Town of Dennis MA Overview & Map
Dennis, named an All American Town in 1978, combines its traditional New England heritage with modern day conveniences. Once famous for its shipbuilding and salt works, Dennis is a delightful old town devoting its energies to providing summer recreation.
The villages of East Dennis, Dennis and South Dennis feature scenic historic districts hailing back to whaling days, while tranquil tree lined streets meander through Dennisport and West Dennis.
Sixteen of the Cape Cod’s best beaches lie on Nantucket Sound to the south and Cape Cod Bay to the north. Numerous recreation trails offer healthful relaxation, and developed business districts throughout the villages provide ample goods and services.
The quiet little town of Dennis, incorporated in 1793, was named for Josiah Dennis, a favorite minister. The town was involved in the maritime activities of the 1800’s and was full of the amazing tales of clipper ship adventures. As the twentieth century approached and the glory days of sea captains faded, Dennis residents turned to commercial fishing and land-based industries.
Dennis comes into its own during the summer months, with special events every week. Home to the nation’s oldest summer theater, the Cape Playhouse, Dennis offers varied summer activities, with arts and craft shows, concerts on the village green and Dennis Festival Days, held in August, which celebrate the friendly heritage of this All American New England town.
Dennis is probably responsible for the cranberry industry as it was here in 1816 that Henry Hall experimented in domesticating the wild cranberry with such success that cranberry raising was made profitable. Cranberry raising is still followed and some of the best berries raised on the Cape are sent out from this town.
Dennis has a good harbor of refuge (Sesuit Harbor) on the north side and contains Scargo lake, a fresh water lake of great beauty and charm.
Scargo hill is also the highest point of land on the Cape and is surmounted by the Scargo Tower observatory.
At East Dennis a refrigerator plant (ice house) near “Cold Storage Beach” was once maintained for preserving fish.
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