Brewster is known as the "Sea Captain's Town" as it is believed to have had a greater population of deep-sea captains than any other town in the world. Many of the historic and beautiful homes of early ship captains now serve as Bed & Breakfast Inns and are a key part of Brewster's thriving economy.
Residents of Brewster enjoy a mild climate, a rural Cape Cod Charm, and abundant town recreational opportunities including golf, tennis, hiking, biking, fishing, swimming and more. The Captains Golf Course in Brewster is Cape Cod's leading public golf course facility and features two challenging 18-hole courses -- port and starboard.
The city's coastal location and vast amount of open park space are integral parts of the community and create an almost rural atmosphere. Nickerson State Park provides 400 acres of trails for biking and hiking, camping areas, and freshwater ponds for swimming, fishing and boating.
Many public beaches line Cape Cod Bay starting from the east end of town including Crosby Landing, Ellis Landing, Breakwater Beach, Robbins Hill Beach and Paines Creek Beach to name a few. Long Pond Beach, Sheep Pond and Upper Mill Pond are just a few of the many fresh water ponds that cover the town.
Brewster is a tight-knit community with plenty to offer. There are a number of wonderful museums, theater performances, community groups and events. "Brewster in Bloom" is held each spring and is the town's biggest attraction, spanning several days and including a number events and activities. Brewster's year-round population of about 9,600 grows to about 25,000 in the summer season as visitors come to sample the diversions of the town.
Brewster's central business district on historic King's Highway features art galleries, craft and antique shops and cafes. The city's Route 6 access and convenient location in the heart of the Cape allows for easy access to surrounding attractions including The National Seashore, the Plymouth and Heritage Plantations and other historic sites. Both Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are just a short boat ride away.
Students in the community are served by The Nauset Regional School District. Schools include Nauset High School, Cape Cod Technical High School, Nauset Middle School, Stony Brook Elementary and Eddy Elementary.
Brewster, originally the North Parish of Harwich is ready to celebrate 200 years of history. The town became incorporated in 1803, while the lower half of Harwich, the South Parish, remained Harwich.
Chatham, one of the oldest townships on Cape Cod, was settled in 1656 by a handful of Pilgrims. Their surnames still dominate the town's census list. The town was incorporated in 1712. Originally a farming community, its inhabitants found deep sea fishing to be a more successful occupation, and today small boat deep-sea fishing and shell-fishing continue as important maritime industries.
The Chatham pier houses a monument, entitled "The Provider," which features a strong hand pulling a fishing net from the sea with multi-fish and shellfish native to Chatham caught in the net. The monument reflects the city's pride in its premier fishing industry, a top producer of the some of the best seafood in the world.
Chatham's Fish Pier is a booming source of a wide range of catches, some of which are transported to the New York, Boston, New Bedford and local markets, arriving there less than 24 hours from the time it is taken from the ocean.
Covering an area of approximately seventeen square miles, the city is a happy combination of past and present. Chatham is old-fashioned and picturesque, yet it offers the best in modern facilities. The Chatham School District provides the town with a high school, middle school and elementary school to serve the educational needs of families in the area.
Summer's in Chatham are highlighted by evening concerts held in the Kate Gould Park on Main Street, which feature musical numbers by a forty-piece live band, folk dances for children, dance numbers for adults and community singing for everyone.
A short drive down Main Street leads to "The Light," offering a spectacular view of the entire coastline. Public telescopes dot the area and allow views of East Coast cities including New York and Boston.
Chatham's many bike paths allow residents to explore the town, its many beaches, parks and shops while avoiding the congested streets. Chatham is bordered on the north, south and west by sandy beaches. Cockle Cove Beach is among three of the beaches that occupy South Chatham, Harding's Beach is one of two beaches that lie to the West and Pleasant Bay (Jackknife) rests in North Chatham.
Chatham is home to a number of parks including Chase Park, which contains a bowling green, picnic tables and a comfort station, William Nickerson Memorial Park and Play-A-Round, one of the largest playgrounds in the northeast. "Chatham Seaside Links" is a town-owned golf course and is a short walk from downtown Chatham with nine holes of challenges that extends along the scenic coast.
Conservation Trails of more than 540 acres of fisheries, wildlife and flowers, have been preserved to help support the local economy and for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. Walking trails are maintained in four areas and offer a unique stroll through woods, marsh and field plant-life and feature distinct views and birds.
Chatham is home to numerous historic properties. The "Mayo House," built in 1820, is an exceptional model of what traditional Cape Cod homes look like. Serving as the headquarters for the Chatham Conservation Foundation, the antique home is used by the group for its regular meetings.
The Railroad Museum and Old Atwood House Museum each offer a trip back in time to explore the lifestyle of historic Chatham. The Railroad Museum is now over 100 years old and stands on the original site where it served the town. The Old Atwood House Museum was constructed around 1752 by servants of His Majesty, King George the III of England and is one of the oldest houses in Chatham. The William Nickerson Wing features changing exhibits that portray old Cape Cod life through artifacts, photos and maritime paintings.
Samuel de Champlain is said to have been the first European to inhabit the area of present-day Chatham. It is believed that English colonization began after William Nickerson of Yarmouth bought land from the Sachem (Chief) of the Monomoyicks, Mattaquason. With the influx of families living in "Monamoy" in the 1700's, Chatham became an incorporated Town in 1712.
Following the Revolutionary War, the town quickly grew as the fishing industry, saltworks, and shipbuilding fed the economy. The 1800's brought a great deal of change to Chatham as rail systems were developed in 1887. Chatham transformed into a summer resort for visitors with its seaside charm.
Today, thanks to its isolation and exposure to the ocean, Chatham continues to flourish as a residential community and one of the top vacation spots in the world.
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