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Found 53 blog entries tagged as historic.

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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calib nickerson house - chatham ma

The oldest house in Chatham is about to get a new address and a new purpose. Believed to have been built sometime around the late 1600s to early 1700s, the old one-room home can be traced back to the son of the town’s founder, William Nickerson.

After failed efforts to sell the property, the owner recently agreed to donate the oldest section of the home to save it from likely demolition. According to records, the home may have been built around 1700, but it was added onto several times, including in the early 1800s, the early 1900s and the 1920s.

Only the oldest portion of the home is being saved for now. It’s been donated to the Nickerson Family Association.

Plans call for moving it from its current location on Shell Drive to the Nickerson

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captain bangs hallet house museum - yarmouth port maPhoto: Historical Society of Old Yarmouth

While Cape Cod is filled with charming homes, shops and beaches, its history cannot be overlooked. Some of the Cape’s most notable landmarks date back centuries, including its many sea captains’ homes. A great place to get a better look at some of the homes is by taking a drive down Route 6A. From stately Colonials to modest Capes, you’re sure to find some lovingly restored homes, some of which date back to the 1600s.

The Captains’ Mile is where you’ll find more than 50 homes once owned by sea captains. They’re all identified by a distinctive gold and black Schooner Plaque outside.  While mostly privately owned today, we know they were once owned by sea captains because they’ve been awarded the special

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charlestown street - boston maPhoto: Tim Rodenberg

Chock full of history and charm, Charlestown is a great place to live in the Boston area. Like many places in the region, Charlestown has a rich history all its own.

To begin with, it’s located in one of the oldest sections of Boston. The neighborhood once served as a meeting place and battleground during the Revolutionary War.

You’re able to experience some of that history by visiting one of the many landmarks and plaques throughout the neighborhood, or by jumping on the Freedom Trail. Charlestown is additionally home to the Bunker Hill Monument and Museum.

It’s also the place to visit Old Ironsides and its museum. Also known as the U.S.S. Constitution, it is the Navy’s oldest commissioned ship and you’ll find it in the

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sandwich boardwalk - sandwich maPhoto: Indirect Images

The oldest town on Cape Cod has quite a history, and some do some of its treasurers. Considered one of the most unique local attractions, Sandwich Boardwalk offers up scenic views, while leading visitors out across Mill Creek and the marsh, and onto the beach.

National Geographic considers it one of the “Top 10 Boardwalks in America” and its recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. It’s main purpose is to give beachgoers a way to cut through the marsh and safely reach Cape Cod Bay.

Originally constructed in the late 1800s for around $500, the Sandwich Boardwalk was designed at the time as a safer way to access the beach. The footbridge stretches more than 1,300 feet from beginning to end.

Since that time

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acorn street bostonPhoto: Kevin Jarrett

There’s plenty to do, see and experience in Boston, but perhaps one of the most popular locations to visit in the city is just a street. That’s because Boston’s Acorn Street is likely the most photographed street in the entire city.

Stepping onto Acorn Street is like taking a giant step back in time. This narrow streets sits in Beacon Hill, which is by far one of the nation’s best-known historic districts.

You’ll still find original buildings in the area dating back to the early to mid 1800s. Not only is it one of the oldest parts of Boston but it’s also one of the most expensive parts of the city to live.

Running horizontally between Willow Street and W Cedar Street in Beacon Hill is Acorn Street. First built in the

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cape cod canal during construction

While visitors to Cape Cod may take the Cape Cod Canal for granted these days, the man-made channel has served an important role in the region for generations. Thousands of people cross over one of the canal’s three bridges every year, likely not even thinking about its origins.

Officially connecting up Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay, the canal, for some, was a long time coming. While officially dating back to the early 1900s, the Cape Cod Canal was actually planned out hundreds of years earlier. Some reports suggest locals saw the need for the canal as early as the 1600s in terms of trade.

In the days of George Washington, leaders slightly changed course, instead envisioning a way to use the canal to help the American fleet during the

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