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Cape Cod Brewster, The Sea Town

Brewster was once the town of ship masters and sea captains. All Brewster mates, worth their salt, went to sea. Brewster men became captains as young as twenty-one and many later advanced to ship-owners having New York and Boston offices and large Brewster residences.

During the 1870’s nearly every man in town had been at one time to sea. Among the deacons of the church were retired captains, the post office was kept by a “cap’n”, the selectman was a weather-beaten ship master—and so it went.

The sea had invaded the daily life of all Brewsterites—the sunny breakfast table where the letter with a foreign stamp was read eagerly by the family; the tea table in the stately drawing room where guests and hostess asked after the absent men folk; the greetings of friends on the streets—the sea had invaded every corner and cranny of their lives.

Time itself was measured by the number of days, weeks, or months a ship had been away, and the number of months, weeks, or days before the longed-for and heart-warming return.

The sea had left its tangible mark, too, in the square Brewster houses with their sandalwood boxes, their Oriental silk hangings, their alabaster and ivory and jade carvings. Every house had its “box of shells” for the children to play with, picked up on a tropical beach or bought at some exotic bazaar by a seaman whose heart for the moment was far away on the other side of the world in a sunny, white-curtained, Brewster house.

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Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 09/08/06
Categories: BrewsterHistory
Keywords: brewster, history, maritime


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