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Cape Cod Yarmouth Was Choosey

Just anybody couldn’t become a citizen of Yarmouth. Those who founded the town were choosey about admitting newcomers. Only the sturdiest families were allowed to come in.

Property owners had to be approved for admission into town before they were allowed to build. Some of the old families of the present day would like to see this custom revived.

Yarmouth was an attractive place for adventurers. Thorwald Ericsson is said to be buried where he was killed by Indians near Bass Hole in Yarmouth. His wife, Grudrid, bore a son here and Ericsson christened the Cape “Vinland.” At least this is the legend and there is no proof that it isn’t true.

At any rate Yarmouth was a popular place among those who sought new lands. One of the most imaginative landgrabbers was young William Nickerson who bought one thousand acres of land at Monomoyick, now Chatham, in 1656. He paid a boat for it but got into legal troubles with the Plymouth Court and was fined.

The fine was so big that there was not enough money in the whole colony to pay it. Nothing was done about it until 1673 when he finally got a deed to the land — but at a price. This land of Nickerson’s became part of Eastham and finally, in 1712, part of the present town of Chatham.

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Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 02/06/06
Categories: HistoryYarmouth
Keywords: yarmouth, history


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