25. This Last Will & Testament was published in the "Mayflower Descendents" Volume 3, 1901, page 75.

Yarmouth was established in 1637. A partial quote from the Dennis-Yarmouth Register published in 1891 states, "Old Werden was doubtless the first Englishman who died and was buried in town. The region of his settlement was in East Dennis. This grave is in the ancient burial place southeast of the Hall, named for him."

The cemetary has in recent years been called the Homer Hall Cemetary instead of the Worden-Winslow Cemetary. The Winslow part of the name coming from Mercy Werden's marriage to Kenelm Winslow. They and many of their descendents are buried there. In 1970, a brass plaque was placed on Peter's grave by the Dennis Cemetary Commission. To quote the Cape Cod Standard Times, "The final resting place was honored with a suitable plaque in simple ceremonies and the ancient cemetary of the Werdens will be preserved as one of the historical spots of Dennis."

Directly across Route 6A in a pasture is a small foundation said to be the house of Peter. The house of Peter II was said to have been on the foundation that now holds the barn. Worden Hall, after a varied career, was purchased by an artist, handsomely restored - the name Worden Hall in gold leaf - and is now a home and art gallery.

It is interesting to note that no Worden has ever lived there. It was built in 1866 and named in memorial of Peter I, the first European land owner in East Dennis.


1841 Old King's Highway (Route 6A), East Dennis, Cape Cod, Mass.

Nancy and Donn Devita, Artists in Residence. Tel. (385-9289)

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