The Oldest Town on the Cape - Sandwich Mass.

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The Oldest Town on the Cape - Sandwich Mass.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

By Christopher Setterlund, Sandwich: In My Footsteps
Contributor

Located next to the Canal and running east until it hits Barnstable, Sandwich can lay claim to being the first town established by the European settlers in 1639. The history in Sandwich is so palpable that all one has to do is park in the remarkable center of town and walk in any direction. Each building it seems is right out of the past, some of them are over 300 years old.

In the warmer months it may be harder to simply park and walk, but on this cold winter’s day I was able to find the lot empty at the Hoxie House. Located along the Shawme Pond on Water St. on the outskirts of the historic district, the Hoxie House is a restored ‘Salt Box’ home; the oldest home on the Cape. Though the exact date is not known the general consensus is that this house was built in 1637. It can be toured daily from June through mid-October.

The Hoxie House is just the beginning however of the wonders that Sandwich’s historic district has to offer. The next house on the left side of Water St. is the Silvanus Tobey house built in 1675 and right after that is the Deacon Eldred house, built in 1756, which is now home to the Thornton Burgess Museum. Burgess was a local author and naturalist and the museum houses many artifacts of him and his work. The museum can be toured from late-May through Columbus Day.

A favorite spot to visit in Sandwich is the old Dexter Grist Mill(left). Originally opened in 1654 residents of the town brought their corn to be ground by Thomas Dexter. The mill, restored most recently in 1961, still grinds its own cornmeal which is available for purchase. Located at the intersection of Water & Main St., and at the end of Shawme Pond, this site is a must see. Also a must see is the fresh water fountain located near the road. It is free to use and on many days people come from all over town and further away to fill up their bottles and jugs with the fresh water. It is an amazing, and refreshing, spot to visit on a hot summer day!

Sandwich’s Town Hall is located next to the mill and at the time of this visit was being renovated. Across the street from the Hall is the quaint and popular Dunbar Tea Shop which is a living breathing trip back to 18th Century life. It is a definite must see.

Located around to the other side of Shawme Pond is the Newcomb Tavern, built in 1693. Originally a lodging house for dignitaries during the Revolutionary War, the Tavern is now a rental property that sleeps up to fifteen people in its seven bedrooms.

Located across the street from the Town Hall is the First Church of Christ(right) which is one of the most photographed churches in the United States. The current structure, built in 1847, can be seen on the cover of Elvis Presley’s 1960 album How Great Thou Art.

Grove Street, on which the Newcomb Tavern sits, can be used as a back route to two more amazing historical and natural wonders of Sandwich. Near the end of Grove Street which ends at the highway there is the Shawme-Crowell State Forest on the right and the Heritage Museum & Garden on the left. The Heritage Museum is closed until April so I did a little touring of the garden area(below, right). Magnificently manicured trees, plants, and flowers are spread out along hillsides; even in the dead of winter where nothing was blooming it was still a beautiful scene. Each tree and plant is clearly labeled to make them easy to identify. The Museum part is home to a classic automobile exhibit, a hand-carved carousel, a folk art gallery, as well as the Old East Windmill which was moved to the grounds from Orleans.

The Shawme-Crowell State Forest which can be entered through trails across the street from the Heritage Museum & Garden is a great hike through over 700 acres of forest. It is a year-round campground with 285 sites available; it is also filled with lots of picnic areas with tremendous views. The trails leading from Grove Street have clever names such as the Coyote Den, Raccoon Den, Sherris Berries, and Mayflower trails. The trails also parallel the highway at spots so it is difficult to get lost.

Finally located on the other side of Sandwich along the beach near the mouth of the Cape Cod Canal is another amazing site. It is not a natural site per se, although it does give some great views of the salt marsh and Boardwalk Beach. This boardwalk(left) which begins at the end of Boardwalk Rd. is special because nearly all of the boards that make up the walkway are adorned with messages. From memories of 9/11 to well wishes for America, from local business names to couples celebrating their love, the boardwalk in Sandwich is less of a way to reach the beach and more of a slice of American life. It is very hard not to stop and read each of the messages adoring the 1,000 feet of boards carrying you across the marsh.

Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod and the vast array of historical places shows it. Nearly every house in the historic center of town is a piece of history. However it goes deeper than that as the natural beauty of this town is all around you as well. From forests and gardens to beaches and a boardwalk filled with love and memories, Sandwich is a spot that needs to be visited often in order to fully appreciate its importance to not only the Cape but American history as well. Have fun and happy traveling!

Directions: Sandwich Historic District: From the highway take Exit 2 to Rt. 130 also known as Water St. Follow it north just over a mile, the Hoxie House is on the left and is a great spot to start a walking trip around the center.

Heritage Museum & Gardens: From Water St. turn right down Grove St., Follow it for a mile until you reach the Museum on the left. Trails for Shawme-Crowell State Forest lay on the right.

Shawme-Crowell State Forest: For the main entrance of the Forest follow Rt. 130 through the historic district for a little over a mile. Take the left turn onto Flatrock Rd. this is the entrance and is designated by signs.

Boardwalk Beach: From Sandwich Center take Rt. 130 , turn right onto Tupper Rd., turn right onto Rt. 6A. Take 1st left onto Jarves St., and then 2nd left onto Church St. Take the 1st right onto Harbor St. and follow it to the boardwalk parking lot.

About the Author: Christopher Setterlund is a writer and photographer currently living in Centerville Massachusetts. For more information about him and his work visit his website at ChristopherSetterlund.com.

Eventful results in "sandwich,massachusetts"

Nooks and Crannies, May 28
Nooks and Crannies, May 28

Saturday, May 28, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
This in-depth behind-the-scenes tour of Henry Davis Sleeper’s summer retreat allows plenty of time to explore each room, including passageways, closets, and other spaces not usually open to the public.
Guides highlight their favorite objects and share stories about Sleeper, his friends, and staff. Light refreshments included.

$20 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



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Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
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Bring blankets, chairs, picnics, and mosquito spray. Candles are prohibited. Adults and children over twelve only, please.

$12 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



When: Sep 3, 2016 7 PM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Sat, 03 Sep 2016 19 )
Nooks and Crannies, July 16
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Saturday, July 16, 9:00 a.m. - noon

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
This in-depth behind-the-scenes tour of Henry Davis Sleeper’s summer retreat allows plenty of time to explore each room, including passageways, closets, and other spaces not usually open to the public.
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$20 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



When: Jul 16, 2016 9 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Sat, 16 Jul 2016 09 )
In Their Own Words: Henry Sleeper and Halfdan Hanson Build Beauport, 10:30 a.m.
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Friday, July 22, 10:30 a.m. - noon

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Blvd, Gloucester, Mass.

Join Lorna Condon, senior curator of Historic New England's Library and Archives, for a special tour of Beauport.

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$15 Historic New England members and Cape Ann Museum members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 for more information or buy online.



When: Jul 22, 2016 10 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Fri, 22 Jul 2016 10 )
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Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
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$15 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



When: Sep 17, 2016 12 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Sat, 17 Sep 2016 00 )
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Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
Tour Beauport in the order Henry Davis Sleeper added each room and follow his progression as an interior designer in the early twentieth century. Discover when he began using his signature decorative elements, and discuss the personal and historical events that influenced Sleeper while he created his magical summer home.

Crisscross the house as you compare rooms and consider color, architectural features, lighting, and Sleeper's amazing collection of glass, ceramics, textiles, and furniture. Includes decorated rooms not seen on the regular tour. Light refreshments provided.
 
$15 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



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Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Blvd, Gloucester, Mass.
 
Enjoy a special, in-depth tour of Beauport from a conservator's point of view. Historic New England staff experts share the practical and ethical conservation issues raised by Beauport and other complex house museums.

Learn about the choices conservators face when preserving a variety of objects at Beauport, including Chinoiserie wallpaper, kintsugi repaired Japanese pottery, antique furniture, glassware, electrified railroad lanterns, and French toleware.


$20 Historic New England members
$35 nonmembers

Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



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Designing Beauport, Room by Room
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Saturday, June 18, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
Tour Beauport in the order Henry Davis Sleeper added each room and follow his progression as an interior designer in the early twentieth century. Discover when he began using his signature decorative elements, and discuss the personal and historical events that influenced Sleeper while he created his magical summer home.

Crisscross the house as you compare rooms and consider color, architectural features, lighting, and Sleeper's amazing collection of glass, ceramics, textiles, and furniture. Includes decorated rooms not seen on the regular tour. Light refreshments provided.
 
$15 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



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Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
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Coffee and light breakfast refreshments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bring blankets and/or chairs and your own refreshments if you like. The house is not available for tours during this event.

$10 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



When: Sep 4, 2016 10 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Sun, 04 Sep 2016 10 )
Nooks and Crannies, August 20
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Saturday, August 20, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
This in-depth behind-the-scenes tour of Henry Davis Sleeper’s summer retreat allows plenty of time to explore each room, including passageways, closets, and other spaces not usually open to the public.
Guides highlight their favorite objects and share stories about Sleeper, his friends, and staff. Light refreshments included.

$20 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



When: Aug 20, 2016 12 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Sat, 20 Aug 2016 00 )
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Thursday, September 29, 7:00 p.m.

Lecture: Rocky Neck Cultural Center, 6 Wonson Street, Gloucester, Mass.

Tour:
Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Blvd, Gloucester, Mass.

The term "bachelor house" suggested a distinctive type of home--and homeowner--to early twentieth-century audiences, who understood the phrase as a coded reference to homosexuality. Join Tripp Evans, professor of art history at Wheaton College, for a lecture that explores Beauport as Henry Sleeper’s bachelor house.

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$10 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



When: Sep 29, 2016 7 PM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19 )
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Thursday, June 30, 10:00 a.m. - noon (rain date is Thursday, July 7)

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
Bring friends and family to an elegant morning brunch on the Beauport terrace overlooking Gloucester Harbor. Enjoy quiche, fresh fruit, croissants, sticky buns, and mimosas catered by Beach Gourmet in Gloucester. After brunch, stay for a tour of Beauport.

Sunhats are recommended.

$40 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



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Sunday, August 21, 10:00 a.m. - noon (rain date is Sunday, August 28)

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
Bring friends and family to an elegant morning brunch on the Beauport terrace overlooking Gloucester Harbor. Enjoy quiche, fresh fruit, croissants, sticky buns, and mimosas catered by Beach Gourmet in Gloucester. After brunch, stay for a tour of Beauport.

Sunhats are recommended.

$40 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



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Friday, September 9, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
Beauport's popular Nooks and Crannies tour is now available in the evening. This in-depth behind-the-scenes tour of Henry Davis Sleeper’s summer retreat allows plenty of time to explore each room, including passageways, closets, and other spaces not usually open to the public.
Guides highlight their favorite objects and share stories about Sleeper, his friends, and staff. Light refreshments included.

$20 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



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Nooks and Crannies, August 6
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Saturday, August 6, 9:00 a.m. - noon

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
This in-depth behind-the-scenes tour of Henry Davis Sleeper’s summer retreat allows plenty of time to explore each room, including passageways, closets, and other spaces not usually open to the public.
Guides highlight their favorite objects and share stories about Sleeper, his friends, and staff. Light refreshments included.

$20 Historic New England members
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Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



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When: Jun 13, 2016 11 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Mon, 13 Jun 2016 11 )
Sandwich Summer Arts and Craft Festival
The Sandwich Summer Arts and Craft Festival will be held on the lawn of the Henry T. Wing School, Route 130, 33 Water Street, Sandwich, MA. on Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10, 2016. Over 75 Juried craftspeople and artisans all over New England will display and sell their American made works including fine jewelry, floral design, photography, woodturning, scarves, soaps, country woodcrafts, stained glass, calligraphy, knits, watercolors, flags, wind chimes, oil paintings, custom furniture, pottery, wearable art, candles, tile, calligraphy, folk art, vintage chic home décor, driftwood creations, handbags, basketry, metal craft, slate and more. Come and sample gourmet specialty foods including kettle corn, herbal dips, salsas, baked goods, oils, vinegars, candies and more. Enjoy live music and craft demonstrations each day. Festival Hours are Saturday10am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm. Directions: From Route 6 take Exit 2 onto Route 130. The Sandwich Summer Arts and Craft Festival is Free Admission and held rain or shine. Handicap Accessible and friendly Pets are welcome on leash. For more information call (603) 332-2616 or visit www.castleberryfairs.com The Sandwich Summer Arts and Craft Festival is sponsored by The Sandwich High School Association and food sales benefit the Sandwich-Bourne Lion Club.

When: Jul 9, 2016 10 AM to Jul 9, 2016 5 PMin Sandwich, Massachusetts (Sat, 09 Jul 2016 10 )
Sandwich Summer Arts and Craft Festival
The Sandwich Summer Arts and Craft Festival will be held on the lawn of the Henry T. Wing School, Route 130, 33 Water Street, Sandwich, MA. on Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10, 2016. Over 75 Juried craftspeople and artisans all over New England will display and sell their American made works including fine jewelry, floral design, photography, woodturning, scarves, soaps, country woodcrafts, stained glass, calligraphy, knits, watercolors, flags, wind chimes, oil paintings, custom furniture, pottery, wearable art, candles, tile, calligraphy, folk art, vintage chic home décor, driftwood creations, handbags, basketry, metal craft, slate and more. Come and sample gourmet specialty foods including kettle corn, herbal dips, salsas, baked goods, oils, vinegars, candies and more. Enjoy live music and craft demonstrations each day. Festival Hours are Saturday10am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 4pm. Directions: From Route 6 take Exit 2 onto Route 130. The Sandwich Summer Arts and Craft Festival is Free Admission and held rain or shine. Handicap Accessible and friendly Pets are welcome on leash. For more information call (603) 332-2616 or visit www.castleberryfairs.com The Sandwich Summer Arts and Craft Festival is sponsored by The Sandwich High School Association and food sales benefit the Sandwich-Bourne Lion Club. ### Calendar Listing: July 9 & 10, 2016 The Sandwich Arts and Craft Festival will be held at the Henry T. Wing School on Route 130, 33 Water Street, Sandwich, MA. Over 75 Juried Craftspeople and Artisans will display and sell their American made works. Specialty food sampling, craft demonstrations and live music complete this perfect summertime event. Free Admission, free parking and held rain or shine. Directions: From Route 6 E take Exit 2 onto Route 130 North. For more information call 603-332-2616 or visit www.castleberryfairs.com

When: Jul 16, 2016 12 AM to Jul 17, 2016 12 AMin Sandwich, Massachusetts (Sat, 16 Jul 2016 00 )
Nooks and Crannies, October 1
Nooks and Crannies, October 1

Saturday, October 1, 9:00 a.m. - noon

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
This in-depth behind-the-scenes tour of Henry Davis Sleeper’s summer retreat allows plenty of time to explore each room, including passageways, closets, and other spaces not usually open to the public.
Guides highlight their favorite objects and share stories about Sleeper, his friends, and staff. Light refreshments included.

$20 Historic New England members
$35 nonmembers
 
Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



When: Oct 1, 2016 9 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Sat, 01 Oct 2016 09 )
Nooks and Crannies, September 14
Nooks and Crannies, September 14

Wednesday, September 14, 9:00 a.m. - noon

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
This in-depth behind-the-scenes tour of Henry Davis Sleeper’s summer retreat allows plenty of time to explore each room, including passageways, closets, and other spaces not usually open to the public. Guides highlight their favorite objects and share stories about Sleeper, his friends, and staff. Light refreshments included.

$20 Historic New England members
$35 nonmembers
 
Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



When: Sep 14, 2016 9 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Wed, 14 Sep 2016 09 )
Nooks and Crannies at Night, September 21
Nooks and Crannies at Night, September 21

Wednesday, September 21, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
Beauport's popular Nooks and Crannies tour is now available in the evening. This in-depth behind-the-scenes tour of Henry Davis Sleeper’s summer retreat allows plenty of time to explore each room, including passageways, closets, and other spaces not usually open to the public.
Guides highlight their favorite objects and share stories about Sleeper, his friends, and staff. Light refreshments included.

$20 Historic New England members
$35 nonmembers
 
Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



When: Sep 21, 2016 12 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Wed, 21 Sep 2016 00 )
Nooks and Crannies at Night, August 17
Nooks and Crannies at Night, August 17

Wednesday, August 17, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House, 75 Eastern Point Boulevard, Gloucester, Mass.
 
Beauport's popular Nooks and Crannies tour is now available in the evening. This in-depth behind-the-scenes tour of Henry Davis Sleeper’s summer retreat allows plenty of time to explore each room, including passageways, closets, and other spaces not usually open to the public.
Guides highlight their favorite objects and share stories about Sleeper, his friends, and staff. Light refreshments included.

$20 Historic New England members
$35 nonmembers
 
Registration is required. Please call 978-283-0800 or buy online.



When: Aug 17, 2016 12 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Wed, 17 Aug 2016 00 )
The First Annual Mystic Tea on Cape Cod
Well-known psychic mediums Sandra Mariah Wright and Leanne Marrama will be hosting a very special event on Saturday July 9th, from 5:30pm to 7:45pm: The Mystic Tea on Cape Cod, held at the historic Dunbar Tea Room in Sandwich, Mass. This quaint restaurant and tea room in a former carriage house originally built in 1740 boasts an all-new wine bar and English tavern serving traditional British fare and overlooking beautiful Shawme Pond in the oldest town on Cape Cod. Partake in a centuries-old tradition: Victorian High Tea, complete with an opportunity to receive and interpret messages in your tea leaves! Lovely live harp music by The Harper and The Minstrel: beloved local musicians Jay Michaels and his wife, Abby. We will provide you with a keepsake event photo (taken on site) to add to a scrapbook page you create with the materials we supply (but you are welcome to bring photos or things to add to it), as well as single Tarot card and Tea Leaf readings with Sandra or Leanne during the event. Join us for the magic of our First Annual Mystic Tea on Cape Cod, and make memories that last a lifetime! Guest - $60.00

When: Jul 9, 2016 5 PM in Sandwich, Massachusetts
Cost: $60.00 (Sat, 09 Jul 2016 17 )

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