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Barnstable county excerpts from
A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts
Numerous Illustrations on Wood and Steel.
the Rev. Elias Nason, M.A.
Boston: B. B. Russell. 1874
Barnstable county, Barnstable, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, missing
Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown,
Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, Yarmouth
was incorporated June 2, 1685 ; and was probably named from Barnstable,
a seaport-town in Devonshire, Eng. It embraces the whole of Cape Cod,
together with several contiguous islands. In form it resembles the
human arm bent inward at the elbow and wrist, and enclosing Cape-Cod
Bay upon the north. The eastern and the southern shores are washed by
the ocean ; the western, by the waters of Buzzard's Bay; and the county
of Plymouth forms, for about 5 miles, the north-western boundary. It
extends in length about 65 miles, and has an average breadth of about 5
miles. The Cape-Cod Railroad passes centrally through it, and
terminates at Provincetown.
geological formation is drift and alluvium, in which extensive meadows
of peat occur. Bowlders are numerous upon the surface, which consists
of sandy knolls, plains, and marshes. There are no rivers of
importance; but, in place of them, many large and beautiful ponds
diversify the scenery. The principal timber-growth is oak and
yellow-pine. Extensive tracts of land have recently been planted with
the seed of the last-mentioned tree; and beautiful young pine-groves
are now observed in almost every part of the Cape.
population numbers 32,774; and the valuation of the county, May 1,
1872, amounted to $15,269,520. The number of dwelling-houses was 6,805;
of horses, 2,435; of cows, 3,621; of sheep, 740. The number of public
schools was 176, of which 9 were high schools.
county has four representative districts, and is entitled to eight
representatives : it is also, in connection with Dukes and Nantucket
County, entitled to the choice of two senators.
the 14 towns, Barnstable is the most populous and important. It
is the seat of justice, and contains a commodious court-house and other
county-buildings. The records of the courts and of deeds, from the
separation of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies down to
September, 1827, were all burnt in a conflagration which destroyed the
building containing the county offices : this was separate from the
then Court House, which is now remodelled into a church for the Second
Baptist Society. There were burnt, at that time, ninety folio volumes
of the record of deeds, and several of the court-records. The people of
this county are mostly engaged in sea and shore fisheries and other
maritime pursuits, and are noted for their hardihood, industry, daring
deeds, and sturdy patriotism.
Barnstable extends across
Cape Cod, from shore to shore, and has Yarmouth on the east, and
Mashpee and Sandwich on the west. It is the shire-town of Barnstable
County; 73 miles, by the Cape-Cod Railroad, south-east of Boston; and
has 202 farms, 879 dwelling-houses, and 4,793 inhabitants, residing
mostly in seven postal villages, which — beginning at the north-west,
and proceeding eastward, and then around the town — are named as
follows: West Barnstable, Barnstable, Hyannis, Centreville, Osterville,
Cotuit Port, and Marston's Mills. Hyannis is accommodated with a branch
railroad connecting with the Cape-Cod Railroad at Yarmouth Port. A
narrow peninsula, called Sandy Neck, extends from the north-west corner
of the town several miles easterly, and forms the harbor, which admits
vessels drawing seven or eight feet of water. Bordering on the harbor
are the great salt-marshes, from which many tons of hay are annually
cut. Hyannis Harbor, on the southern side of the Cape, is protected by
a breakwater, and admits the largest coasting-vessels. Cotuit Harbor is
formed by Oyster Island and a peninsula projecting from the south-west
corner of the town. A range of low hills, or knolls, somewhat rocky,
extends from Sandwich, parallel with and near the coast, as far as
Yarmouth, presenting beautiful views of the landscape from sea to sea.
South of this line of hills the land is level, and covered to a
great extent with a growth of oak and yellow-pine. The scenery is,
however, varied by a large number of fresh-water ponds, of which Great
Pond —: of 750 acres, near the centre of the town — is the most
celebrated. From several ponds in the western section of the town a
stream proceeds southerly, and furnishes motive-power at Marston's
Mills. In one of these ponds the rare and beautiful pink water-lily
town and Falmouth have, perhaps, a better soil than any others on the
Cape. By the last statistics of the industry of the State, it raised in
a year 10,624 bushels of Indian corn, 65 of wheat, 1,328 of rye, 1,734
of oats, 10,107 of potatoes, 2,195 of turnips, and 1,247 of
cranberries. It sold 10,850 pounds of butter, and prepared 1,876
cords of wood and bark for market; which compares favorably with the
products of some of our inland towns exclusively devoted to the
farming-interest. But, in addition to agricultural and some
manufacturing industries, Barnstable has 3 vessels, employing 20 men,
in the cod-fishery; 60 boats engaged in the shore-fishery ; 60 men in
the shell-fishery; 6 men in making salt; and 90 vessels, with 540 men,
in the coastwise trade. This town has a handsome court-house and a
jail, an able public journal called "The Barnstable Patriot," a
town-house, a high school, twenty-six other schools, and eleven
churches. The pastors are the Revs. Henry A. Goodhue, C.T., West
Barnstable; Edmund Squire, C.T., Centreville ; Henry F. Edes, Unitarian
; W. H. Evans, Baptist, Hyannis ; N. Fullerton, Baptist, Osterville; N.
Chapman, 3d Baptist; G. W. Goodspeed and Charles H. Ewer, Methodists,
Osterville; E. H. Dorr, Methodist, Marston's Mills.
town sent 233 men into the late war, and lost 32. A monument has
been erected to their memory in Centreville. The valuation of the town
is $2,726,280; tax-rate, $2 per $ 100. Hyannis, so named from Iyanough,
a friendly sachem who once owned the territory, has lately become a
fashionable watering-place. Two large hotels, — the Hallett House and
the Iyanough House, — and many summer residences of that fantastic
style and coloring peculiar to Oak Bluffs and other fashionable places
on our southern shores, have been erected.
Indian names of Barnstable, which anciently embraced Yarmouth, are
Chequocket, Coatuit, Mattacheese, and Cummaquid. The Pilgrims landed
here Nov. 11, 1620, and had an interview with the Indians. The
first white settlers were the Rev. John Lothrop, and a part of his
church, who came here from Scituate Oct. 11, 1639. They worshipped
at a great rock about two miles west of Barnstable courthouse.
(See J. G. Palfrey's "Address at the Second Centennial Anniversary
of the Settlement of Cape Cod," Sept. 3, 1839.) It is said that this
West-Barnstable church, organized in England 1616, is the "first
independent Congregational church of that name in the world." The town
was named from one in England, and incorporated Sept. 3 of that year;
and the southern part of it was purchased of the sachem Iyanough, or
Wianno, in 1650.
Osterville, a pleasant village situated on the south side of
Barn-stable, on the Vineyard Sound, has already become a popular
summer resort. The Osterville Land Company (of which Joseph H.
Chadwick of Boston is president) are making extensive improvements.
Barnstable has produced many eminent men. Some of the names are, — John
Walley (1644-1712), judge of the supreme court. Col. James Otis, a
statesman. James Otis, a distinguished orator and patriot, was
born at Great Marshes, or West Barnstable, February, 1725;and was
killed by lightning at Andover, .May 23, 1783. Mrs. Mercy (Otis) Warren
(1728-1814), sister of the above, and author of "The Group" and other
dramas, and a History of the Revolution. Samuel Alleyne Otis (1740
-1814), a member of Congress. James Thacher, M.D. (1754-1844), author
of a military journal, &c. Daniel Davis (1762-1835), an able
lawyer. John Allyn, D.D. (1767-1833), an eloquent divine. John Percival
(1779-1862), captain in the United-States navy; called by the sailors
"Mad Jack." Samuel Shaw, LL.D. (1781-1861), an eminent jurist and
writer. Benjamin F. Hallett (1797-1862), a distinguished politician.
Otho M. Coleman (1817), inventor of the Æolian attachment to the
piano-forte. Timothy Alden (1819-1858), an inventor of a machine
for setting type.
Brewster lies on the inner
side of the elbow of Cape Cod, 89 miles south-east of Boston by the
Cape-Cod Railroad; and has Cape-Cod Bay on the north, Orleans on the
east, Harwich (from which it was taken at its incorporation, Feb. 19,
1803) on the south, and Dennis on the west.
harbor, in the centre of the shore-line of the town, is formed by a
breakwater ; and in it small vessels may rest secure at any season of
Indian name of the place was Sawkattukett : its present name was given
it in honor of Elder William Brewster.
has 1,259 inhabitants, 56 farms, 274 dwelling-houses, and a
valuation of $685,887. The tax-rate is $1.40 per $100 ; the number
of voters, 286.
surface of the town is somewhat uneven, and partially covered with a
growth of oak and pine timber.
Pines have been successfully planted in the open ground; and the
lowlands are beautified by the azalea, wild rose, lily, and other
flowers. Cranberries are successfully cultivated. An eminence in the
northeast angle was taken as a station in the trigonometrical
survey of the State; and on its summit stands a packet-signal, visible
at sea for a long distance. The view of the curving line of the Cape
from Duxbury to Provincetown, and the vessels in Cape-Cod Bay, is very
beautiful. Bowlders are scattered over the ground in liberal
profusion. Peat of a good quality is dug in the lowlands, and used for
fuel. Many beautiful sheets of fresh water, as Cliff, Sheep, Bangs,
Long, and Mill Ponds, diversify the. scenery, and afford game to the
sportsman. From the last-named pond, which contains 365 acres, a stream
called "Herring River" runs northerly into Cape-Cod Bay, and furnishes
motive-power, now waiting to be utilized. Long Pond, a splendid sheet
of water covering 778 acres, has for its outlet Herring River also,
which runs southerly, and empties into the sea below West Harwich.
There is an enormous rock in this town, 16 feet high and 160 feet in
circumference, rent, as by the force of some powerful agent, into six
or seven pointed fragments. It seems to be the remains of a ledge from
which diluvial currents have worn away the sand. This town has, in the
north part, a very good soil. It has raised as many as 3,360 bushels of
Indian corn and 1,360 bushels of cranberries in a year. Its salt-works
have been extensive. It has at present about 100 persons engaged in the
has one windmill for grain; four postal villages, — Brewster, East
Brewster, South Brewster, West Brewster, or Setucket; two hotels, the
Union and the Ocean House; nine school-districts; a ladies' library; a
cemetery, in good order; a Baptist church, of which the Rev. William P.
Elsden is pastor; and a Unitarian church, under the care of the Rev.
Thomas Dawes. It sent 72 men into the late war, of whom 7 were lost.
The citizens of Brewster are prosperous, intelligent, and
hospitable. It is considered one of the most pleasant towns in
church was formed here Oct. 16, 1700, when the Rev. Nathaniel Stone was
ordained pastor. The members were N. Stone, Thomas Crosby, William
Marick, John Freeman, Thomas Freeman, Edward Bangs, Simon Crosby, and
Joseph Paine. The early records, in the handwriting of Mr. Stone, are
well preserved. The first entry is, " Uxor mea Reliance admissa est
Decem. 15, 1700. The Rev. Isaiah Dunster was ordained Nov. 2, 1748 ;
and died in 1791, when the Rev. John Simkins became the pastor.
Chatham occupies the extreme
south-eastern angle of Cape Cod and Barnstable County; and being
indented by numerous coves, harbors, creeks, and inlets, is,
topographically, one of the most irregular towns in the Commonwealth.
It has Pleasant Bay, separating it from Orleans, on the north, the
ocean on the east and south, and Harwich on the west. It has 567
dwelling-houses, and 2,411 people, who are hardy, adventurous, and
nearly all engaged in maritime pursuits.
surface of the town is varied by a succession of sand-hills (often
changing), villages, creeks, and fresh-water ponds, of which there are
more than thirty; and some of them, in the summer season, are
covered with the beautiful white lily. Goose Pond, containing 66
acres, is the largest. Nauset Beach extends for many miles between the
easterly part of the town and the sea, forming Chatham Harbor, the
entrance to which is frequently shifted by the action of the wave.
Monomoy is a long and narrow island, running about 10 miles
south-easterly, as if in continuation of Nauset Beach. Great Hill is
the highest point of land; and from it Nantucket sometimes can be seen
without a glass. The number of farms is 11; and of woodland there are
458 acres, valued at about $10,000. The cranberry-crop is valuable. By
the last report of the industry of the State, Chatham had 39 vessels,
with 381 men, employed in the cod and mackerel fisheries; 77 men were
engaged in taking shell-fish; and the number of barrels of alewives,
shad, and salmon taken, was 1,000. Seventeen vessels, with 47 men, were
employed in the coastwise trade. The valuation of the town is
$922,240; rate of taxation, $1.58 per $100; legal voters, 591. There
are five post-offices,—Chatham, Chatham Port, North Chatham, South
Chatham, and West Chatham. This town has fourteen schools, including a
high school; a Congregational church, organized June 15, 1720, of which
the Rev. Hiram Day (installed in 1870) is pastor; a Methodist church,
of which the Rev. Edward A. Lyon is pastor; a Universalist church,
having the Rev. George Proctor for its pastor ; and a Baptist church,
now without a pastor. It has a good hotel (the Nauset House), an
insurance-office, a Masonic Lodge, and a good public journal, "The
Chatham Monitor." It furnished 256 men to the late war, of whom 13 were
lost. To perpetuate their memory it has erected a handsome
monument. The nearest railroad depot is at Brewster, about six
Indian name of Chatham is Monomoy. Gov. William Bradford visited this
place in the Plymouth shallop, to purchase corn, in the first voyage of
the Pilgrims around the Cape. The land was bought of the sachem by
William Nickerson in 1665, and a settlement soon commenced. Among the
early settlers were William Nickerson, Thomas Hinckley, John Freeman,
and Nathaniel Bacon. The descendants of these men are very numerous. It
was incorporated June 11, 1712, and named, perhaps, in honor of the
Earl of Chatham.
church was organized June 15, 1720 ; and the Rev. Joseph Lord was
ordained pastor. There was preaching in town anterior to this, as may
be seen from the following quaint extract from the early and almost
illegible records : —
a town meeting held at Monamoyit the 4 day of January in the year of
our Lord, 1703, and then ye inhabitants ded agree with Gasham Hall to
come to us & to dispense the word of God amonkes ous on Sabbath
dayes and the inhebitanse did agree to pay him the said Gasham hall
twenty pound yearly so long as he continew in that work.
Recorded by me, William Nickerson, Clorke of Monamoy."
town has furnished many brave and skilful seamen to the country, and is
noted for the number of its sea-captains.
Dennis is a long and narrow
town on Cape Cod, having five postal villages, — Dennis, Dennis Port,
East Dennis, South Dennis, and West Dennis, — 658 dwelling-houses, 96
farms, and 3,269 inhabitants. It has Cape-Cod Bay on the north,
Brewster and Harwich on the east, the ocean on the south, and Yarmouth
(from which it is nearly divided by Bass and Chase-garden Rivers) on
the west. It was taken from Yarmouth; received its name in honor of the
Rev. Josiah Dennis, its first minister; and was incorporated June 19,
Indian name was Nobscusset. The scenery is diversified by several
beautiful ponds, which, in all, cover an area of about 450 acres. Swan
Pond, of 179 acres, is the largest, and sends a little river of the
same name to the sea. Bass River is the largest stream on Cape God, and
furnishes some manufacturing power. Scargo Hill, in the northerly part,
is the highest eminence in Barnstable County; and from it a magnificent
prospect, reaching from Minot's Ledge to Martha's Vineyard, is
obtained. The Cape-Cod Railroad passes through the central part of the
geological formation is drift and alluvium; and many bowlders are
strewn confusedly over the surface.
South Dennis, a square resembling a hearth, formed of these bowlders,
embedded in mortar, has been exhumed from beneath the stump of an
oak-tree, which, from its size, must have been standing at the
commencement of the settlement.
Indians are not known to have formed such structures ; and hence it has
been inferred that it is a relic of the Northmen.
timber-growth is oak and pine; and the latter tree is now extensively
planted in the sandy wastes.
whortleberry, sweet-fern (Comptonia asplenifolia), azaleas, and
asclepias, with asters and golden-rod in the autumn, cover the fields.
There is some very good land, especially in the northern part of.
Dennis; and fair crops of corn, rye, and potatoes, are produced. Nearly
200 acres are devoted to the culture of the cranberry, which is here of
a superior quality. The manufacture of salt, commenced by Capt. John
Sears as early as 1776, has been extensively carried on. The water is
raised by windmills from the sea, and then evaporated in large vats,
leaving the salt in pure white crystals. By the last State Report, 48
vessels, with 722 men, were employed in the cod and mackerel fisheries,
and the capital invested was $117,000; also 85 vessels, with 445
men, were engaged in the coastwise trade. The amount of alewives, shad,
bass, and blue-fish, taken here, is very large; and thus, with its
income from the land and sea, together with its railroad-accommodation
and its healthful ocean-breezes, Dennis may-be set down as a very
prosperous and happy town.
place has two hotels (one of which is the Nickerson; the other the
Cape-Cod-Bay House, commanding a fine view of the ocean), a town-ball,
a free library, an insurance-office, fifteen schools, and four
churches, two of the Congregational, and two of the Methodist
denomination. The pastors are the Revs. W. C. Reed, C.T. (South
Dennis) ; J. Price, Methodist (North Dennis); Edward Edson, Methodist
(West Dennis); and J. H. Allen, Methodist (North Dennis). The first
church in this place was organized, and the Rev. Josiah Dennis ordained
pastor, in 1727. He was succeeded in 1764 by the Rev. Nathan Stone.
town furnished 220 men for the army .and 150 for the navy during, the
valuation is $1,456,919; the tax-rate, $1.44 per $100.
Nathaniel Freeman, an able speaker, jurist, physician, and military
commander, was born here April_ 8, 1741; and died at Sandwich
Sept, 20, 1827. He was twice married, and had twenty children.
Eastham was left out of the
Falmouth is a very
delightful seaboard town of 436 dwelling-houses and 2,237 inhabitants,
occupying the south-west corner of Cape Cod and of Barnstable County,
and 65 miles south of Boston by the Old-Colony Railroad. Its boundaries
are Sandwich on the north-east ; Mash pee, from which it is in part
divided by Bed Brook and Waquoit Bay, on the east ; the Vineyard Sound,
here about six miles wide, on the south; and Buzzard's Bay, on the
west. The southern shore, on which the principal village is built,
sweeps westward in the form of a crescent, with a beautiful beach,
to a long and irregular promontory, sending out an incurvated arm,
which embraces the picturesque and valuable harbor of Woods Hole. This
place is much frequented by vessels passing through the Sound in
stress, of weather. Beginning at the south, Quamquisset, Hog Island
Wild and Cataumut Harbors, enter the town from Buzzard's Bay The
longitude of the first harbor is 70° 40' west: that of Woods Hole
is nearly the same. The geological formation is drift and alluvium,
over which many bowlders have been strewn. The land is, for the
most part, level; the soil as good as any on Cape Cod. A range of hills
of moderate elevation diversify the western part of the town, and in
one instance rise to the height of 193 feet. Nobska Hill, on which
there is a lighthouse, near the eastern entrance of Woods Hole,
commands a charming prospect of the Vineyard Sound, through which
vessels are constantly passing, the long waving line of the hills of
Tisbury, the Elizabeth Islands, the picturesque shores of Buzzard's
Bay, and the mainland on the west for a long distance. Indeed, from
many points in this town, most charming views of maritime scenery
are obtained. Many of the inland scenes are also very beautiful. The
landscape is diversified by more than forty salt and fresh water ponds,
various in shape and extent, but giving an air of life and beauty to
the place. They abound in fish and game, and are a favorite resort of
sportsmen. The most noted of them are Ashunet and Coonemossett Ponds in
the north-west, Eel Pond (opening into Waquoit Bay), Bowen's Pond,
Green Pond, Great Pond (which receives a tributary from the centre of
the town), and Oyster Pond, near the southern shore. From these ponds
large quantities of ale wives are taken. In some of them the white
lily blossoms abundantly. There are five villages having post-offices,
known as Falmouth, North, East, and West Falmouth, and Woods Hole.
Falmouth Heights is a fashionable watering-place, one mile south-east
of Falmouth village, containing broad parks and avenues, two pleasant
ponds, a fine hotel, and many summer residences. The climate is very
fine; and the view of the broad expanse of Vineyard Sound, with the
picturesque island on the opposite shore, is very charming. Woods Hole
is a point of unusual scenic beauty. The town has 134 farms,
embracing 12,654 acres, and 9,854 acres in woodland, from which
firewood and bark to the value of $13,620 have, in a year, been sent to
market. About 70 acres of land are in cranberries. The town has about a
dozen vessels employed in the coastwise trade, several establishments
for making salt, and one woollen-mill producing woollen-yarn. It has a
national bank,—capital, $100,000; a good hotel; a town-hall; a
Masonic Lodge ; an institution called "The Lawrence Academy,” with
a fund of $10,000; a graded system of public schools; a good
newspaper called "The Falmouth Chronicle;" and nine churches. The
pastors are the Revs. H. K. Craig, Daniel Perry, and James S.
Cushing, C.T.; John S. Fish, C. E. Deming (Falmouth), J. S. Fish
(East Falmouth), S. H. Day (West Falmouth), Methodist; Hiram Carlton,
Episcopal, at Woods Hole.
town sent 71 soldiers and seamen into the late war, of whom 19 were
Indian name of this place was Succannesset. It was early settled by the
whites, and incorporated under its present name, from Falmouth, Eng.,
June 4, 1686. The first church was organized in 1708. This town was
bombarded by the British ship-of-war "Nimrod" in August, 1814, and
seven balls shot into the house of the Rev. Henry Lincoln, minister of
the church from 1790 to 1823. Other houses were damaged; but no lives
Samuel Lewis, an able educationist, and editor of "The
Common-school Director,” was born in this place March 17, 1799 ; and
died in Cincinnati, O., July 28, 1854.
Harwich, so named from
Harwich, Eng., lies in Barnstable County, on the southern side of Cape
Cod, 85 miles south-east of Boston by the Old-Colony Railroad, opened
to this place in 1865, and has 3,080 inhabitants. It has Brewster on
the north, Chatham (from which it is partly separated by Pleasant Bay
and Muddy Creek) on the east, the ocean on the south, and Dennis on the
west. The surface of the town is sandy, but generally covered with a
growth of oak and pine. It has a large number of fresh-water ponds, of
which Long Pond (dividing it from Brewster), Bang's Pond, and
Hinckley's Pond, are the most noted. From the latter sheet of water,
which is ten feet above the sea, issues Herring River, out of whose
waters many shad and alewives are annually taken. The place abounds in
romantic dells and shaded retreats, admirably adapted to the use of
holiday parties and recreation. Nickerson's Grove is a favorite
locality. Harwich has only 14 farms. With a little fertilizing, they
produce fair crops of rye and Indian corn. Cranberries cover 209 acres,
and yielded, recently, 4,751 bushels in a year. The cod and mackerel
fisheries engross, to a very great extent, the attention of the people.
By the last State Report on Industry, the number of vessels employed
was 36 ; and of men, 419. There were also 36 vessels, with 131 men,
engaged in the coastwise trade. Tonnage, 2,843.
Harwich has six postal centres, —Harwich, Harwichport, East
Harwich, North Harwich, South Harwich, and West Harwich ; a
national and a savings bank; two Masonic Lodges; and eight churches, —
viz., one Congregational at the Centre, the Rev. B. C. Ward, pastor;
one at the Port, now unsupplied ; one Methodist at North Harwich, the
Rev. R. F. Loomis, pastor; one at East Harwich, the Rev. C. Stokes,
pastor;, one at South Harwich, the Rev. S. P. Snow, pastor; one Baptist
at West Harwich, the oldest on the Cape, the Rev. James Barnaby, now
over eighty years old, pastor; one Catholic at the Centre, the Rev. C.
O'Connor, pastor; and the Bethel at South Harwich, under the care of
the Rev. David Lothrop. Valuation, $740,620; rate of taxation, two per
cent; number of dwelling-houses, 730.
Harwich Independent," an excellent weekly paper, of which Josiah Paine,
Esq., is editor, is published in this town.
Indian name of this place was Satucket; and it originally extended
across the Cape. The date of incorporation is Sept. 14,1694. The
northern part became the town of Brewster in 1803; and the
southern part is the present Harwich. The land was bought of the
Indian Matty Quason, or his heirs ; and the first church was organized,
with the Rev. Edward Pell for its minister, Nov. 6, 1747. The records
are well preserved and curious. The Satucket Indians, numbering as many
as 500 in 1694, lived in the north-west part of the town ; and some
traces of them still remain.
Enoch Crosby, a Revolutionary patriot, was born here in 1750, and died
Mashpee (formerly spelled
Marshpee) is an Indian town of 62 dwelling-houses, 71 voters, and 348
inhabitants, situated in the south-western part of Barnstable
County, 64 miles from Boston, having Sandwich on the north-west and
north-east, Barnstable (from which it is separated in part by Cotuit
River and Popponessett Bay) upon the east, Vineyard Sound upon the
south-east, Falmouth (from which it is for some distance divided by
Waquoit Bay and Red Brook) on the west, and Sandwich on the north-west.
The land is for the most part level, the soil light and sandy, yet
mostly covered with a growth of pine and oak. Some beautiful ponds,
abounding in fish, serve to break the monotony of the scenery. Of
these, Marshpee Pond, in the northern angle of the town, contains about
395 acres ; Wakeby Pond, connected with it, 375 acres; and John's Pond,
in the western section, 240 acres. The principal streams are Marshpee
River, which runs from Marshpee Pond into Popponessett Bay, and
Quashnet River, which flows into Waquoit Bay. These streams abound in
alewives; and Waquoit and Popponessett Bays have always been favorite
fishing-stations. The view of Vineyard Sound from Succonessett
headland, and from other points along the shore, is very beautiful. The
valuation of this town is only $119,678; and the tax-rate, $0.53 per
$100. The principal business of the people is farming, fishing,
and lumbering. The town has one post-office, two public schools (for
the support of which $300 were appropriated in 1873), and one Baptist
church, of which the Rev. H. Matthews is the pastor. The nearest
railroad accommodation is at Sandwich. The selectmen for 1873 are
Darius Coombs, W. E. Mingo, and S. P. Pells. The town-clerk is George
E. Coombs. Nine men from Mashpee went into the service during the late
war, of whom two were lost. There are three Indian burial-places in the
town. This place was incorporated as the plantation of Marshpee, June
14, 1763; as the district of Marshpee, March 31, 1864; and as the town
of Mashpee, May 28, 1870. Mr. Richard Bourne obtained a deed of
Marshpee from Quachitisset and others for the benefit of the natives,
who were then called "the South-sea Indians." The instrument was drawn
" 'so that no part or parcel of them [the lands] could be bought by or
sold to any white person or persons without the consent of all the said
Indians; not even with the consent of the General Court.' The deed,
with this condition, was ratified by the Plymouth Court. Mr. Bourne,
after having obtained the above deed, pursued his evangelical work, and
was ordained pastor of an Indian church in this place in 1670, formed
of his own disciples and converts. He died about 1685; and was
succeeded by Simon Popmonet, an Indian preacher, who lived in this
character about forty years; and was succeeded by Mr. Joseph Bourne,
grandson of Richard, who was ordained over them in 1729. He resigned
his mission in 1742, and was succeeded by Solomon Bryant, an Indian
preacher, who was ordained pastor. In 1758 the Rev. Gideon Hawley was
"These people live by agricultural pursuits, the manufacture of various
articles of Indian ware, by the sale of their wood, and by
fishing, fowling, and taking deer. They are docile and
hospitable ; they appear to relish moral and religious instruction ;
and, under the superintendence of a humane and intelligent
commissioner appointed by the State, they are prosperous and happy.
This is the largest remnant of all the tribes of red men west of
Penobscot River, who, but a little more than two centuries ago, were
fee-simple proprietors of the whole territory of New England."
Virgil B. Collins, Esq., and Solomon Attagin, are among the most
Orleans, in the easterly
part of Barnstable County, 94 miles south-east of Boston by the
Cape-Cod Railroad, contains 343 dwelling-houses, 77 farms, and 1,323
inhabitants, with a valuation of $515,474, and a tax-rate of $1.10 per
$100. The post-offices are at Orleans, East Orleans, and South Orleans.
It has eight public schools, for the support of which it appropriated
$2,200 in 1871. There are four church-edifices; and the clergymen are
the Rev. Charles E. Harwood, C.T.; the Rev. M. J. M. Price, Baptist;
the Rev. G. P. Jenks, Universalist; and the Rev. J. B. Washburn,
Methodist. The public-house is called "The Higgins Hotel." J. Chandler
is the proprietor. A good town-hall is now being erected. Orleans
furnished 127 men for the late war, of whom 45 were residents : of the
latter number, 5 were lost. Freeman Mayo is the present town-clerk.
configuration of this town is peculiar. From Eastham, on the north, it
is Separated by Rock River, flowing into Cape-Cod Bay; and by Town Cove
and Nauset Harbor, opening into the ocean The eastern boundary is
Nauset Beach, a long and narrow strip of land enclosing Pleasant Bay
which separates it from Chatham, and many creeks and inlets having
pleasant islands. Brewster lies on the south-west, and Cape-Cod Bay on
the north-west. The creeks and bays abound in clams, quahaugs, tautogs,
bass, and eels, the taking of which affords employment to many of the
people. The number of bushels of shell-fish taken in 1865 was 8,010,
valued at $8,010, and employing 112 hands. The number of vessels
engaged in the fisheries was four, and the tonnage 307. The number
of barrels of blue-fish caught was 550, valued at $1,100. The land of
Orleans is uneven, light, and sandy; yet there are some good farms,
especially on Barley Neck, on Sampson's Island, and on Pochet Island.
The windmill is used for motive-power, and was formerly of great
service in the manufacture of salt, for which business the place was
Orleans was called Namskaket by the Indians, a burial-place of whom
still remains. It belonged to Eastham, from which it was detached,
and incorporated as a separate town March 3, 1797. It was named in
honor of the Duke of Orleans. The Rev. Samuel Osborn, ordained in 1718,
was the first minister. He became an Arminian, and for this cause was
dismissed from his pastorate. He was succeeded in 1739 by the Rev.
shore-line and inlets of this and other towns on the Cape are
undergoing constant changes from the force of the winds and tidal
currents. Old harbors close up, and new ones are opened. In the year
1626, for example, there was an entrance into Monamoyick Harbor,
opposite Potanumaquut, six miles north of the present mouth. Such
changes must be noted in comparing the ancient with the modern charts.
wreck of the ship "Sparrow-Hawk," lost in Potanumaquut Harbor in
1626, and covered by the mud and sand, was disclosed in 1863 : the
parts were combined, and exhibited in Boston. Her length on the keel
was 28 feet and 10 inches. This Pilgrim ship is one of the most
remarkable of the relics which time has spared from the early days of
the forefathers of the country.
Provincetown is, from
some points of view, one of the most unique and peculiar towns of the
Commonwealth. It occupies the extreme northern point of Barnstable
County and Cape Cod; and is, with the exception of a narrow neck
connecting it with Truro on the east, entirely enclosed by water. It is
by the Old-Colony Railroad 116 miles, and by steamers 50 miles, from
the western point of the Cape a narrow peninsula runs along by the
mainland towards the south-west, and then, suddenly turning to the
north-west, forms an elbow, and terminates at Long Point; thus making a
capacious harbor, landlocked and secure, with sufficient depth of water
for the largest vessels. The township itself consists of loose white
sand, into which the foot sinks somewhat as into snow. The wind has
driven it into fantastic knolls, which are subject to incessant
changes. With the exception of here and there a tract covered with
shrubs, and tufts of coarse grass, together with a little sedge and the
productions of the ponds and marshes, the land is destitute of
vegetation; and hence there is not a single farm in the whole township.
The few cows that are kept subsist, in summer, on the grass that grows
along the shore or in the ponds between the sand-hills ; and, in the
winter, on the salt hay from the marshes. The four principal bodies of
fresh water are Grass Pond and Great Pond, near the centre of the town,
and Clapp's Pond and Shank-painter's Pond, farther westward. Though
environed by the sea, the water from the springs and wells is very
sweet and clear.
village is built mainly upon one street, which commences some three
miles from Race Point, the termination of the Cape, and follows for
several miles the curving line of the harbor. The dwelling-houses and
public buildings present a neat and pleasant appearance, having, in
many instances, lawns in front, with shrubbery and shade-trees. The
land which forms the streets and gardens has been brought from distant
places. The sidewalks are of plank, and kept in good repair. Town Hill
rises picturesquely above the village; and from its summit may be had a
most enchanting prospect of the cape, the bay, and open sea. The
town-hall, a solid structure, surrounded by a substantial iron
railing, crowns the eminence. A tablet on the facade contains the
following inscription : " In commemoration of the arrival of 'The
Mayflower' in Cape-Cod Harbor, and of the-first landing of the Pilgrims
in America at this place, Nov. 11, 1620, this tablet is presented by
the Cape-Cod Association, Nov. 8, 1853." There is a clock upon the
tower, visible at all points in the village.
man now lives," says a recent writer, "who made, very much to the
astonishment of those to the ' manner born,' the first artificial
garden here. Having moved to Provincetown to pursue his trade, he was
soon induced to make the attempt of holding the sand in its place, and,
at the same time, make himself a garden. Many of the vessels that came
in here were ballasted with loam, which, being discharged, this man
secured, and began spreading it upon the beach-sand; and now he has one
of the finest gardens in the county. Since his success, others have
attempted the same; and the bottoms of adjacent swamps have been taken
out, and gardens have been made. The streets, and, in fact, all this
part of the Cape, is one mass of loose sand. The travelled highways
have been coated with a bluish clay found in many of. the hills, and
which has made very superior roads entirely free from stones. Indeed,
there is but one specimen of stone or rock for a distance of thirty
miles or more up the Cape ; and this is a huge bowlder found in Truro,
and, according to Agassiz, was brought over from Maine by the ice in
years gone by."
Old-Colony Railroad was opened to this place, with imposing ceremonies,
July 22, 1873; and, under the efficient management of the directors of
this road, Provincetown may become a leading port for the shipment of
Western produce to Europe.
inhabitants are engaged almost exclusively in maritime pursuits ;
the only manufactures being sails, masts, pumps, and some other
articles demanded for repairing or fitting out vessels for sea. In 1865
Provincetown had 28 vessels, with 498 men, engaged in the
whale-fishery ; 105 vessels, with 1,260 men, in the cod and mackerel
fisheries; 100 men engaged in taking shell-fish ; and 20 vessels, with
130 men, in the coastwise-trade.
town has one post-office, one national and one savings bank, a good
town-hall, a public library, a lyceum, a high school, six
district-schools, a Post of the G. A. R., a Masonic and Odd-Fellows'
Lodge, and a good public journal called "The Provincetown Advocate." It
has also an efficient fire-department, and five churches, of which two
are Methodist, one Congregational, one Universalist, and one Roman
Catholic. The pastors are the Revs. W. M. K. Bray and J. H. James,
Methodist; G. S. Blanchard, Congregationalist; S. L. Beal,
Universalist ; and C. O'Connor, Roman Catholic. The population is
3,865; number of dwelling-houses, 752; tax-rate, $2.00 per $100; and
valuation, $1,857,019. The school appropriation in 1871 was $7,600.
Three hundred and fifty men went from this town into the late war; and
to the memory of the twelve lost in the service it has erected a
remarkable town has made great improvement of late ; and, now that
communication by rail is opened between it and the metropolis, its
advancement will doubtless be still more rapid.
Indian name of Provincetown was Chequocket, or Coatuit. The Pilgrims of
"The Mayflower" landed here Nov. 11, 1620; and here occurred the birth
of Peregrine White, the first English child born in New England. The
town was incorporated Sept. 3, 1639; and the first church .organized in
first record in the oldest town-book is, according to Mr. Dean Dudley
(to whom we are indebted for many facts in respect to the towns on Cape
Cod), "Ezekiel Cushing, son to the Reverend Mr. Jeremiah and Hannah
Cushing, was born 28th of April, 1698." In 1755 this place contained
but ten dwelling-houses. The population in 1800 was only 812; in 1820
it was 1,252; in 1840, 2,122; in 1850, 3,157; and in 1865, 3,472. Among
the present prominent citizens are E. S. Smith, James Gifford, E. M.
Atwood, E. M. Dyer, Artemas Paine, and Joseph I. Johnson. Seth Smith,
jun., is the town-clerk and treasurer.
Sandwich is territorially
a large and important town, of 3,694 inhabitants, occupying what is
sometimes called the "shoulder of Cape Cod." It is in the western
extremity of Barnstable County, 62 miles south-cast of Boston by the
Cape-Cod Railroad, which runs through its northern border, and affords
excellent accommodation. The town is bounded on the north-east by
Cape-Cod Bay, on the south-east by Barnstable and Mashpee, on the
south-west by Falmouth, on the west in a very circuitousline by
Buzzard's Bay and Buttermilk Bay, and on the north-west by Plymouth.
The principal harbor lies at about the centre of the shore-line on
Cape-Cod Bay. Scusset Harbor opens westward, and Scorton Harbor,
forming Scorton Neck, eastward, of this central entrance. Red-brook
Harbor and Back-river Harbor enter the town from Buzzard's Bay.
Wenaumet Neck, on which, there is a lighthouse, projects south-westerly
into Buzzard's Bay, having Bassett's and Scraggy-neck Islands on the
south, and Burgess Island on the north. The geological formation is
drift and alluvium. The land is generally level, and, to a great
extent, covered with oak and pine, in which the red deer still ranges.
Pine Hill in the central, and Bourne's Hill in the north-eastern part
of the town, are the most noted elevations, The latter is 270 feet
above the sea, and in latitude 41° 44', longitude 70° 29' 28".
The town has several small streams, — as Monument River, along whose
margin the Cape-Cod Railroad runs, and by the line of which it is
proposed to open a ship-canal from bay to bay, — and more than 20
fresh-water ponds, abounding in fish and game.
Peter's Pond, in the south-easterly part of the town, contains about
176 acres; Spectacle Pond, north-east of it, and so named from its
form, contains about 150 acres; Lawrence Pond, a little to the east of
this, about 70 acres; and Deep-bottom Pond, about 34 acres. The
interior of this town is almost a wilderness, the main settlements
being along the borders. Commencing at the northern angle, the villages
(in each of which there is a post-office) occur in the following order,
— North Sandwich (near Herring Pond), West Sandwich, Sandwich
Village on Sandwich Harbor, Spring Hill, East Sandwich, South
Sandwich, Pocasset on Red-brook Harbor, and Monument on Monument River.
In respect to agriculture, Sandwich is deemed the foremost town on Cape
God. It has 242 farms, from which have been produced 9,915 bushels of
Indian corn, 1,441 bushels of rye, 8,172 bushels of potatoes, 580
bushels of cranberries, 16,580 gallons of milk for market, and 7,632
pounds of butter, in a year.
town has 33,597 acres in woodland, from which a large amount of
firewood is prepared for market. The shores and streams furnish
abundant supplies of alewives and shell-fish, and the salt marshes
valuable crops of hay. Sandwich has long been noted for the
manufacture of glass of a superior quality. The annual value of
flint and colored glass made here is, by the last return, $640,000; the
number of hands employed, 590. It has also manufactories of tacks and
farming-tools, and two founderies for hollow-ware and machinery.
It has one savings-bank, a hotel (called "The Central House"), a public
journal (named "The Cape-Cod Gazette "), a Masonic Lodge, a town-hall,
an incorporated academy, 16 school-districts, and 10 church-edifices.
The pastors are the Rev. IT. Oxnard, C.T., Sandwich; the Rev. James
Mulligan, Unitarian; the Rev. H. B. Cady, the Rev. John W.
Lindsay, and the Rev. S. Fletcher, Methodists; and the Rev. H. F.
Kinnerney, Roman Catholic.
Indian name of this place was Shawme. A settlement was begun here by
Edmund Freeman, Thomas Dexter, and others, from Lynn, in 1637. The town
was named from Sandwich in the county of Kent, Eng., and incorporated
Sept. 3, 1639. The Pocasset Indians lived in the south-western part of
the town; and several old Indian burial-places still remain.
Eminent men: Thomas Prince (1687-1758), an able divine and historian;
Nathan Prince (1698-1748), an eminent scholar; John Osborn (1713-1753),
a poet and physician; and Col. Heman Swift (1733-1814), a Revolutionary
Truro lies on Cape Cod, in
Barnstable County, between Provincetown and Wellfleet, something in the
form of a finger, with its point towards the north-west. It bore
the Indian name of Pawmet, or Meeshawn; was incorporated July 16, 1709;
and has 1,269 inhabitants. The boundaries are Provincetown on the
north-west, the open ocean on the north-east, Wellfleet on the south,
and Cape-Cod Bay on the west. The Cape-Cod Railroad runs through its
whole extent, and, in one place, over a viaduct 55 feet in height. The
land is (with the exception of some marshes, and a range of hills in
the east, formed of clay, and called the "Pounds") a light drifting
sand, in many parts incapable of cultivation. The Pounds (so called
because vessels are sometimes pounded in pieces against them) seem to
have been formed by Nature for the preservation of this section of the
Cape against the encroachment of the sea. In the southern part of the
town the scenery is enlivened by several beautiful fresh-water ponds,
which furnish a resort for sea-fowl; and Pawmet River, dividing the
territory almost centrally, forms a convenient harbor for small
fishing-craft. There are few carriage-roads, but many private
footpaths, leading, sometimes over bogs, by foot-bridges, from
house to house. Small's Hill, on the eastern shore, is the highest
point of land; and from its summit, the view of the ocean, especially
after a storm, is very grand. The Highland Lighthouse, rising above the
hill and ocean, at North Truro, is a picturesque object in the
There is a post-office at each of the principal settlements, — North
Truro, Truro, and South Truro. Truro Village is very pleasantly
situated on Pawmet River, and has several handsome public and
private buildings. The people are mostly engaged in the cod and
mackerel fisheries; yet there are a few coastwise vessels owned here,
and some persons find employment in the tillage of the soil.
Truro has three churches. The Rev. Edward W. Noble is the pastor of the
Congregational, the Rev. Isaac Sherman of the Methodist, at Truro, and
the Rev. G. S. Macomber at South Truro. The number of dwelling-houses
is 261; of voters, 344; and the valuation is $300,600. There are eight
the annual town-meeting in 1873, Samuel C. Paine was chosen clerk and
treasurer; Smith K. Hopkins, Thomas H. Keeney, and Ephraim Rich,
selectmen, assessors, and overseers of the poor; Joshua Dyer,
collector; and Betsy H. Holsberry, school-committee. It was voted to
raise the sum of $4,000 to defray town-charges and for State aid to
dependants of volunteers, and $2,000 for support of schools.
Anterior to its incorporation, this town, from its exposure to the
vicissitudes of the ocean, was named "Dangerfield." The first church
was organized, and the Rev. John Avery ordained, Nov. 1, 1711. He was a
physician as well as pastor; and his monument, near Pond Village, bears
this appropriate inscription : —
Here lie the Remains of ye Revd. Mr. JOHN AVERY
departed this life ye 23d of April 1754 in the 69th
year of his age
44th of his ministry,
first pastor ordained in this place. '
this dark cavern or this lonesome grave
lays the honest, pious, virtuous Friend,
kind Heaven to us as Priest & Doctor gave,
such he lived, as such we mourn his end."
British ship-of-war "Somerset" was cast away on the beach here in 1779:
the crew were taken prisoners, and sent to Boston.
In the great gale, October, 1841, fifty-seven young men of this place
were lost at sea, leaving as many as fifty children fatherless.
Wellfleet is an interesting
fishing and commercial town in the north-easterly part of Barnstable
County, on Cape Cod, 106 miles by the Cape-Cod Railroad from Boston,
and having 2,135 inhabitants. Its
boundaries are Truro on the north, the ocean on the east, Eastham (from
which it was taken at its incorporation, June 16, 1763) on the
south, and Cape-Cod Bay on the west. It is about
eight miles in length by two or three in breadth, and consists of hills
and knolls of sand, with, valleys intervening, in which there are no
less than fifteen fresh-water ponds. Of these, eleven
are situated almost in a straight line north and
south. Gull Pond, the largest and most beautiful, is
perfectly round, and a little more than half a mile in
diameter. It is well stored with the red
perch. Duck Pond, surrounded with fine white sand, is
near the centre of the town.
line of islands, running southerly, and terminating with
Billingsgate Island (on which there is a lighthouse), forms
Wellfleet Bay on the western side of the town ; and from this extend
three harbors, having each ten or twelve feet of water at high tide.
There are only 12 farms in the place ; but much of the land is covered
with a growth of pine, and the marshes furnish hay for the cattle
in the winter. Some 20 or 30 acres are covered with the cranberry,
which flourishes best on sandy soil. The climate is conducive to long
people are mostly engaged in the fisheries and coastwise-trade. As many
as 68 vessels, with 740 men, were engaged in the cod and mackerel
fisheries in 1865. It was formerly noted for the
oyster-trade, but this business has of late declined.
Alewives and shad are taken.
town has two post-offices (one at Wellfleet, and the other at South
Wellfleet), a savings-bank, a marine-insurance company, a hotel (H. A.
Holbrook proprietor), a high school and 13 other public schools, a
Masonic Lodge, and three churches. The Rev. Samuel
Fairley is pastor of the First Congregational, the Rev. William Leonard
of the Second (at the south), and the Rev. A. J. Church of the
Methodist. The Congregational church was remodelled at an expense of
$10,000 in 1873. The valuation is $883,783; and the rate of taxation,
$1.54 per $100. There are 447 dwelling-houses and 563 voters. Wellfleet
sent 221 men into the service during the last war; and it has erected a
monument to those that were lost.
Indian name of the place was Punonakanit. In 1717 the ship and fleet of
the noted pirate Bellamy were decoyed upon the shoals, and wrecked in a
storm on this shore. Some of the pirates who escaped the fate of
Bellamy were executed. The iron caboose of his vessel has been seen at
low ebb-tide; and pieces of money have been found in the vicinity of
of the first settlers were Thomas Newcomb, Moses Hatch, William Dyer,
John Doane, Thomas Gross, and Ebenezer Freeman.
first church was organized, and the Rev. Isaiah Lewis ordained, in
1730. He was followed, in April, 1785, by the Rev. Levi Whitman. In
1759 it was agreed that Tate and Brady's version of the Psalms, and
Watt’s Hymns, be used and sung by the congregation. Thomas N. Stone and
W. N. Stone are the physicians, and James T. Atwood is the town-clerk.
Yarmouth is on Cape Cod in
the central part of Barnstable County, 75 miles south-east of Boston by
the Old-Colony Railroad, which passes through the central section of
the town, and affords good accommodation. The township extends from
Barnstable Bay on the north, across Cape Cod, to the ocean on the
south; and has for its boundaries the above-named bay and Dennis (from
which it is separated by Bass Hole and Chase-garden River) on the
north, the same town (from which it is for the most part divided by
Bass River, a beautiful broad stream) on the east, the ocean on the
south, and Barnstable on the west. A peninsula of a peculiar form
projects far into the sea from the southern shore, and encloses Lewis
Bay upon the east; and Bass River makes a very good harbor for small
vessels in the south-eastern section of the town. There is also a small
harbor on the north.
surface of the land is somewhat diversified by hill and valley; and a
salt-water marsh extends from Bass Hole to Mill Creek, on the
north-west border. The highest point of land is German's Hill, 138 feet
in altitude, near the centre of the town.. The railroad passes near its
base; and from its summit a fine view of the sea, on either hand, may
be obtained. A number of ponds of clear, fresh water, beautify the
town, and furnish fish and game in abundance for the angler and the
sportsman. Several of them are visible from the railroad. Swan Pond of
70 acres, and Plashes Pond of 65 acres, in the southern part, find an
outlet in Parker's River, which enters the sea near Dog-fish Bar. Bass
River, the-most important stream on Cape Cod, supplies the town with
bass, herring, perch, and tautog in abundance. The soil, though sandy,
is in many places very good; and, where not cultivated, is generally
covered with a growth of oak and pine upon the upland, and with cedar
in the swamps. On the borders of the streams are seen the azalea, or
swamp-honeysuckle, the wild rose, grape, and elder, which, with its
panicle of white flowers in summer and its blackberries in autumn,
never fails to arrest the attention of the traveller. Cranberries are
cultivated in the meadows. The forest still affords a shelter for an
occasional red deer; but the shrill scream of the whistle of the
locomotive engine has driven this old inhabitant of Cape Cod into very
town has four villages, each having a post-office ; viz., Yarmouth,
South Yarmouth, West Yarmouth, and Yarmouth Port. The number of
inhabitants is 2,423; of farms, 50 ; of dwelling-houses, 475; of acres
in woodland, 4,500. The valuation is $1,444,400; and the rate of
taxation, only $1.06 per $100.
people are engaged extensively in nautical pursuits and in
fishing. Some twenty vessels are engaged in the coastwise-trade;
and 400 barrels of alewives have been taken in a year.
1865 Yarmouth had 19 establishments for the manufacture of salt. The
town has one bank of discount, an insurance-company, a very good
town-library and a lyceum, a high school, two graded and three district
schools, a good public journal called " The Yarmouth Register," and
eight churches, the pastors of which are the Rev. J. W. Dodge, C.T.; C.
F. Mayhew, Swedenborgian; and William F. Whitcher, Methodist (South
Yarmouth). The Methodists have pleasant camp-meeting grounds in this
Yarmouth furnished about 250 men for the service of the country during
the late war.
town, called by the Indians Mattacheese, was incorporated Sept. 3,
1639, and named from a seaport at the mouth of the Yar in Norfolk
County, Eng. The early records of the town are lost. The Rev. John
Millar was probably the first minister. There was once an Indian town
and meeting-house near Swan's Pond; and the Indian burial-place is
still visible. One of these Indians was the first man of the provincial
army to enter the grand battery at Louisburg in 1745. " He crawled in
at the embrasure," says Dr. Alden, " and opened the gate, which Vaughan
immediately entered, the enemy having withdrawn from this battery;
though, at the time, this circumstance was not known." Yarmouth has
furnished many brave and accomplished seamen to the country, and
has material for an interesting town-history.
Eminent men: Samuel West, D.D. (1730 -1807), an able clergyman and
writer; George Thacher (1754-1824), a distinguished lawyer,
judge, and M. C. from 1789 to 1801; Timothy Alden, D.D. (1771-1839),
author of "A Collection of Epitaphs" in five volumes, published in
1814; Oliver Alden Taylor (1801-1851), a clergyman and
posted January 2004 at CapeCodHistory.us