October 2015

There are 11 blog entries for October 2015.



By Family member of Thaxter P. Spencer, now part of the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

A single, historic photograph not only unlocks the key to details about one of America’s best-known activists and advocates for those with disabilities, but also portrays the historic side of Cape Cod.  The Brewster Historical Society currently houses one of the most famous and earliest photographs of Helen Keller and her teacher, Anne Sullivan.

It was Sullivan who taught Keller, who lost her ability to see and hear as a young child, to communicate by spelling words on her hand.  The famous photograph of the two shows a vacation to Brewster well more than a century ago.  In it, the woman and young child

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beach conditions sign

Swimming in the ocean can be a lot of fun, but you do need to take some extra precautions.  While it may not seem all that different than swimming in a lake, the ocean can sometimes be unpredictable.  A change of the tide, the waves, the wind or even the slope of the beach can contribute to dangerous rip currents, sometimes when you least expect them.

The thing to remember about the ocean is that conditions can change quite quickly, sometimes from day to day and sometimes simply from one hour to the next.  Before you dip even a single toe into the water you’ll want to take a moment to watch the waves.  The emerging patterns can shed some light on potential rip currents.

A rip current is basically a rapidly moving current flowing away from the beach. 

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Orleans Center Artist Cottages

Downtown Orleans is potentially in line for some major new development.  A developer who already owns for than a dozen acres, including six buildings, hundreds of parking spaces and eight artist cottages. has now come up with conceptual plans on future development in the area.

Todd Thayer is planning a major development for the land between Route 6A, Old Colony Way and Main Street in Orleans.  His idea is to help spur future development throughout the town.  Thayer wants to add things like apartments over businesses, plus trade in the existing asphalt for a walking path connecting the Staples parking lot with Main Street by the cemetery.  Thayer wants to have the space for a public park and more.

While some of the ideas may require zoning changes, there

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swift-dailey house

Right along Route 6 in Eastham sits a unique piece of history for the Cape Cod region.  While this 1741 built home may look a lot like other homes in the area, the Swift-Daley House is an excellent place to revisit history.  Now a museum, the house has stood for 274 years, currently operated by the Eastham Historical Society.

One step inside and its easy to see history come alive within the home.  With prized Nova Scotia, pumpkin pine floors, the lumber was not only expensive in the 1700s, but also hard to come by.  As well, the home includes a number of design elements unique to the period of time in which it was built.  One of these is a borning room on the home’s south side.  This room would commonly have been used for childbirth, as well as to care

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Salt became a great necessity for early New England life.  It was needed to help support the area’s fishing industry by preserving fish.  At one time in history much of that needed salt had to be imported.  However, that all came to a virtual halt when the British government began demanding a tax on the salt.  Imports of salt shut down during the Revolutionary War.  To help fill the need of fishermen, the Cape Cod region was forced to rise to the occasion.

That’s where Captain John Sears came into play.  The East Dennis captain came up with the design for an efficient salt works.  The idea was to evaporate seawater to make salt.  During the first season, the shallow wooden vat only made about eight bushels of salt.  By 1778 he found a way to pull up

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provincetown fast ferry

For an easy, relaxing trip from Boston to Provincetown there’s a simple solution that doesn’t require getting stuck in traffic, no matter the time of day.  The Provincetown Ferry is not only a great choice in traveling between the two locales, but it’s also a shorter distance than hitting the road.

To take the ferry you actually have two choices and both are located at MacMillan Wharf on Commercial Street in Provincetown.  The first option is a ferry run by Boston Harbor Cruises.  Regarded as one of Cape Cod’s first modern ferries, the large catamaran takes about an hour and a half to travel between Provincetown and Boston.  It carries up to 600 passengers at a time.

The Boston Harbor Cruises ferry is air-conditioned, plus it features free WIFI, satellite

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cape sea grille harwich

From succulent seafood to pleasantly prepared Tuscan-style delights, you’ll find plenty of impressive restaurants in Harwich to choose from.  Whether dining out to celebrate a special occasion or for simply a memorable night, we’re revealing some of our very favorite Harwich restaurants.

Twenty Eight Atlantic

Our first stop offers a blend of eclectic and luxurious accommodations right on the waterfront.  Twenty Eight Atlantic is the signature restaurant of Wequassett Resort.  Known for its top-notch service and delectable cuisine, Twenty Eight Atlantic serves mostly seafood and American-style food, open every day of the week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The upscale location also includes a private dining room with an outdoor veranda, offering fantastic

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eastham windmill

Take a step back into history when you plan a visit to Cape Cod’s oldest windmill.  The Eastham Windmill was first constructed in 1680 in Plymouth.  It was then moved three times, first in 1770 to Truro via a log raft floated across Massachusetts Bay, again in 1793 when it was moved by ox-cart to Eastham not far from Salt Pond, and finally in 1808 to its current location on the Village Green.  You’ll find the Eastham Windmill located not far from the Eastham Public Library and just across from Eastham Town Hall.

More generally, the Eastham Windmill is located along Route 6 in Eastham.  This particular area is important to the region’s history because it shares the same site as Setucket Mill, which was likely constructed in the early 1700s.  In addition,

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chatham windmill

From historic sites to spiritual landscapes and arts and crafts, there is plenty to do and explore in Chatham’s fantastic Chase Park.  From its special events to its picnic tables and convenient downtown Chatham location, the park is a great place for the entire family to experience Cape Cod history and cultural attractions.

We begin our tour with the infamous Chatham Windmill.  Originally built in the late 1700s, the windmill operated for a century but now stands predominantly within the park for all to see.  With three floors, the top floors used for grinding wheat and corn, plus a corncob grinder on the first floor, the Chatham Windmill has been expertly preserved and is now fully functional again.  

The mill is on both the State Register of Historic

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Cape Cod is a great place to find some unique gifts you won’t find anywhere else.  From vintage finds to estate pieces, you are sure to find a great selection of items for sale.  We uncovered some of the best antique shops you won’t want to miss while on the Cape.

Wisteria Antiques - Brewster

While in Brewster, make plans to make a stop at Wisteria Antiques.  This beautiful old Victorian is itself enough of a reason to stop, but what you’ll find inside is just as magical.  The restored home is more of a boutique or even a museum than an old antique shop, packed with beautiful items everywhere you look.  You’ll find a great selection of artwork here, including hand-painted porcelain, plus antique costume jewelry and even some stunning oriental rugs.

Harwich

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