Tagged : historic

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highfield hall - falmouth ma

Photo: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

A delightful location to ring in the holiday season on Cape Cod, you’ll want to consider making a holiday visit to Highfield Hall. Currently the Falmouth destination is filled with the holiday spirit, with music, food, and décor dedicated to paying tribute to the magical season ahead.

Holidays at Highfield is an annual event open to families of all ages. It provides the opportunity to shop for unique gifts for family and loved ones, plus sample holiday-themed treats and view interesting collections. There are also opportunities including everything from cookie decorating to visits with Santa and even a specially planned pajama story time.

While the holiday season is no doubt a special time to view the

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sandwich glass

Cape Cod is known for many things, including its incredible natural beauty and its history. Some of that history is proudly on display at the Sandwich Glass Museum, and with a unique twist.

While much of the Cape is renowned for its maritime history, the oldest town on the Cape has ties to glass, or more specifically glass manufacturing. That’s because the town of Sandwich, formerly tied to agriculture, eventually transitioned to a town heavily tied to the beginning of the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company, founded in the area in 1825.

It’s said the company was a world leader in glass manufacturing during the early 19th century. While its factory has long since closed, these days it’s still possible to watch glassblowers create glass for tourists and

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highland light - truro ma

One of Cape Cod’s most prominent landmarks is closed for the time being. Truro’s Highland Light just closed down for at least a year, part of a $1.2 million project to address safety and structural concerns with the lighthouse.

Known as Cape Cod’s tallest and oldest lighthouse, the Highland Light currently sits on the National Register of Historic Places. Also known by some as Cape Cod Light, it is traditionally open for guided tours during select months of the year, with its grounds open all year long.

Owned by the National Park Service and part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, a non-profit operates the lighthouse as a tourist attraction, while the Coast Guard operates the light. It’s a landmark, though, that’s served Cape Cod for centuries, with

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whydah pirate museum sign

Much more than just unearthed treasures on display in a Cape Cod museum, the old Whydah pirate ship continues to attract interest, hundreds of years after it first disappeared. The galley ship came under control of pirates in the early 1700s, only to wreck during a powerful storm near Wellfleet, taking most of its crew down with it, and possibly its many treasures.

It’s said that up to five tons of pirated gold, silver and jewelry may have been onboard when the ship went down. Published reports suggest the ship’s wreckage scattered across four miles of coastline.

It’s suspected that locals likely quickly scoured the beach looking for some of that treasure, possibly even burying it in what’s now part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Much of that’s

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henry beeston - outermost house - cape cod

Said to be highly influential in the formation of the Cape Cod National Seashore, author Henry Beston is most simply an Outermost legend. After spending time at college and abroad, the Quincy native returned to Cape Cod for a writing assignment, but left an even greater impact on the literary world and the Cape Cod region in the years to come.

Tasked with researching several area Coast Guard stations for a magazine, Beston eventually moved on to his next assignment: renting an Eastham cottage and drawing up plans for a tiny Coast Guard Beach home of his own. Originally designated as a private writing retreat, Beston’s tiny “Fo’castle” served as home base for an entire year.

It also served as his inspiration in coming up with the American classic “The

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Chatham Light - Chatham MA

Volunteers are gearing up for another summer season highlighting the bright history of Chatham Light. The historic lighthouse often hosts tours during the summer season, offering up the opportunity to get a close-up view of this early 19th century landmark.

The Cape’s second lighthouse, Chatham Light was first constructed in the early 1800s, easily distinguished by its two fixed white lights. Originally consisting of two wooden towers and a keeper house, the lighthouse was no match for Mother Nature, though.

Soon replaced by sturdier, brick towers, it wasn’t the end of the story for Chatham Light. Fast forward a few more decades and erosion began seriously threatening the lighthouse, leading area leaders to make plans to construct two new cast-iron

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cape cod bay target ship

It’s not always visible today, but the Cape Cod Bay Target Ship is somewhat of a unique addition to the waters off Eastham. Officially known as the SS James Longstreet, the ship sits several miles off the coast, in the same spot its sat for well more than a half-century.

Named after a Confederate general, the ship is more commonly called the Target Ship by locals. It gets its nickname, unsurprisingly, from the role it played for the military for decades.

Originally built in the 1940s for carrying cargo, the World War II vessel was soon severely damaged in a storm. With the only other solution of turning the entire ship into scrap, the US Navy soon began using it in a new role as target practice.

That’s a role it held through the early 1970s, often making

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stony brook grist mill - brewster ma

With a picturesque setting and well more than a century of history to its name, the Stony Brook Grist Mill is perhaps one of the most recognizable sites in Brewster. First constructed in the late 1800s, the mill and accompanying museum are the only remaining structures left from the old Factory Village, a once prominent industrial section of Brewster.

Generations ago, the grist mill was extremely important to Cape Cod, grinding up barley, rye and corn for the area with its water-powered wheel. Later abandoned, the Town of Brewster eventually purchased the mill and property around 1940.

In more recent years, a larger water wheel was installed as part of a restoration project aimed at bringing the grist mill back to operation, much as it was in the

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stage harbor road real estate chatham ma

For years it’s been up for discussion, but now Stage Harbor Road in Chatham is even closer to a possible listing on the National Register of Historic Places. An official with the Massachusetts Historical Commission was just in town, touring the site.

Chatham’s historical commission requested the state commission come up with an opinion on the matter, as part of efforts to help protect historic structures in the area. A representative of the town commission points to some mostly intact homes that were constructed between the 18th to the early 20th century. Some say these homes can be traced back to Chatham’s development from a maritime to a summer resort community.

The area in question includes nearly three-dozen homes, spread across about 30 acres from

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elijah cobb house brewster ma

The Cape is full of history, and that history is on full display at the Elijah Cobb House. First constructed in 1799, the former sea captain’s home now serves as the very first permanent museum for the Brewster Historical Society. The space is a half-century in the making, as the society has been around for 50-years, yet never had its own permanent museum space until now.

When first built the location was part of Harwich, a home for the seaman who spent his days traveling the globe. Family members lived in the home until the early 1940s when it was sold and renovations were made. By the time the society took possession of the home it was in need of repairs once again.

Purchased for $575,000 in 2014, the society put another $365,000 into renovations, paid

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