History of Nantucket

History of Nantucket

History of Nantucket 

“The Little Gray Lady of the Sea”

Nantucket is an island 30 miles south of Cape Cod.  Together with the small islands of Tuckenuck and Muskeget it constitutes the town of Nantucket. The name Nantucket is adapted similar Algonquin names for the island perhaps meaning “in the midst of waters” or “far away land or island”. In 1795, the town which was first established on the north shore was called Sherburne after the home-place of some of the settlers but was changed in 1795 to Nantucket.

The 2010 census population of the island was 10,172. It has become is a tourist destination  and summer colony that swells to a population of 50,000 in season. In 2008, Forbes Magazine cited Nantucket as having home values among the highest in the United States.

In 1966, The National Parks Service cited Nantucket as being the “Finest surviving architectural and environmental example of a late 18th century and early 10 century New England Seaport town”.

The earliest French settlement  in the region began on the neighboring island of Martha’s Vineyard. Nantucket’s island’s original Native American inhabitants the Wampanoag people lived undisturbed until 1641 when the island was deeded by the English The authorities in control of all land from the coast of Maine to New York) to Thomas Mayhew and his son, merchants from Watertown, MA and Martha’s Vineyard. Nantucket was part of Dukes County until 1691 when it was transferred to the newly formed province of Massachusetts Bay and split off to form Nantucket County.
Early Nantucket developed into a community of small farmers and sheep herders. The manufacturing of wool was a vital industry in colonial New England.

As Europeans began to settle on Cape Cod, the island became a place of refuge for Native Americans in the region, as Nantucket was not yet settled by Europeans. The growing population welcomed seasonal groups of other Native Americans who traveled to the island to fish and later harvest whales that washed up on shore.

Nantucket’s settlement by the English did not begin until 1659, when Thomas Mayhew sold his interest to a group of investors led by Tristram Coffin “for the sum of thirty pounds…and also two beaver hats, one for myself and one for my wife”.

The “nine original purchasers” were Tristram Coffin, Petter Coffin, Thomas Macy, Christopher Hussey, Richard Swain, Thomas Barnard, Stephen Greenleaf, John Swain and William Pike.

Seaman and tradesman began to populate Nantucket, such as Richard Gardner (arrived 1667) and Captain John Gardner (arrived 1672).

In his 1835 history of Nantucket island, Obed Macy wrote that in the early pre-1672 colony, a whale of the kind called “scragg” entered the harbor and was pursed and killed by settlers. This event started the Nantucket Whaling Industry!

A.B. Van Deines points out that the “scraggwhale” described by P.Dudley in 1725 as one of the species hunted by early New England whalers, was almost certainly the gray whale, which flourished on the west coast of North America in modern times with protection from whaling.

Herman Melville commented on Nantucket’s whaling dominance in MOBY DICK (Chapter 14) “Two thirds of his terraqueous globe are the Nantucketers. For the sea is his, he owns it as emperors own empires”.  The Moby-Dick characters Ahab and Starbuck are both from Nantucket.

For Nearly 150 years from the 1700’s – 1840’s Nantucket was the Whaling Capital of the World! On the island the economy was centered on the whale fishery, blacksmiths, boat building shops, ship chandleries, sail lofts and warehouses. Whale Wax was made by candle-makers that also lit domestic streetlamps! Supporting businesses were seaman boarding houses, grogshops, grocery and dry good shops.

By 1850, whaling was in decline as Nantuckets whaling industry had been surpassed by that of New Bedford and Salem. The island suffered great economic hardships, worsened by the July 134, 1846 “Great Fire” that fueled by whale oil and lumber devastated the main town burning  and destroying over 300 buildings and some 40 acres. The fire left hundreds homeless and poverty stricken and many people left the island.  Another contributor to the decline was the silting up of the harbor, which prevented large whaling ships from entering the port. In addition, the development of railroad made mainland whaling ports of New Bedford more attractive because of the ease of trans shipment of whale oil onto trains, an advantage unavailable to the island.

At this point gold was discovered in California and hundreds of Nantucket men went to seek their fortune. The Cival War also took it’s toll on Nantucket more then 300 Nantucket men served in the Union Army and 73 lost their lives. Between 1840 – 1887 the population dropped from 10,000 to 4,000.

As a result of this depopulation the island was underdeveloped and isolated until the mid 20th century. The isolation  kept many of the pre-Cival War buildings intact and by the 1850’s enterprising developers began buying up large sections of the island and restoring them to create an upmarket destination for wealthy people in the North East.

The Summer visitor would be a catalyst for Nantucket’s recovery! As early as the 1840’s rooming houses and small inns were operating and the invigorating and delightful indulgence of Sea Bathing was being touted in off island newspapers be entrepreneurial types. In the 1870’s the first big summer hotel was erected and four more followed over the next ten years. With the war behind, Nantucket women opened their homes to summer boarders providing large airy rooms and nicely cooked bluefish. The town got behind the effort and “Two boats a day” was a lore the “SEASON” was created and NANTUCKET NEVER LOOKED BACK!

In the 1920’s the island became a popular artist colony. Noted who lived on or painted the island include Frank Swift Chase and Theodore Robinson.  Noted authors including Herman Nelville have lived there.




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New England Clambake Kickoff returns to CBI

Chatham Bars Inn

Chatham Bars Inn

You know it’s Summer when the casual New England Style Clambake returns to Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham, Mass. We can honestly say CBI never lets you down! The Clambake and buffet are amazing and delicious and the view from the Beach House grill is amazing and relaxing.

Lobster Nacjos Ocean Grill at Chatham Bars Inn

Top that off with great drinks, service and hospitality and a band.  There’s beach games for children, and end the night under the stars with a bonfire! Reservations are required. Please call 508-945-0096 or click on the link above.

Chatham Bars inn

This Memorial Day Weekend Chatham Bars Inn Clambake will be held Friday, May 24th  and Sunday, May 26th.  Check our site for updates on the rest of the Clambake schedule throughout the Summer!

Chatham Bars Inn

Photos By Melissa Tyler


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Chatham Bars inn

Founders Weekened at Chatham Bars Inn


Cahtham Bars Inn

Chatham Bars Inn

Recently, we spent Founders Weekend at Chatham Bars Inn and as usual had a wonderful time.  From the Friday Nite Clambake at The Beach House Grill to a morning ocean-side brunch at  The Beach House Grill, to a Roaring 1920’s Great Gatsby Party complete with  Cocktail Hour in the South Lounge and Dinner with a 20 piece orchestra in the Harbor View Room.

The hospitality at Chatham Bars Inn is by far the nicest we have experienced time and time again.

Chatham Bars inn


A complete buffet is served with their Lobster Bake with everything from fresh corn on the cob, potatoes, veggies, fish, steak, side dishes, salads, soup, oysters, shrimp, cheeses and many other side dishes. Including a complete desert table.

Chatham Bars Inn

Clambake at Chatheam Bars Inn. Photo C Melissa Tyler

During July And August every Monday – Friday starting at 6pm Chatham Bars Inn serves their Clambake to make reservations or find out more click on the link at the top of this page.

Chatham Bars Inn

Chatham Bars inn

Brunch was also served on Founders Weekend at The Beach House Grill.  We walked the long buffet tables and choose some of our favorites that included Eggs Benedict, potatoes, bacon, fresh fruit, and a new favorite fresh fish with a apple-mango salsa that was soo good we had to try to make this at home ourselves. Of course we had Mimosa as what would any fantastic brunch be without a Mimosa or Bloody Mary.

Chatham Bars inn

There was plenty of beach time, relaxing on the patio off the veranda with the fantastic  view and blue-green water that we experienced on this perfect blue sky day! We took a little nap before the Roaring 20’s Gatsby Party and enjoyed the view.

The Champagne and wine were flowing and we totally enjoyed the evening of fine cocktails, dinner and dancing and topped it off with a nite-cap on the veranda!  We can’t wait to go back!

GatsbyParty At Chatham Bars Inn

Gatsby Party at Chatham Bars Inn

Chatham Bars Inn

Gatsby Party

Photos By Melissa Tyler

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Emerson by the Sea Rockport MA

Emerson Inn By The Sea Offers Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Packages in November


Make Emerson Inn by the Sea your destination for an affordable Veteran’s Day escape. Then leave the dishes to someone else and enjoy a seaside Thanksgiving celebration with the family this year.  Emerson Inn by the Sea has two packages offered in November combining fine dining with a relaxing seaside stay. Over Veteran’s Day weekend enjoy a relaxing three-day holiday before the busy holiday season starts.  Escape to the Emerson Inn by the Sea for a soothing getaway filled with quiet walks through Rockport or strolls overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  Stay three nights and you’re treated to a $25 dinner certificate for use at the inn’s award winning Grand Cafe Restaurant. This three night Veteran’s Day package includes three nights accommodations,  a deluxe continental breakfast daily, and the $25 dinner certificate for use one night at the inn. Offered November 10-14, the package starts at $300 per couple for standard rooms. The package rate varies by room choice. Additionally, to make your November escape easy for you and your wallet play hookie Sunday through Thursday and Emerson Inn by the Sea will offer rooms starting at $89 per night throughout November for two night or more night midweek stays.  All stays include a deluxe continental breakfast each morning too. Upgrades to ocean view rooms available too.

Tired of all the prep and clean up from Thanksgiving dinner?  This year, leave the muss and fuss behind, and celebrate Thanksgiving at the Emerson Inn By The Sea. The lavish Thanksgiving Buffet offers something for every taste no matter how big or small including Roast Prime Rib, Grilled Salmon, Butternut Squash Ravioli and Roasted Tom Turkey together with all the trimmings and desserts. Then, after dinner no need to worry about that over-stuffed uncomfortable drive home. Stay overnight at the inn and walk off the dinner the next day along the Atlantic Ocean.  The Emerson Inn by the Sea package includes: Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet Dinners ( Thursday, November 24th) for two; Two night’s accommodation in a queen standard room;Deluxe Continental Breakfast each morning for two. Best of all, it’s easy on the budget. The package is $299 for two, plus taxes and gratuity and is offered November 23-25, 2011.  Dinner reservations are required upon booking.

For those who can’t stay overnight, but wish to enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner in the Grand Cafe, the dining room will serve its spectacular buffet dinner from noon to 5:00pm on Thursday, November 24.   The prix fixe dinner is $45 per person for adults and $22.50 for children ages 3 to 10, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required.Emerson Inn by the Sea, Cape Ann’s Grand Bed and Breakfast Hotel overlooking a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean, offers thirty-six lovely guest rooms as well as fine dining, wine and spirits in The Grand Cafe and the Grand Parlor Restaurant. Recipient of the Wine Spectator Award for the past five years in a row, The Grand Cafe is well-known as one of the North Shore’s finest dining establishments.

Following more than a decade of extensive renovations, Emerson Inn by the Sea is the ideal choice for those seeking getaways, function and conference facilities or fine dining with an award-winning wine list in a historic setting.  

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Salem Mass

History: Salem Massachusetts

Salem Mass

Salem was founded at the mouth of the  Naumkeag River in 1626, at the site of an ancient Native American village and trading center.  It was originally called Naumkeag and was renamed Salem three years later by a company of fishermen from Cape Ann led by Roger Conant, and incorporated in 1629. Conant’s leadership had provided the stability to survive the first two years, but he was immediately replaced by John Endecott, one of the new arrivals, by order of the Dorchester Company. Conant graciously stepped aside and was granted 200 acres of land in compensation. The new and old Planters agreed to cooperate, in large part due to the diplomacy of Conant and Endicott. In recognition of this peaceful transition to the new government, the name of the settlement was changed to Salem, a corruption of the Hebrew word ‘shalom’.

One of the most widely known aspects of Salem is its history of witchcraft allegations,  which started with  Abigail Williams her cousin, Betty Parris, and their friends playing with a Venus glass and egg.  William Hathorne’s son, Judge John Harthorne, came to prominence during this period. People generally believed witchcraft to be real. Nothing caused more fear in the Puritan community than people who appeared to be possessed by demons, and witchcraft was a serious felony. Judge Hathorne is the best known of the witch trial judges, and he became known as the “Hanging Judge” for sentencing witches to death.

Salem and the Revolutionary War

On February 26, 1775, patriots raised the drawbridge at the North River, preventing British Colonel Alexander Leslie and his 300 troops of the 64th Regiment of Foot from seizing stores and ammunition hidden in North Salem. A few months later, in May 1775, a group of prominent merchants with ties to Salem, including Francis Cabot, William Pynchon, Thomas Barnard, E.A. Holyoke and William Pickman, felt the need to publish a statement retracting what some interpreted as Loyalist leanings and to profess their dedication to the Colonial cause.

During the Revolution the town became a center for privatering. Although the documentation is incomplete, about 1,700  Letters of Marque issued on a per-voyage basis, were granted during the American Revolution. Nearly 800 vessels were commissioned as privateers and are credited with capturing or destroying about 600 British ships. By 1790, Salem was the sixth largest city in the country, and a world-famous seaport – particularly in China trade. Codfish was exported to the West Indies and Europe. Sugar and molasses were imported from the West Indies,  tea from China, and pepper from  Sumatra. Salem ships also visited Africa, Russia, Japan and Australia.

Prosperity left the city with a wealth of fine  architecture including Federal style mansions designed by one of America’s first architects Samuel McIntire, for whom the city’s largest historic district is named. These homes and mansions from Colonial America now comprise the greatest concentrations of notable pre-1900 domestic structures in the United States!

Both Britain and France imposed trade restrictions in order to weaken each others economies. This also had the effect of disrupting American trade and testing the United States’ neutrality. As time went on, harassment by the British of American ships increased by the  British Navy. This included  impressment and seizures of American men and goods. After the Chesapeake Leopard Affair, Thomas Jefferson was faced with a decision to make regarding the situation at hand. In the end, he chose an economic option: the Embargo Act of 1807 and Thomas Jefferson basically closed all the ports overnight, putting a little damper on the seaport town of Salem. The embargo of 1807 was the starting point on the path to the War of 1812 with  Great Britain.

Salem was incorporated as a city on March 23, 1836.  and adopted a city seal in 1839 with the motto “Divitis Indiae usque ad ultimum sinum”, latin for “To the farthest port of the rich Indies.”  Nathaniel Hawthorne was overseer of the port from 1846 until 1849. He worked in the Customs House near Pickering Wharf, his setting for the beginning of The Scarlet Letter. In 1858, an amusement park was established at Salem Willows, a peninsula jutting into the harbor. It should be noted that up until the War of 1812, the port of Salem was a major center of trade in America.

The book “The Salem-India Story” written by Vanita Shastri narrates the adventures of the Salem seamen who connected the far corners of the globe through trade. 1788–1845 marks the beginning of US-India relations, long before the 21st century wave of globalization. It reveals the global trade connections that Salem had established with faraway lands, which were a source of livelihood and prosperity for many.

But shipping declined throughout the 19th century. Salem and its harbor were increasingly eclipsed by Boston and New York. Consequently, the city turned to manufacturing. Industries included tanneries, shoe factories and the Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company. More than 400 homes burned in the Great Salem Fire of 1914, leaving 3,500 families homeless from a blaze that began in the Korn Leather Factory. The historic concentration of Federal architecture on Chestnut Street were spared.

Salem was one of the most significant seaports in early America. It has the first National Historic Site designated by Congress,  Salem Maritime National Historic Site which protects Salem’s historic waterfront.

Salem Mass

America’s first millionaires lived in Salem. They made their money in overseas trade, and brought plenty of precious cargo and money home to Salem. The legacy of their wealth lines Salem’s streets in the forms of incomparable architecture and unique museums. Their legacies can be witnessed at the Peabody Essex Museum, the House of the Seven Gables, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and the Stephen Phillips Memorial Trust House.

Salem Designated as National Guard Birthplace

In 1637, the first muster on Salem Common where for the first time, a regiment of militia drilled for the common defense of a multi-community area thus laying the foundation for what became the Army National Guard. Each April, the Second Corps of Cadets gather in front of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, where their founder, Stephen Abbott, is buried. They lay a wreath, play taps and fire a 21-gun salute. In another annual commemoration, soldiers gather at Old Salem Armory to honor soldiers who were killed in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Coast Guard Air Station Salem was located at Winter Island an extension of Salem Neck which juts out into Salem Harbor.

In 1952, notable play-writer, Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible which is dramatization of the Salem which trials.

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Boston Magazine names Top 10 “Fall Getaways”

Recently, I was requested to do a blog by a Boston area agency to promote an article On Fall Travel Getaways in the October 2011 edition of Boston Magazine.

Boston Magazine’s staff visited destinations all through New England to present their readers with a list of weekend activities that range from Outdoor Adventures, Sports & Recreation, Arts & Culture, Spas & Relaxation and Food & Wine. All the destinations are three hours or less from Boston. Here is the link to the article and below is our blog on the destinations.


For More than a half million monthly readers, Boston Magazine is the voice that captures the best of contemporary life in the city and beyond. With informed editorial and in-depth coverage on topics ranging from fashion to finance. Boston Magazine is the premiere authority on the region.

Here are the Top 10 Fall Getaways along with destinations they have suggested.

Litchfield Hills (CT)  Destination for Foodies, Adventures & Antique Seekers

Hayloft Wine Bar at Hopkins Vineyard offers wine tasting and tours and a magnificent view of Lake Waramaug.  Whitehorse Country Pub – Best of Connecticut Awards, extensive beer list, Best Prime Rib, Best NEW Restaurant and offers Sunday brunch on the river or in the tavern by the fire.  Belgique Chocolatier Artisian Handmade Chocolate, authentic Belgian hot chocolate, handmade truffles and so much more…sweet! Aer Blarney Balloons – New England’s premier Hot Air Balloon Company. Millhouse Antiques & Gardens  Traditional English and French 18th and 19th century antiques in an 18th century grist mill. 175 showrooms.

Nantucket (MA) Destination for Foodies, Adventures & History Buffs

Sankaty Head Golf Club – Golf, Tennis, and dining with great views.  Captain Tom’s Charters Nantucket’s premiere fishing service. Masters of sport or 1st timers welcome.  Striped Bass, Bluefish, False Albacore and more.  Nantucket Historical Association – Preserving and interpretations of the history of Nantucket. Whale, Lighthouse  and historic tours. New House tours include a stop at the barn transformed by artists Greater Light. October 8th & 9th – Cisco Brewer’s Annual ACKktober Fest.   Lola 41 Sushi and Bistro Restaurant Nantucket’s best sushi and hot spot. Reservations suggested.


Newport (RI) Destination for Foodies, Adventurers & Relaxation

The Cliffwalk – Newport’s famous shoreline walk with views of ocean, architecture and history of the Guilded Age. Wildflowers, birds  and more on a National Recreation Trail with picture perfect postcard views on both sides of ocean and mansions. Classic Cruises of Newport – A local favorite for sailing, powerboats and sunset harbor cruises from the sailing capital of America. Sail on their 72ft Schooner Madeline for 19th century charm.  TSK -Thames Street Kitchen – American casual fair and Sunday Brunch. A BYOB restaurant for trendy farm to fork meals with a seasonal menu. Fluke Wine Bar & Kitchen – Relaxed modern American Cuisine in downtown Newport overlooking Bowen’s and Bannister’s Warf. Sunset views.

Penobscot Bay (ME) Destination for Foodies, Adventure & Culture

Captain Jack Lobster Boat Adventures – Panaromic views of Owls Head and Rockland Breakwater Lighthouses. Intimate Lunch for 2 Available. Dine and learn about lobsters. Hartstone Inn – Elegant B&B at Camden Harbor offering award-winning gourmet meals. “A sophisticated retreat and culinary destination” -Fodor’s Guide to New England. Cooking classes are available!  Center for Maine Contemporary Art – work of current and past Maine residents. See workshops & special events calendar.

Pioneer Valley (MA) Destination for Foodies, Adventurers & Relaxation

North Hampton’s Arts Night Out – Held the 2nd Friday of every month. Unique self-guided tour of the towns many galleries. Enjoy diverse visual and performing arts. Iron Horse Music Hall – From rock to bluegrass bands. Coming October 14th – Peter Wolf.  Theatre, performing arts center, Pearl Street Nightclub, New England’s finest Amphitheater and Mountain Park.  Amherst Farmers Market – Open Every Saturday from 7:30 am 1:30pm Over 22 farms and bakeries. A total YUM-WOW factor! Atkins Farms Country Market – Orchard & store at the base of scenic Holyoke Mountain Range. Apples, bakery, cheese, flowers, candy, meat, seafood, beer and more! Bring your appetite!

Portland (ME) Destination for Foodies, Adventurers & Relaxation

Wheelie Good Bike Rentals – See Portland like you’ve never seen it! Cruise the promenade, Old Port, art district. Bike along Eastern Trail one of the most scenic stretches in Maine! Soakology – Spa and tea-house. Soak your feet in baths of herbs, salts and oils. Facials with natural botanical leaves you feeling radiant, nourished and hydrated. Mount Desert Island Ice Cream – Quirky and unique ice cream flavors like Salted Caramel, Blueberry Basil and more!

Portsmouth (NH) Destination for Foodies, Adventurers & Culture

Seacoast Segway Tours – Prescout Park, historic homes of Portsmouth and Great Island of New Castle. Guided 1,2 and 3 hour tours around city. Learn Portsmouth’s past while exploring the sites. 106 Kitchen & Bar – New local hotspot serving creative cuisine with a New Orleans flair.  Red Hook Ale Brewery – For just a Buck you get a tour of facility and a lesson in beer making! Portsmouth Open Market – Every Sunday through October 30th. – over 65 artists at Strawberry Banke Museum.

Provincetown, (MA) Destination for Foodies, Adventurers & Relaxation

3 Mile hike to Long Point Lighthouse – for a beautiful and off the beaten track stretch of sand on the Atlantic Coast. Flyer’s Boat Rentals – Provincetown’s largest fleet of boats for rent. $10 shuttle from Long Point to West End. Shui Spa – Award winning day spa and resort. Also offers Holiday Dinner menu and packages. Complete body & mind  retreat with the Earth & Spa Scrub and bodywrap. Connies Bakery – Hearty home cooking that is fresh and creatively prepared. Complete Breakfast and Lunch Menu. Then stroll along MacMilian Pier.

Stowe (VT) Destination for Foodies, Adventures & Relaxation

Arbor Trek Canopy Adventures -Zipline Canopy tours at Smugglers Notch. 4500 feet of ziplines. Cross bridges high above the forest and treeline.  Stowe Soaring Scenic Glider Ride – Silently soar over fields with a FAA certified pilot. Different tours available over Mt. Elmore, Worcester Mountain Range, scenic Stowe and Mile high Mt. Mansfield.  Solstice – Stowe Mt.’s signature restaurant offering Vermont fine dining. Local artisans cheeses & wines. Frida’s Taqueria – Mexican restaurant located in the historic   Butler House in Stowe. Serving Lunch, Dinner and weekend Brunch.  Top Notch Resort & Spa – New England luxury resort. Spa, tennis, weddings. 120 treatments available at spa. A place long known to hikers and skiers to relax!

Woodstock (VT) Destination for Foodies, Adventures & Relaxation

Vermont Adventure Tours – Recreation in the Green Mountains! Rock and Ice climbing, Mountain bikes, Snowshoeing, Paddling, Fly-Fishing and more.  Guided kayaking trip on White River or climb Deer Leap Mountain. Woodstock Inn – luxury 4 Season Resort, 142 spacious rooms, plush bedding and breathtaking grounds.  Creates a cozy escape! Spa pampering – pumpkin spice treatment body scrub, foot rubs, scalp rubs and massages. Woodstock Inn Red Rooster – Casual, sophisticated Modern and fun! AAA Four Diamond Award winning Restaurant at Woodstock Inn.








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History of Hampton Beach NH

In the First half of the Century

Hamapton Beach New Hampshire

Barnstormers would use the sands of Hampton Beach as their runway, “bathing censors” were on the beach stopping people from wearing scandalous swimsuits and trolley service flourished and then disappeared.

If anyone has photos or more knowledge of the barnstormers on Hampton Beach please contact us as we would love to see photos or learn more information about this.  Actually, we can’t get the picture of an early 1900’s barnstorming plane landing on the crisp clean  Hampton Beach at this timeline. Sounds like the beginning of a great movie…doesn’t it?

 In the Beginning

Long before the arrival of the English in 1638, Native Americans, mostly the Pennacooks, had used the area as their summer camping place. They fished in the river and planted corn and beans in the rich upland meadows. After the harvest, when winter drew near, they moved inland to spend the winter hunting. Numerous artifacts found near the Taylor River are silent witnesses to their long occupation of what became the fourth English settlement in New Hampshire.

English Puritans from Massachusetts were drawn to this area by the lush salt meadows which were ideal for raising cattle. Although Winnacunnet was officially established on October 14,1638, most of the settlers, led by the Rev. Stephen Bachiler, arrived in 1639 to begin building their new town. Bachiler was a colorful character who was eventually forced to leave the town because of his scandalous behavior. However, he gave the town its permanent name of Hampton and one of its leading families, whose descendants still live here.

Isolated from the other towns of New Hampshire by the lack of good river communication, Hampton was more closely allied to the Puritans in Massachusetts. Its residents shared with them many of the same anxieties and pressures of life in 17th century New England. Hampton was the only town in New Hampshire to bring women to trial for witchcraft.  Goodwife, or Goody, Eunice Cole was jailed several times as a witch and in 1680 was re-indicted along with two others, Rachel Fuller and Isabella Towle. This last accusation was dropped, and witchcraft stories became only part of Hampton legend.

In the 1850’s a trolley line and railroad connection made Hampton Beach a popular resort that included a white, sandy beach; many shops and restaurants and various types of seasonal accommodations. Hampton Beach was still a farming community at this time. Native Americans camped out on the beach at this time.

The coming of the railroad in 1840 changed Hampton forever!

Now it was possible for tourists to travel easily from the city to stay in one of the hotels in town or at the beach. The Union House, later renamed the Hotel Whittier, was the first new hotel uptown, while the Leavitt and Nudd families operated early inns at the beach and were active in promoting the beach as a vacation destination. In the last half of the century the beach’s popularity grew, and a number of hotels were built to accommodate the crowds of visitors.

For the first 200 years of its history, Hampton Beach was an isolated part of the town, frequented only by a few fishermen and farmers bringing their oxen to graze on the Great Ox Common at Boar’s Head. Gates were even installed across the roads leading to the beach to protect the sea grass and the seaweed, which were valuable commodities. The gates were removed in 1846, just as tourism at the beach became an economic force in the town.

The first visitors to the beach came by train to the depot in the village and then were driven to the beach in horse-drawn wagons. These visitors normally came for an extended stay at one of the hotels which were quickly built to accommodate them. However, the picture of the beach as a place of leisurely resort changed forever in 1897 with advent of the trolley. The Exeter, Hampton, and Amesbury Street Railway connected the mill towns of the area with the beach and brought thousands of visitors for a single day’s enjoyment. That same year the Hampton Beach Improvement Company leased a large part of the beach and built the Casino and other businesses to serve these new visitors. Within a few years the beach had developed much as we see it today.

Although the trolley went out of business in 1926, the automobile had already replaced it as the main transport to the beach. Today on a good summer day 100,000 people may throng the sands and boulevards of Hampton Beach.

Fireworks, Concerts, Master Sand Sculpturing Festival, Seafood Festival & More!


Fireworks  every Wednesday evening at the Beach, May – Labor Day Weekend and at special events including New Years Eve!

 Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Competition  

In the middle of June about 300 tons of imported sand are brought to Hampton Beach for the Annual Master Sand Sculpting Competition that started in 2001. Millions of people come to watch  sand sculptures work on their sculpture and the judging and viewing of the finished sculptures.

Hampton Beach Seafood Festival

One of the top 100 events in North America! In May, 1988 a small group of the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce business owners and merchants assembled at the State Park on the southern tip of Hampton Beach to put on the 1st Annual Seafood Festival as a way to promote Hampton local restaurants and offer samples of their seafood specialties. While the weather did not cooperate and held crowds at bay, the spirit of the organizers was not dampened.  In 1990 the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival changed location & date to where it is presently held at the center of Hampton Beach, the weekend after Labor Day.

 Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

It began shortly before the 1900s, when Massachusetts businessman, Wallace D. Lovell, owner of the Exeter, Hampton and Amesbury Street Railway Company financed the construction of a two-story wood-frame building in the hopes that it would draw people to the Hampton Beach area and stimulate business. The building, which opened its doors on July 15, 1899, was christened the “Hampton Beach Casino.”

At that time, the word “casino” did not connote a gambling establishment as we understand it today. The word is Italian for “summer-house” and came to describe a social gathering place, a room or building where one could dance, listen to music, and gamble. Lovell likely chose the term because, at the time, all things European were vogue in America.

The Casino Ballroom’s popularity reached a new peak in the mid-1930’s big band era. Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington all headlined the ballroom. Though liquor was prohibited and the dress code strict – men rented ties for a nickel – thousands crowded onto the dance floor to dance. Patrons lined a fence outside and bought tickets or “checks”, usually five for a quarter, that admitted them onto the dance floor. The “check-dancing” rage had begun. The Casino Ballroom became one of the highest-grossing ballrooms in the country. Sammy Kaye, Frankie Lane, the Dorsey Brothers, Bing Crosby and numerous other internationally known orchestras filled the hall.

Today, there is a state of the art new casino ballroom with top acclaimed rock bands appearing regularly.


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Chatham Bars Inn

Chatham Bars Inn

Chatham Bars Inn

Last week we experienced our second visit to Chatham Bars Inn  We loved it soo much in April that we had to return again!  Chatham Bars Inn has been known as New England’s Finest Ocean Front Luxury Resort and Spa.  It is noted for excellent service, fine cuisine and beautiful surroundings since 1914…and we could not agree more! In matter of fact, we have never traveled anywhere that we were greeted and served so well, experienced fresh great food and in a great atmosphere.

Chatham Bars Inn is known for its ambiance, luxury and an unforgettable experience. The  rooms are impeccable designed and everything from the lobby to the restaurant, bar, lounge, veranda and spa have true unforgettable ambiance and luxury.

Chatham Bars Inn

We had several delicious full breakfast buffets during our stay as well as great lobster rolls in the bar and amazing Lobster Nachos from the oceanfront Beach House Grill.

Chatham Bars Inn

We also experienced their amazing Spa and we absolutely loved this experience as well. Once again the decor of the spa is as amazing as their service. Massages here are a must! Plus since we stayed in the main building we were thrilled with the service they provide to drive you ala Range Rover style to and from the Spa building.

Chatham Bars Inn

We suggest if you have not been to Chatham Bars Inn, that you put this on your Things you MUST DO list. Whether it’s off-season or in season.  You can also experience their dining and spa services if you are not a guest of the resort but it’s always best to call first.

We have never gone anywhere that the service, the atmosphere and the food are soo good!

Thank you Chatham Bars Inn for doing what you do so well!  I can’t wait for my next visit!

Photos By Melissa Tyler

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History of Chatham, Massachusetts

Native American tribes who lived in the area before European colonization include the Nauset, specifically the Monomoy or Monomoy people. “Manamyik” was a Nauset Village located near present Chatham.  Explorer Samuel de Champlain landed here in 1606.

50 years later in 1656 when the first English settler ran his cart down the ancient Indian pathway with an intention on living there. Englishman William Nickerson struck a deal for 4 square miles of land with the Monomoyik sachem, Mattaquson. He paid a shallop, ten coats, six kettles, twelve axes, twelve hoes, twelve knives, forty shillings in wampum, a hat and twelve shillings in coins. The transaction took place but without the approval of Plymouth County officials and was disputed for 16 years until paying an additional 90 pounds to the court.

Most of the early settlers were farmers cultivating crops a s corn, rye, wheat, tobacco. Corn was introduced by the Monomick natives was the principal crop.  Godfrey Mill built in 1797, ground corn through 1929. If you stand at the head of Chase Park you can still see one of the last visible reminders of how important farming was to the first people of Chatham.

English settlers first settled in Chatham in 1665 and the town was incorporated in 1712, naming it after Chatham, Kent, England.  Located on the elbow of Cape Cod the community became a shipping, fishing and whaling center.  Chatham’s early prosperity would leave it with a considerable number of 18th Century buildings whose charm helped develop it into a popular summer resort area.

By the 1700’s, Chatham’s population grew. Corn was no longer a sustainable currency. Chatham along with Harwich and Barnstable dominated the Cape’s fishing industry with Cod, Mackerel and Halibut from the Grand Banks. Just as townspeople were throwing themselves into the fishing industry the Revolutionary War erupted. With Chatham’s position as being the easternmost land in the United States made her waters particular appetizing for the British raids and harassment. The economy of Chatham came to a virtual standstill.

Monomoy Island

 Chatham is home to the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge located on Monomoy Island. Established in 1944 to provide habitat for migratory birds. Today, there are over 285 spices of birds. Taken over by the US Government just before World War II.  The island was home to the Monomoy Island Gunery Range. This 8 mile split of sand extends southwest from Chatham’s mainland  and is perhaps one of the best reasons to visit the elbow of Cape Cod. In addition to the 2 islands known as North and South Monomoy. A 40 acre unit on Morris Island is part of the 40 acre refuge. The total area of the refuge is 7604 acres.

Despite the remoteness of Monomoy it was home to its own community as early as 1710. A tavern for sailors was opened up in the location of today’s Hospital Pond, known as Wreck  Cove.  During the 1800’s a sizable fishing settlement grew in what was known as Powder Hall.  About 200 residents lived on the island and it house Public School #13 which boasted about 16 students.  Cod and Mackerel were dried and shipped to Boston and New York and Lobsters were plentiful and sold to the mainlander’s for about  2 cents a piece. The village was abandoned after its harbor was washed away by the hurricane of 1860

Chatham Twin Lighthouse’s
Established by President Thomas Jefferson in 1808 to protect the ships circling the Cape.  It originally consisted of two lights. The pair were moved back and rebuilt in 1877.  The second was moved to Eastham to become Nauset Light in 1923. Today the innkeepers house is home to a Coast Guard Station.

Boat Tours For boating activities check out Beachcomber a 1 1/2 hour Seal tour along beautiful Chatham Harbor between North Beach and Chatham Light and the break. They also feature cruises for family get-together, weddings, events and group charters.  Tours start in July. Outermost Harbor Marine features water taxis and visits to pristine barrier beaches and island wonders.  The Monomoy Island Ferry aboard the Rip Ryder is the closest boat to seals since 1989. They feature daily trips for seal cruises, walking tours, fishing and birding.

Chatham Railroad

 On November 22, 1887, the railroad made its  first run. Prior to the railroads travel was only possible to the Cape by boat, cart or stagecoach. With comfortable travel now available the richest families in Boston and New York started vacationing and began purchasing their own Summer homes.  In 1937, the coming of bus lines closed the railroad. The main station stood abandoned until 1951 when it was donated to the town to be maintained as a public museum. The Museum is opened from June 15 – September 18th.

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Chatham Bars Inn

Chatham, Massachusetts


 Chatham features 8 area beaches, bird watching, biking, fishing, galleries, golf, hiking, kayaking,  museums, seal cruises, shopping and more. There are more than 15 area restaurants, 11 Inns and 9 B&B’s; as well as rental homes, cottages and condos for longer accommodations.  Check the Chatham Lodging Association for lodging information as well as  The Chatham Chamber of Commerce  for more things to do in the area.

 Main Street 

Today, Chatham is home to numerous family owned shops, restaurants and businesses. During the Summer concerts are held at the gazebo on Main Street. The great thing about traveling is you get to visit some of the most unique shops each area has to offer.  In Chatham,  Yankee Ingenuity a Gallery Gift shop The Mayflower Shop another unique gift shop and Chatham Pottery are just some of the shops that are a must stop!

We also must say that Chatham is the home to one Cape Cod’s best photographers Christopher Seufert   You must check out his work or even speak with him about your family portraits or wedding photographs.

Chatham holds some of the best preserved historic homes and buildings winning the “2007 Distinctive Destinations Award” by The National Historic Trust for Historic Preservation.

Chatham Anglers

 The Chatham A’s or Anglers, Chatham’s own baseball team. They have appeared in the CCBL playoffs 30 times since 1963! Veterans Field in Chatham has been home to the team since the inception of the Cape Cod Baseball League in 1923.  This years season games are June 10th – August 3rd.

Chatham Bars Inn 

 Known for New England’s Finest Oceanfront Luxury Resort & Spa.  Known for its views and service and fine dining is also known as a destination wedding location and for its spa services. This inn has a history dating back to 1912.

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