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First Missionaries Leave for Hawaii: October 23, 1819

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  • Ship’s Medicine Chest
    All captains took aboard medicine chests filled with bottles of strange concoctions. Jamaica Ginger and Rhubarb Syrup were the usual dose for a stomach ache.
  • Copper Plates In His Ears
    When Gosnold, touring the eastern side of Cape Cod on his first voyage here, landed at what he named…
  • Fish and Farm
    Early New England prospered in two main endeavors of her hard colonial days. Ashore, her principal occupation was agriculture. Afloat, it was fishing.
  • The Romantic Past
    For centuries the rendezvous of pirates, freebooters, fishermen, smugglers, adventurers of all nations, have contributed to Provincetown’s romantic past.
  • The Kettle Mystery
    When the Pilgrims’ little band of surveyors went ashore from the Mayflower to look over the new land and seek a good place to live, they discovered in a certain spot the remains of a house,…
  • Message in Bottle Creates Sea Mystery
    Almost a century ago local papers reported that “A Spanish letter in a tightly corked bottle was found on South Beach, Katama, by some summer guests.” It read:
  • Bounce the Bow-Line
    We may think that navigation today is much more complicated than it was in the days of the Pilgrims and of the clipper…
  • Cape Cod’s Kettle Holes
    Behind from the beaches and salt marshes which we find on the Bay side of Cape Cod, there is a jumble of low, rounded hillocks which rise gently from the almost level moorlands.
  • They Lived Dangerously
    The early settlers of Massachusetts lived in great tension. They lived dangerously, like people in a state of war.
  • Broken in Two Off Cape Cod
    Writing in The Mysterious Sea, Ferdinand C. Lane says:
  • They Made Out Hunkey Dory
    Here’s an old interesting commercial fishing story. On December 17, 1903, two Portuguese trawlers of Provincetown had a chilling if not thrilling experience.
  • Fatal Collision Off Cape Cod
    This is the short, sad tale of a collision between a steamer and a schooner off Cape Cod just over a century and a half ago.
  • A Certified Sea Serpent
    From Zion’s Herald, Boston, Aug. 2, 1826 we get this interesting account of a sea monster sighting off Cape Cod:
  • Chatham Centuries Ago
    Deyo’s History of Barnstable County is full of facts, both large and small, which enable the modern reader to correctly interpret and understand life on Cape Cod a century and more ago.…
  • Cape Half Houses
    For purely economic reasons, a newly married couple usually built a half a house, with two front windows, a door to one side of the windows, and a chimney behind the door.
  • A Young Pirate Sailed on the Whydah
    Members of Barry Clifford’s team have identified the partial remains of the youngest known pirate to sail U.S. waters, a 9-year-old boy who eagerly joined
  • It Got Their Goats
    In 1851 the Vineyard Gazette, of Martha’s Vineyard, reported in its May 23 issue, that:
  • The John Maho
    The John Maho was a ship which over a century and a half ago nearly met her doom off Chatham near Monomoy. On November 25, 1851, while on the Handkerchief Shoals, she took on a northeast gale…
  • Sulphur Salvaged From Canal Cargo
    On May 5, 1951, despite all the excellent precautions which are taken by Cape Cod Canal officers…
  • Plum Duff, A Sea-Going Dessert
    Most landlubbers would turn pale at the thought of eating plum duff. No wonder! It was the sea-going dessert on whalers, clippers, and other long-distance sailing vessels, and a far cry from the delicious…
  • Provincetown Captain Jumped Overboard
    Or did he? Tongues wagged and gossip galore went about the Town of Provincetown when the schooner, Harriet Neal, Captain Pettingell in command, arrived in November, 1851, at Provincetown, with…
  • A Whale of a Breakfast
    In the summer of 1951, a whale managed to get himself into one of the fishing traps in the harbor in the lee of Long Point at Provincetown.
  • Oldest Street In the U.S.
    It is said that the oldest street in the United States is Leyden Street, in Plymouth Massachusetts. This claim may be open to question, but certainly Leyden Street is one of the very oldest.
  • Whaler of Dennis
    When Dennis was known as the East Parish of Yarmouth (which was the case up to 1793), one of its foremost inhabitants was a certain Captain Ichabod Paddock.
  • Cape Cod Leather Throats
    Richardson Wright, a retired editor of House and Garden, once wrote in a Cape paper:
  • Bog Shoes for Horses
    Strange how some things so common not so long ago have become antiques of today. Take, for example, the big bog shoes that used to be worn by horses that were employed in gathering
  • A Black Eye for Blackbirds
    Since the men of the Cape who did not follow the sea did farm the land, it was important to them that the corn they planted should have a chance to grow and not be eaten and destroyed by birds.
  • More Youngsters Then
    In colonial times, four of every ten persons in what is now the United States were under fifteen years of age, or forty percent of the population.
  • Colonial Perfumes
    The colonial settlers were very fond of home-made perfumes.
  • Cape Cod’s Old-time Ministers
    Palmer Street in Falmouth is named after one of the town’s most illustrious Puritan ministers, the Rev. Samuel Palmer. He served there for forty-three years, (1731-1774), succeeding a minister…
  • Plymouth Rock Goes to Nevada
    Plymouth Rock as a whole will probably never be allowed to leave Plymouth, for Plymouth without its Rock would be like Boston without its
  • Mashpee in 1837
    John Hayward, in his New England Gazetteer; published 1839, had this to say about Mashpee, which he spelled “Marshpee”:
  • Cold Friday
    The name Snow is a notable one on Cape Cod and the South Shore. It goes ‘way back to the early settlers’ time, and it has always been an honorable one born by honorable Cape Codders and…
  • A Jolly Inscription
    The following inscription appeared over a chimney piece in a 17th century gentleman’s dining room:
  • Barnstable Bay Rises 29 Feet
    The sea level in Barnstable Bay during the past five thousand years has experienced a 29-foot rise. The record is written plainly for the eyes of scientists who delve into such subjects.
  • By Guess and By God
    Whaling was hard under any conditions, but doubly hard in the frozen north. There were no charts of these waters then, the gyro compass had not been invented, so they sailed blind, or “by guess…
  • Gosnold First?
    View the map of Cape Cod, and you will see a group or chain of small islands running southwesterly from Falmouth. This island…
  • Cape Cod Canal Vision
    Miles Standish saw the Cape Cod Canal in his mind’s eye. He was the first person, so rumor has it, to propose that a canal should or could some day be dug from one side of the Cape to the other.…
  • First Massachusetts Resident
    Not the Pilgrims, not the Vikings,…
  • The Pilgrims and the Whales
    The Pilgrim’s first recorded attempt at whaling was while the good ship Mayflower lay at anchor in what was later to be called Provincetown Harbor. It happened in this manner:
  • The Tea That Truro Detested
    At the same time that patriotic Bostonians were upset mentally and physically over British importation of tea heavily taxed into the young American colonies, Truro on Cape Cod, small as the town was,…
  • The British Threat
    Jefferson’s Embargo of 1807 threw the Cape into virtual depression. Ships lay at the wharves, rotting, and the seamen remained idle. When the War of 1812 came, the British sent frigates across…
  • Jack of All Trades
    The Cape has seen a great rise in one industry only to be followed by a decline. But with each decline there has been a new rise to replace it.
  • The Little Red Schoolhouse
    Like ever so many other parts of New England, Cape Cod towns had their “little red schoolhouses.” Often it was a one-room or two-room affair.
  • A Neat Name for Every Ship
    Cape Cod’s ports and other ports on the New England seaboard sent many a whaler to sea. It is interesting to observe the kinds of names which the shipowners gave their vessels.
  • Nancy And The Savings Bank
    The ship Emerald on its way to Virginia put into Hyannis Harbor to take refuge from a storm. John Munroe, watch and clock maker, a passenger aboard on his way to Virginia to set up in business,…
  • Continuous Marriage
    The average age of a girl to be married was, in the seventeenth century, fifteen. For a boy it was slightly higher, his promptness in the matter being assisted by the aversion of the colonists to bachelors.…
  • He Taught Our Sea Captains
    One of the most important books to sailors from our South Shore and Cape ports was written by Nathaniel Bowditch. This book, called The Practical Navigator, was a guide for ships.
  • A Real Old-Timer
    The oldest meeting house in the United States is the West Parish Meeting House in Barnstable.
  • Sturdy Cape Codders
    At one time during the Revolution, a fleet of British ships cruised through the waters of the Cape looking for a profitable raid. The first attack was at New Bedford.
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