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

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

Eventful results in "sandwich,massachusetts"

The Complaints
Age Limit: 21+

The Complaints

When: Aug 15, 2014 9 PM in Sandwich, Massachusetts
Cost: No Cover! (Fri, 15 Aug 2014 21 )
American Red Cross Blood Drive
When: Jun 23, 2014 1 PM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Mon, 23 Jun 2014 13 )
Nauset Summer Arts and Craft Festival

The grounds of the Nauset Regional Middle School along Route 28 in Orleans MA will come alive with color, flavor and music for the The Nauset Summer Arts and Craft Festival on August 9 & 10, 2014.

Over 75 Juried Craftsmen and women will display and sell their American made arts, crafts, and specialty foods.

Enjoy Specialty Food sampling of Herbal Dips, Jams, Jellies, Gourmet Cookies, Organic Trail Mixes, Hot Sauces, Gourmet Lemonade, Philly Style Pretzels and more.

Craft demonstrations and live musical entertainment complete this perfect summertime event.

Directions: From Route 6 E take Exit 12 onto Route 28.

Free Admission, free parking and held rain or shine.

Hours: Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4.

For more information call 603-332-2616 or visit

When: Aug 9, 2014 10 AM to Aug 10, 2014 4 PMin Sandwich, Massachusetts (Sat, 09 Aug 2014 10 )
Behind the Scenes Auto Collection Tour
Go behind the scenes with curator Jennifer Madden for a tour of Heritage’s antique auto collection storage. Jennifer will share little-known facts and stories about the twenty cars in this area, while participants have the opportunity to closely examine the vehicles. Participants will also learn how the collection was formed, the original purchase price of each vehicle, the work that goes into maintaining this world-class collection, and the ins and outs of moving the cars and preparing them for exhibit. Advance registration is recommended as space is limited. Fee (includes museum admission): $10 Members, $25 Non-Member adults, $17 Non-Member youth

When: May 10, 2014 11 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts
Cost: Fee (includes museum admission): $10 Members, $25 Non-Member adults, $17 Non-Member youth (Sat, 10 May 2014 11 )
Heritage Annual Auto Show
Saturday, June 21 Rain date: Sunday, June 22 10am – 2pm Parade Field Our all-inclusive event highlights antique and classic automobiles, hotrods and custom cars in excellent original or restored condition. All body styles are invited. Registered vehicles will compete for four awards determined by popular voting. Decision about moving to the rain date will be made by 5:30 am on June 21.

When: Jun 21, 2014 10 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts
Cost: Free to attend with museum admission (Sat, 21 Jun 2014 10 )
American Red Cross Blood Drive
When: May 19, 2014 1 PM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Mon, 19 May 2014 13 )
Janell Burley Hofmann's Book Launch Celebration

Janell Burley Hofmann's Book Launch Celebration

Hosted by Janell's Family with support from Titcomb's bookshop.

iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know about Selfies, Sexting, Gaming, and

Growing Up.
May 2, 2014   7-9pm  Sandwich Town Hall Auditorium 130 Main Street Sandwich, MA

Janell's book, iRules, will be released by Rodale, Inc on May 6, 2014.  In advance of the official release, books will be made available at Janell's launch party.  Come celebrate the launch of Janell's book.

Join us as we mingle, celebrate and get a copy of Janell's book days before the official release!!! Hors d'oeuvres provided by Fiddlestix Catering.  Cash Bar.  Live music provided by Brian Sances.

Please purchase your tickets in advance as space is limited.  For questions, email Adam: 

Can't make it to the event? You can order a copy of iRules at 

More info on the book:

In iRules, Hofmann provides families with the tools they need to find a balance between technology and human interaction through a philosophy she calls Slow Tech Parenting. In the book, she educates parents about the online culture tweens and teens enter the minute they go online, exploring issues like cyberbullying, friend fail, and sexting, as well as helping parents create their own iRules contracts to fit their families’ needs.  As funny and readable as it is prescriptive, iRules will help parents figure out when to unplug and how to stay in sync with the changing world of technology, while teaching their children self-respect, integrity, and responsibility.


Janell Burley Hofmann is a parent coach who writes about parenting and technology for The Huffington Post, has a weekly spot on “American Public Media Marketplace,” NPR, as tech etiquette consultant; and has been covered by major national media, including Good Morning America. She lives in Sandwich, MA. 

When: May 2, 2014 7 PM to May 2, 2014 9 PMin Sandwich, Massachusetts (Fri, 02 May 2014 19 )
Sara Leketa
W/ The Problematix (Acoustic)

When: May 16, 2014 10 PM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Fri, 16 May 2014 22 )
Burgess & Hayward Alumni and Friends Reunion 2014

Come join us on the shores of Spectacle Pond for the 2nd Annual Alumni & Friends Reunion!  Head down to Sandwich with friends and family to enjoy all of your favorite Camp activities, enjoy a cookout, and experience all of the wonderful enhancements made to Camp.  Seize this opportunity to catch up with friends from decades past,meet new members of the ever-growing Camp Community, and delight in all that Camp has to offer with the current BH generation.  We cant wait to see you!

Registration is free! Any donation made through Eventbrite registration will go to the Campership fund!

When: Jul 19, 2014 12 PM to Jul 19, 2014 5 PMin Sandwich, Massachusetts (Sat, 19 Jul 2014 12 )
Camp Burgess & Hayward Annual Volunteer Day

Join us for a fun-filled and rewarding day of service projects at camp!

All are welcome!

On Saturday, May 10th at 9:00am, we will gather at the Camp Hayward rotary and combine efforts in preparing our girls camp for the upcoming busy summer months.

  • Project time will run from 9:00am--1:00pm, so please make sure to have a big breakfast beforehand!
  • We will have drink and snack stations set up around camp as well as some good tunes pumping, to keep the positive energy flowing until we finish at 1:00pm.
  • At 1:00pm, we will reconvene as a group and enjoy a well-deserved and delicious barbeque lunch at Camp Hayward.


Tasks will be varied and may include:
- raking
- mulching
- trail upkeep
- cleaning
- painting
- planting
- taking camp equipment out of storage
- sign making
- having huge amounts of fun!

Important Participant Information:

  • Please wear close-toed shoes, long pants, and a long sleeved t-shirt.
  • We will be outside for the entirety of this event, so please dress for the weather.
  • Please bring a waterbottle.
  • Lunch will be provided, but if you have any specific dietary restrictions, please email or call 508-428-2571 ext. 109.
  • No rain date: we will see you there, rain or shine! 
  • Service hour documentation will be provided at the conclusion of this event, if needed.
  • Please meet at Camp Hayward, 52 Pinkham Road, Sandwich, MA 02563.

*To RSVP for this event, please register on this EventBrite page*

Help us kick-start the summer, while leaving a benevolent mark on our beautiful camp!

We look forward to seeing you there!

When: May 10, 2014 9 AM to May 10, 2014 1 PMin Sandwich, Massachusetts (Sat, 10 May 2014 09 )
The Complaints
Age Limit: 21+

The Complaints

When: Jul 11, 2014 9 PM in Sandwich, Massachusetts
Cost: No Cover! (Fri, 11 Jul 2014 21 )
The Complaints
No Cover!

When: Jul 11, 2014 8 PM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20 )
The Complaints
No Cover!

When: Aug 15, 2014 8 PM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Fri, 15 Aug 2014 20 )
Under the Hood: The World of Auto Auctions
Join Wayne Carini, John Kraman, and Bill Stephens for a fascinating look into the world of collector car auctions. Carini is a master automobile restorer, owner and operator of three specialty restoration shops, and the star of the Velocity Network’s program “Chasing Classic Cars”. Kraman is Consignment Director for renowned Illinois-based Mecum Car Auctions, Inc., a company known for hosting over two dozen events nationally that attract thousands of sports, classic, vintage, racing, muscle, and collector cars to auction. Stephens is a motorsports television commentator and author, and an award-winning producer of automotive television. Learn how this business became the multibillion dollar industry it is today and about the nuts and bolts of how these auctions work. Panelists will provide tips for anyone thinking of consigning a car and share riveting insider stories. Event includes the opportunity to view a car restored by Carini, displayed exclusively for this program.

When: Jun 16, 2014 6 PM in Sandwich, Massachusetts
Cost: $30 Members, $40 Non-Members (Mon, 16 Jun 2014 18 )
Spring SMASH 2014

When: May 30, 2014 6 PM to Jun 1, 2014 2 PMin Sandwich, Massachusetts
Cost: 75.00 true Regular Price 75.00

10.00 true Paintball 10.00

25.00 true Horseback Riding 25.00

10.00 true High Ropes Course w/ Zipline 10.00

(Fri, 30 May 2014 18 )
Daffodil Festival
When: Apr 26, 2014 10 AM in Sandwich, Massachusetts (Sat, 26 Apr 2014 10 )
Fairing Way Hosts Cape Cod Lunch & Learn at Pilot House in Sandwich, MA
Join us on the Cape for a delicious lunch at the Pilot House and learn more about our innovative, 55+, independent living community! Find out why more than 60 people have already reserved their apartment homes. Preview floor plans and pricing and discover the unique value that Fairing Way has to offer our residents! Retirement communities are being transformed for today’s active adults. Gone are gates and rigid schedules. Fairing Way has been recognized in national media for leading several of these trends. Learn more about this new over 55 retirement living community located within the multi-generational neighborhood of SouthField.

When: Apr 24, 2014 11 AM to Apr 24, 2014 1 PMin Sandwich, Massachusetts
Cost: Space is Limited, please RSVP by phone 781-812-1357, email or register online at (Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11 )
Children's Cove 13th Annual Golf Tournament
Monday June 2, 2014, 11:30 AM to 8:00 PM EDT

The Ridge Club
70 Country Club Rd
Sandwich, MA 02563-2791 Tournament Schedule

  • 11:30 a.m.

Registration & Lunch
Bag drop for golfers
Locker room available
Driving range open

  • 1:00 p.m.

Shotgun start (Beverages and snacks on the course all day) Cash bar DinnerRaffles and Auctions

Individual player | $185 (includes 1 mulligan)
Foursomes | $700 (includes 1 mulligan per player)
Dinner only | $60

Benefits include:
Green fees, cart, lunch, dinner, and favorsPlay

The tournament format will be a scramble (rules listed on carts)Prizes

  • Top 3 foursomes
  • Closest to the pin (men/women)
  • Longest drive (men/women)
    Top team will receive their names on the Phil Rollins Memorial Award

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you're interested in sponsoring our golf tournament, contact Nancy Raymond and visit our Sponsorship Page.

Nancy Raymond
Children’s Cove

When: Jun 2, 2014 11 AM to Jun 2, 2014 8 PMin Sandwich, Massachusetts
Cost: Standard golf foursome - includes one mulligan per player. 700.00 true Standard Foursome 700.00

Single golfer - includes one mulligan. 185.00 true Single Golfer Ticket 185.00

Donate to Children's Cove

(Mon, 02 Jun 2014 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 12 and Sunday, July 13, 2014.

Over 75 Juried Craftsmen and women from all over New England will display and sell their American made arts, crafts, and specialty foods.

Come and sample gourmet specialty foods including Herbal Dips, Salas, Baked Goods, Oils, Vinegars, Candies and more. Enjoy live music and craft demonstrations each day as well.

Festival Hours are 10am to 5pm each day.

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

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 12, 2014 10 AM to Jul 13, 2014 5 PMin Sandwich, Massachusetts
Cost: 0.00 false Free Admission 0.00

(Sat, 12 Jul 2014 10 )

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