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flag  History of Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

(Cotuit) (Centerville) (Hyannis)

Visit Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA - Barnstable Inn, 1898 Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnams sons.

Barnstable, Barnstable, MA

(Cotuit, Centreville, Hyannis, Osterville, Marston's Mills, West Barnstable)

Barnstable takes its name from Barnstaple, Devon, England. The area was first explored by Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. It was one of the first towns to be settled in Plymouth Colony, one year behind Sandwich, in 1638, and was incorporated in 1639. The early settlers were farmers, led by the Reverend Joseph Hull, the founder of Barnstable. kids.kiddle.co

Included in Barnstable are: Centerville, Cotuit, Craigville, Cummaquid, Hyannis, Hyannisport, Marston Mills, Newtown, Osterville, Oyster Harbors, Pimlico, Pondsville, Santuit, Wianno.
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There is MUCH more to discover about Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Barnstable Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Barnstable Inn, 1898
Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnam's sons.
Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

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Barnstable Inn, 1898
Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnam's sons.
Bishop and Clerk Light, Hyannis, 1898

Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P
Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

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Bishop and Clerk Light, Hyannis, 1898

Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnam's sons.
Centerville, Massachusetts
Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

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Centerville, Massachusetts
Camp Opechee, Wequaquet Lake, Centerville, Mass.
Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

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Camp Opechee, Wequaquet Lake, Centerville, Mass.
Congregational Church, Centerville, Mass.
Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

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Congregational Church, Centerville, Mass.
Unitarian Church
Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

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Unitarian Church
Post Office and Costom House
Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

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Post Office and Costom House
Refrigerating Plant for Cranberry Canners, Inc. at Barnstable, Massachusetts

Visitors to Cape Cod
Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

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Refrigerating Plant for Cranberry Canners, Inc. at Barnstable, Massachusetts

Visitors to Cape Cod will be interested in this Cranberry Refrigerating plant at Barnstable (with a duplicate at Chatham) where vine-ripped cranberries are quickly frozen by a special process capturing their flavor and food value at the perfection point. These berries are then canned as needed, assuring consumers "fresh pack" Cranberry Sauce every day in the year. Capacity of the two plants, 4,000,000 lbs. Ocean Spray is the growers' own brand, packed and backed with New England conscience and tradition.

Discover Barnstable: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1780 - THE DARK DAY OF 1780
Immortalized by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), the poem entitled “Abraham Davenport,” vividly described this celebrated weather event that occurred over New England on May 19th. It was a day so dark that: “Birds ceased to sing, and all the barnyard fowls roosted; the cattle at the pasture bars lowed, and looked homeward. ” During colonial times, days when candles were required to perform noontime chores occurred in 1680, 1685, 1706, 1716, 1727, 1743, and 1762, but none brought such fear and reverence as that of the dark day of 1780. The mysterious obscuration was first reported at dawn over southwest Vermont, and it slowly traveled southeastward during the day. The place to last report this strange weather was Barnstable, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, in the late afternoon. In Boston, the atmosphere darkened perceptibly after 9 a.m., until the reading of the newsprint became difficult outdoors. Many New Englanders believed that the Judgment Day was at hand. The cause was later... Read MORE...

1839 - Barnstable
Barnstable, Massachusetts
This is the chief town of Barnstable county and a port of entry. It is 65 miles from Boston. Sandy Neck, on the N. side, forms a good harbor for vessels of 8 feet of water. Hyannis, on the S. side, 6 miles S.E. of Barnstable Court House, is now a good harbor; but by an expensive Breakwater, constructing at that place by the U.S. government, it will soon become perfectly safe from all winds, for all classes of vessels navigating the Sound, and passing round the Cape. The "Pilgrim Fathers" landed here, Nov. 11, 1620, and borrowed some corn of the Mattacheeset Indians. The celebrated patriot, James Otis, was born here, Feb. 5, 1725. He died at Andover, May 23, 1783. The manufacture of salt was commenced here as early as 1779. It then sold for $6 a bushel. There was made 25,125 bushels of salt in this town in 1837. Between 50 and 60 sail of fishing and coasting vessels belong to this place. This town has numerous ponds, a considerable water power, some fine... Read MORE...

1845 - BARNSTABLE. [Pop. 4,301. Inc. 1639.]
The Indian name was Mattacheeset, which nearly resembles the name of the State. Barnstable is the County Town.

This town extends across the peninsula, being from five to nine miles wide, and it contains several ponds, of which the largest is called Great Pond.

Sandy Neck, a strip of land extending from Sandwich in front of Barnstable, forms the harbor of Barnstable, which is capacious, but does not admit large vessels in conseqaence of a sand bank at its entrance.

Besides the main village there is Hyannis, a good harbor at the south ; Osterville at the southeast; and Cotuit at the west.

James Otis, a distinguished patriot just before the Revolution, was born here. He was killed by lightning when there was no appearance of a cloud in the sky.

The inhabitants are engaged in commerce, the fisheries, and the manufacture of salt.

Distance .from Boston, by land, 65 miles.
Source: An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845
1854 - Barnstable
Barnstable, a port of entry, and seat of justice of Barnstable county, Massachusetts, on the south side of Barnstable Bay, which opens into Cape Cod Bay. The Old Colony railroad is intended to extend to this place, 65 miles S. E. from Boston, and 28 miles S. E. from Plymouth. The township reaches entirely across the cape, including several villages within its limits. At the mouth of the bay is a bar, having on it from 6 to 7 feet of water. The inhabitants are extensively engaged in the coast trade and the fisheries. One weekly newspaper is published in Barnstable. The aggregate burthen of the shipping, June 30th, 1852, was 8828 tons registered, and 67,668 tons enrolled and licensed: total, 76,894. During the year, 11 schooners, with an aggregate burden of 1085 tons, were admeasured. Packets and steamboats are constantly plying between this port and Boston. Population, 4901.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1871 - A young man found a skunk in his cellar at Barnstable, Mass.,
and carefully let down a piece of meat covered with arsenic to the floor, as he thought. It was afterwards found that the bait had been lowered into the pork barrel.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
December 2, 1871
Barnstable Massachusetts, 1890
BARNSTABLE extends across the western portion of Cape Cod from shore to shore. It has Yarmouth on the east and Mashpee and Sandwich on the west, and contains about a dozen villages. It is 73 miles from Boston on the Old Colony Railroad, which has stations at West Barnstable, Barnstable and Hyannis. These are also post-offices, together with Hyannisport, Centreville, Marston's Mills, Cotuit, Osterville, Craigville and Wianno; other villages are East Barnstable, Newtown and Old Cotuit. The harbors are Barnstable, Hyannis Harbor, New Harbor and Cotuit Harbor.

A narrow peninsula called Sandy Neck extends from the northwest corner of the town several miles easterly, forming Barnstable Harbor, which admits vessels drawing seven or eight feet of water. Bordering on this harbor are great salt marshes, from which many tons of hay are annually cut. Hyannis Harbor; on the southern side of the cape, is protected by a breakwater, and admits the largest coasting vessels. Cotuit Harbor is formed... Read MORE...

1895 - Barnstable
Barnstable, a port of entry, capital of Barnstable co.., Mass., on a bay of the same name, which is a part of Cape Cod Bay, and on the Old Colony Railroad, 73 miles S.S.E. of Boston. It is in Barnstable township, which contains villages named Cotuit, Centreville, Hyannis, Osterville, West Barnstable, and Marston's Mills, and is bounded on the S. by the Atlantic Ocean. Barnstable has a handsome court house, 3 churches, a high school, a town house, a newspaper office, a savings-bank, and a custom-house. The township has 11 churches, and numerous vessels engaged in the coast trade and fisheries. Pop. in 1880, 4242; in 1890, 4023.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1916
Barnstable, a port of entry, capital of Barnstable co., Mass., on a bay of the same name, which is a part of Cape Cod Bay, and on the New York, New Haven and Hartford K . 73 miles SSE. of Boston. Its banking point is Yarmouthport. It is in Barnstable township (town), which contains a number of other villages (West Barnstable, Osterville, Hyannis, etc.) and is bounded on the S. by the Atlantic Ocean. The town has numerous vessels engaged in the coast-trade and fisheries. Pop. of the town in 1890, 4023 : in 1900, 4364.

Centerville, a post-village of Barnstable co., Mass., on the Atlantic Ocean, 4 miles W. of Hyannis.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in and around Barnstable:
Barnstable Village: Start your exploration in the historic Barnstable Village, where you can stroll along charming streets lined with shops, galleries, and restaurants. The village has a quaint New England feel with its historic architecture and lovely green spaces.

Barnstable Harbor: Take a scenic walk along Barnstable Harbor, where you can enjoy beautiful views of the water and watch the boats go by. There are often boat tours available, providing an opportunity to learn about the local marine life and history.

Barnstable Historical Society: If you're interested in the history of the area, visit the Barnstable Historical Society. It's a great place to learn about the rich history of Barnstable through exhibits and artifacts.

Sturgis Library: Established in 1867, the Sturgis Library is one of the oldest libraries in the United States. Explore its collection of books and historical documents, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

Craigville Beach: Head to Craigville Beach for ... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Barnstable Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA

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Genealogy Resources for Barnstable

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Updated: 10/6/2023 8:45:53 AM