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First Missionaries Leave for Hawaii: October 23, 1819

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  • The Camp Meeting
    A few years after the railroad came to the Cape, it attracted to Yarmouth the “camp meeting”. A Methodist gathering that has seen no counterpart in our modern day.
  • Some Baby!
    Richard, son of the late President Cleveland (in office 1885-89), was born on Cape Cod. Cape Codders always get a chuckle when they tell the undying story of the weighing of the new baby.
  • Where is Suckanesset?
    Why, where the Town of Falmouth is! For Suckanesset was the Indian name for the territory when Bartholomew…
  • Stones Worth Noting
    Angels in fullface on old grave stones, Yes! But angels in profile, seldom. Barnstable graveyards have the rare examples of the profile of angels carved in the old stones.
  • Nary a Painter
    An unpainted house today draws attention to itself by the very fact that it is unpainted. It is either a new house not yet ready to live in, or an old, neglected, weather-worn house that, once upon…
  • Meals Aboard A Whaler
    The staple dish on some whaling ships was a thing called Lobscouse—a stew made of hard-tack and slush (fat), boiled with molasses and water. Potato Scouse was the same thing, with potatoes substituted…
  • Big Eats At Eastham
    Eastham was incorporated as a town in 1651. In the summer of 1951 Eastham celebrated its three hundredth anniversary. One day, as part of the gala celebration, there was a giant clambake.
  • Whale Sinks Whaler
    This interesting piece of information comes from the Vineyard Gazette for July 21, 1854, and, incidentally, shows how slowly news traveled in those days.
  • By Horse to High
    Cape Cod high schoolers of today either walk to school or go there by bus, automobile, or bicycle. But a century or so back, the boys of Falmouth frequently drove to school by horse and would “park”…
  • Yankee Storm
    When Cape Cod was a great fishing center, hundreds of vessels went to the mackerel grounds in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
  • Glorification of Glass
    For three decades in the 19th century, Sandwich boasted of glassworks that were not only the largest in the country but were the source of such new and extraordinarily beautiful wares that they created…
  • How Dennis Got Its Name
    Reverend Josiah Dennis settled on the Cape in what was to be known as Dennis. In 1865 Dennis was a thriving and flourishing town of 48 fishing vessels.
  • Shooks & Flukes
    The days and nights, month after month, spent on the famous whaling ships of Cape Cod were filled with hours of excitement, adventure, of times when men and small ship were pitted against the churning…
  • Whale Carries Harpoon 20 Years
    Starbuck, in his History of the American Whale Fishery, carries a note from the New Bedford Shipping List which says that Captain Hamblen, of the bark Andrew Hicks, from Westport, Massachusetts,…
  • A History of the Cape
    Among the personages of Cape Cod there are those who will always be remembered for their deeds. With such a record for enterprise, adventure, patriotism and identification with great movements of the…
  • It’s A Salty Old Cape Town
    Truro is one of the saltiest of Cape Cod’s salty towns. Many a tale is told by those who know Truro well through long living there, of awful storms, shipwrecks, and rescues at Truro; and of voyages…
  • Cape Cod Windmills
    Even nowadays, one might see a few picturesque old windmills on Cape Cod. At one time these windmills would be facing the direction from which the wind was coming and maneuvered and maintained by the…
  • A Ship and A Plowshare
    When Falmouth adopted its town seal in 1902, the people were pleased to have a symbol so representative of their community. The seal shows Nobska Light, a ship in full sail, and a plowshare.
  • Two Discovered Cape Cod
    Henry Hudson and Bartholomew Gosnold are both credited with the discovery of Cape Cod. It is clear which part of the Cape may be credited to Gosnold’s discovery, but which part Hudson discovered…
  • Distrust Aboard Mayflower
    Not all the passengers aboard the Mayflower were of one mind as to the future, or even present policies. There were some aboard who did not agree with the strong-minded leaders. Their murmurings…
  • Cape Cod Icecapade
    Back in 1933-34 the Cape experienced a winter it has not yet forgotten. It was so cold that saltwater ice formed early, first in the various creeks, then in the harbors of Wellfleet and Provincetown,…
  • Old Yarmouth
    An interesting description of old Yarmouth is found in John Hayward’s New England Gazetteer, published 1839. It says, in part:
  • A Cranberry Crook
    A story rarely told is of an old Cape Cod woman who helped herself to cranberries belonging to others. To warn her, and others likeminded, a sign was posted on one of the bogs.
  • Deed To Eastham
    At a special ceremony in August (1951), a copy of the original deed from the Indians which was given to the Town in 1666 was presented by the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the Town…
  • Salt: $27 A Bushel
    Less than two-hundred-fifty years ago, on the Cape and elsewhere in America, salt was a very scarce necessity. Every effort was made to get enough to meet the heavy demand for it. Many Cape Codders…
  • Delusions Of Witchcraft
    Although there have never been any hangings for witchcraft on the Cape, many believed in the agencies of ghosts and witches. This has proved a never ending source of material for writers. Incidents…
  • Scrimshaw Art
    The article most commonly made by whalemen when they “scrimshawed” was the decorated sperm whale tooth. Large ivory teeth, sometimes weighing over five pounds and over nine inches long were…
  • Free Horse With Used Buggy
    It is safe to think that many folks today do not know what a “buggy” was. It was the forerunner, so to speak, of today’s used auto. And if readers think that today’s used car…
  • Looking Around Bourne
    Trading with the Indians was one of the major activities of the Pilgrims. They built a trading post in Bourne at a place called “Aptucxet,” which is just off of Route 28.
  • Cranberry for Cosmetics
    The little red cranberry is a native American fruit. The native indians of Cape Cod who used to dwell here used cranberries as medicine.
  • Ship Ashore at Provincetown!
    The cry “Ship ashore!” is still a thrilling one. Back in 1778, on the first day of November, it must have been more than thrilling. For the ship was the hated British ship Somerset.…
  • Cape Cod Sea Captains
    No lover of the sea or ships ever comes to the Cape who does not inwardly wish that he might meet the old captains of the clipper ship days, and hear them spin a yarn or two about brave voyages to distant…
  • Codfish Economy
    Around the year 1750, there lived in Boston, John Welch, a patriot and citizen of importance, and a captain in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. Captain Welch realized the importance of the…
  • Mother at Sea
    In the 1860’s a Cape Cod skipper who, accompanied by his wife, was making a passage to Australia, wrote home to his children as follows:
  • No Crime In Martha’s Vineyard
    The following is from a report published in 1855 by the Boston Telegraph:
  • Wood, Wood, Everywhere
    The early settlers of Cape Cod had to face the fact that they must wrest their living and their shelter from the land itself. From the trees which virtually surrounded them, they were soon hewing, hacking,…
  • Last Nantucket Indian
    The last Indian of the tribe that once inhabited the Island of Nantucket, died there in November, 1854.
  • The Ghosts Of Cape Cod’s Ships
    Very wild have been the storms that have lashed the shores of Cape Cod where it faces the open sea, and even where the half-encircling arm bends as though to shield the ships on the sea and the dwellers…
  • First In The World
    The first written constitution in the world by which a government was created was the Mayflower Compact. The date of the Compact was November 11, 1620, by the Old Style calendar.
  • Billingsgate Lightkeeper Paid $5 A Week
    On May 7, 1822, Congress appropriated $2,000 for a lighthouse to be constructed on Billingsgate Island, Wellfleet. The keeper of the light was Abijah Gill. He wrote bitterly a few years later that:…
  • The First Booths
    When some of the men from Plymouth came to Sandwich to start a settlement of their own they are believed to have built shelters called “booths.” These were efficient but not luxurious.
  • The Cape’s First Industry
    When John Cabot touched our New England shores, he was astounded at the vast numbers of fish in the water. There were so many that bears waded out, and easily caught and ate them. These fish were food…
  • Bring Oiled Paper For Your Windows
    If you take a piece of plain paper, oil it lightly, and then hold it to the light, you will see that it lets in light but you will not see through it. The windows of the first Cape Cod houses had oiled…
  • Mayflower Was An Ocean Liner
    Compared with some of the ships traversing the Atlantic in the early seventeenth century, the pilgrim ship Mayflower was in size an ocean liner. She certainly seems to have been one of the very…
  • Around The Cape 150 Years Ago
    Here are a couple tidbits of info from records of a century and a half ago:
  • The Mooncussers of Cape Cod
    There is a tradition that a band of robbers anciently infested the shores of Cape Cod. These robbers, on horses, are said to have decoyed vessels on the rocks in the darkest of nights by means of large…
  • The Last Whaler
    The last whaler or rather whaling skipper of Provincetown was Captain John Atkins Cook. He retired in 1916. After he quit the sea Captain Cook wrote a pretentious account of his voyages and had it published.…
  • There She Blows!
    Whaling of old was as packed with thrills and dangers as the whale was with wanted oil. When Cape Cod and other whalers took whaleboat oars and harpoons into their hands in the hunt, they also took…
  • The Packet Lines
    Before the coming of the railroad to Cape Cod almost all touch with the outside world was made by means of sailing packet lines.…
  • Ancient Town
    “The ancient town from which we write, now about two centuries old,” said a writer in the New York Journal of Commerce in 1856, “is one of the principal towns of Barnstable…
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