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Found 59 blog entries tagged as historic.

three sisters lights - eastham ma

Cape Cod is full of history, and much of it is tied to the region’s maritime past. The Three Sisters Lighthouses are, of course, a big part of the region’s esteemed history.

These days, the Three Sisters sit far from the ocean, but their story actually began almost 200 years ago. That’s when the Town of Eastham first pushed for a beacon to help protect against shipwrecks.

Instead of just one lighthouse, area leaders came up with a plan for three. It’s said they wanted three of them to help those at sea differentiate between the twin lights of Chatham and the single Highland Light in Truro.

A local builder put in the lowest bid to design the 15-foot brick structures. It didn’t take long for the towers to gain the nickname of “Three Sisters”.

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long point lighthouse - provincetown maPhoto: Lori L. Stalteri

Provincetown’s Long Point Lighthouse may sit in one of the Cape’s most remote locations today, but more than 200 years ago the area was home to a thriving village. Found on the extreme tip of Cape Cod, the hidden village of Long Point was a popular spot for fishermen.

They built their homes on the point. Soon, the original Long Point Lighthouse was built. Because the West End Breakwater wasn’t built yet, settlers arrived via Race Point.

At the time it was the only way to get to Long Point, and it made the village that much more remote. Even so, more and more fishermen and their families settled in Long Point.

By the mid 1800s, a schoolhouse/community church was constructed. The village later added a post office, bakery,

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chequesset inn wellfleet ma

There are a lot of great places to stay on Cape Cod, but there’s one legendary resort in Wellfleet you can’t stay at or even see. That’s because the resort is mostly just memories these days.

The old Chequesset Inn was once one of the grandest resorts on the Outer Cape. A wealthy fruit company owner built the hotel on Mercantile Wharf in the 1880s.

It’s said the inn was designed to look like an ocean liner with cabins. Known as the “Hotel Over the Sea”, the four-story resort helped turned Wellfleet from a fishing village to a popular summer resort town.

Visitors flocked to the area. The Chequesset Inn only had around 60 rooms, but amenities of the all-inclusive resort were certainly plentiful. Guests could go fishing, boating, play tennis or

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boston herald traveler sitePhoto: City of Boston Archives

Once a diverse Boston neighborhood, it’s said the South End’s New York Streets neighborhood was really the city’s very first urban renewal project. It even predated the demolition of the West End neighborhood.

The history of the New York Streets, though, wasn’t without controversy. What some refer to as urban redevelopment, others now claim was actually just the destruction of an entire neighborhood.

The story of New York Streets began in the early to mid 1800s. That’s when the Boston Albany Railroad Company was created as a way to link up Boston with Albany, New York.

A new neighborhood then sprang up next to its terminal with street names tied to cities along the Erie Canal. That’s why they were called

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point gammon lighthouse - yarmouth maphoto: cmh2315fl

Extremely exclusive, it’s almost impossible for the average person to visit Great Island today. This prestigious community is only connected to the rest of Cape Cod during low tide, but its fortunate property owners enjoy sensational views and plenty of private luxuries.

That’s why, for most, the ultra-private island and its famed lighthouse remain a bit of a mystery. However, if you go back in history, that wasn’t always the case.

The Point Gammon Lighthouse dates back more than 200 years. In the early 1800s, Great Island was home to a smallpox hospital and the island’s secluded location was certainly ideal.

The hospital stood on a portion of the island called Point Gammon. That’s because there were a number of dangerous

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dome restaurant - woods hole

While Cape Cod is well known for its boating and its beaches, there’s also plenty of history. Some of that history is obvious, while some is a bit more discreet. 

The Columns Restaurant

It’s pretty hard to miss the old Columns Restaurant in West Dennis. The stately white building sits right along Route 28, just as it has for around 150 years. Originally a sea captain’s home, the old home was later turned into a popular restaurant and club. It once brought in some of Cape Cod’s hottest jazz musicians.

While some renovations have been made in the decades since, the long-standing property is now owned by a Plymouth-based company interested in turning it into multi-unit housing.

The Dome Restaurant

Another historic landmark sits in the

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west yarmouth ma Photo: Bud Ellison

Home to three major villages today, the Town of Yarmouth offers beaches, golf courses and parks. It also offers plenty of history, and it’s likely there are a few things you may not know about Yarmouth.

To begin with, the name Yarmouth probably originated from an old English township north of London. None of the town’s first settlers came from its English counterpart, but during the time of the Pilgrims, Yarmouth, England was considered an important seaport on the Yare River.

It’s thought perhaps some Dutch passengers aboard the Mayflower traveled through the Port of Yarmouth in route to England. It may also be that the Bass River reminded the Pilgrims of the Yare River back in England.

Whatever the case, the name Yarmouth

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billingsgate light - wellfleet ma

Sometimes referred to as “The Lost Island” of Wellfleet, Billingsgate may not be as well-known today as some other Cape Cod islands, but it certainly still retains a prominent spot in Cape Cod history. Located about 2.5-miles off the shore of Wellfleet, it’s thought Billingsgate Island originally got its name from the Billingsgate Fish Market in London.

At 60-acres in size, the island was once a prime spot for fishing. While it wasn’t very large itself, the island grew in population during the warmer months of the year. Around the 1820s, a lighthouse went up on the island.

It was only the second lighthouse on Cape Cod. Eventually some development followed, with nearly three-dozen homes constructed, as well as a store and a schoolhouse. Even a

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welcome to the cape sign

Some of its communities date back hundreds of years, but did you ever wonder where Cape Cod communities got their names? It turns out the names are as unique as the history of the region. While some of the town names can be traced back to English origins, there are also some tied to prominent individuals.

First settled in the 1600s, the Town of Sandwich is the oldest on Cape Cod. It’s said the town gets its name from the port town of Sandwich in England.

When it comes to the Mid Cape, the Town of Barnstable can also be tied to England. It’s similar in name to a place in Devon, England. As the Cape’s second oldest town, it is also the largest in terms of population.

The Town of Chatham also gets its name from England, although it was

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william nickerson - chatham ma

Traced back to the beginning of Chatham, the Nickerson family still retains strong ties to the region. This dates all the way back to the times of William Nickerson, who’s considered to be the founder of Chatham.

Earlier this year, the owner of a home believed to have built by the son of William Nickerson in the 1700s was donated to the Nickerson Family Association. It’s thought to be the oldest house in Chatham, and the donation helps spare it from demolition.

Plans called for moving the one-room house to the Nickerson Family Association campus. The Association is hoping to use grant money and other funds to move and restore the oldest portion of the home.

A larger structure was reportedly built around it in the early 1800s but isn’t part of

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