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Found 39 blog entries tagged as historic.

north truro air station - truro ma

Now the destination of curious visitors to Cape Cod, the North Truro Air Station maintains a unique history. Spurred by Russia testing its first atomic bomb, the North Truro Air Station was born in the early 1950s. Its location was utilized to monitor Soviet bombers, as one of the first radar listening stations.

Decommissioned, however, in the mid 1990s at the end of the Cold War, most of the land of the abandoned military site came under control of the National Park Service, and part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Still though, its old barracks, officers’ quarters, buildings and even a bowling alley remain. While the radar dishes are no longer there, the concrete pads where they used to stand remain in the ground.

Some buildings have been

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daniel webster inn - sandwich ma

From museums to historic sites, restaurants to old inns, you’ll find it all as you explore the varied options of Sandwich Village. The oldest town on Cape Cod, Sandwich Village was first founded in the 1600s, named for Sandwich, England.

First settled by around 60 families, residents constructed a Town House and gristmill. The introduction of a large glass factory then led to a major boost in the town’s population, and set the stage for decades of progress.

Now some of the old historic homes and buildings house bed-and-breakfasts, while you’ll also find rebuilt properties adorned with furnishings with a nod to the town’s past. You’ll find antique furniture in old homes and old businesses, plus that famous Sandwich glass.

Many homes in the village display

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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 - sandwich ma

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 MAVolunteers 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 towers

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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

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stony brook grist mill - brewster maWith 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 beginning

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