Topics: Local History

CHATHAM – Two new exhibits open at the Chatham Historical Society’s Atwood House and Museum this Friday, May 26: “Chatham in the Military” and “Windows into Time: Clothing and Artifacts.” Let’s begin with a look at wartime Chatham. “We’re focusing on three primary wars and how they impacted our small community,” says Danielle Jeanloz, the society's executive director. Chatham residents Col. Benjamin Godf...

Skull Originally Found On Outer Beach

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – The human skull found on the grounds of the Atwood House Museum in December was initially found more than two years ago on the outer beach. The new information was revealed this week about the skull, which apparently belonged to a Native American and was more than 100 years old. Its discovery by landscapers doing fall cleanup work on Dec. 9 generated considerable interest locally and regionally. “...

Eldredge Garage, A Downtown Landmark, Is Demolished

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — After more than a century watching over the east end of downtown Chatham, the landmark Eldredge Garage building has been razed. On Monday, a small crew using an excavator tore down the large barn piece by piece, pulling aside scrap metal and salvageable timbers for recycling. By the end of the day Monday, about two-thirds of the structure had been demolished, and work was suspended Tuesday because ...

A Wartime Letter To The Boys At The Front

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

During World War II, Leo Vernon Eldredge sent periodic letters to local men serving overseas. One of the men he corresponded with was his friend Edwin W. Taylor, father of Selectman Seth Taylor. Edwin Taylor saved the letters sent to him by “LV” and brought them home with him after serving in the South Pacific. Seth Taylor recently shared one of those letters, printed here, which he said “discusses or adds some ...

Mill On The Move

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – The iconic windmill on Briggs Way overlooking Chatham Harbor took a little trip the other day. Crews from Sylvester Building Movers wrested the 77-year-old windmill from its stone foundation and ever-so-carefully and slowly transported it a short distance away to a corner of the property. The windmill – never a working mill but built as a summer home by Herbert Briggs in about 1930 – is under a de...

Channel Dangers Recall 1950 Drownings

By: Debra Lawless

Sixty-seven years after the sad event, Archie S. Nickerson recently reminisced about the afternoon of Oct. 30, 1950, when his father and his father’s fishing partner drowned crossing Chatham Bar. Archie, now 82, is the sole remaining member of the family in which he grew up. This afternoon he is sitting at the kitchen table in his ranch house not too far from Ridgevale Beach. He opens a thin manila envelope la...

The “heartwarming and inspiring” story of the 1952 rescue of 32 sailors from the Pendleton, the tanker that broke in two off Cape Cod during a vicious northeaster, represents Chatham’s community spirit at its finest, says Danielle Jeanloz, executive director of the Chatham Historical Society (CHS). “Rarely does a community have a chance to rally like that and have such success,” Jeanloz said Monday. The story ...

Book Stakes Chatham's Claim To Aviation History

By: Debra Lawless

“Chatham is the cradle of aviation,” says John Brown, the author of a new book called “Gustave Whitehead and the Wright Brothers: Who Flew First?” Brown came to this conclusion after he studied late 19 th century experiments in glider flight in Chatham that he says led directly to one of the experimenters being the first to fly in a motor-powered aircraft. Brown is a native of Australia living in Germany. ...

HBDC Told Eldredge Garage Stable Can't Be Saved

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – No matter who ends up owning the Eldredge Garage, the oldest building on the property, built about 120 years ago as a stable, will likely have to be torn down. Although determined to be historically significant, the building is in such poor condition that it is not salvageable, several people told the historic business district commission during a hearing last Wednesday. The best that could be hoped ...

Human Skull Found On Museum Grounds

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Landscapers doing a fall cleanup at the Atwood House Museum made a surprising discovery last Friday: a human skull. Thought to be more than 100 years old, the skull was found in the brush behind the Stage Harbor Road museum, which is owned by the Chatham Historical Society. “It generated a lot of excitement,” said museum Executive Director Danielle Jeanloz. Workers from Luciano's Landscaping di...

Skull Found On Atwood House Museum Grounds

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM -- A human skull thought to be more than 100 years old was found by landscapers on the grounds of the Atwood House Museum Friday morning. Workers from Luciano's Landscaping were preparing the back lawn of the Stage Harbor Road museum, owned by the Chatham Historical Society, for the winter when they came across the partially buried skull, according to museum Executive Director Danielle Jeanloz. The ...

HARWICH ─ There's a lot of turkey talk this time of year, but none quite like that on the Harwich Conservation Trust's annual Turkey Talk Walk. The annual event takes participants past some ponds and through the woods of Hawksnest State Park to the site of the old Walker Turkey Farm, and though the 2016 event brought with it a little mist, it didn't disappoint. Leading the way for nearly 50 intrepid walkers ...

ORLEANS – The colonial settlement of the town and its post-Revolutionary War incorporation is detailed in three new historical markers unveiled last week outside Snow Library. “There's an incredible, compelling story to tell,” said Ron Petersen, who co-chairs the Orleans Historic Markers Committee with Pat Perry. The new panels speak of the town's connection to famed Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins, who...

Brooks Library Painting Remains A Contentious Issue

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The preservation of the face of Brooks Free Library has been a hot topic in town over the past couple of years. While selectmen have approved an architectural firm to oversee the work to be performed, the firm remains a bone of contention, as do comments made against a former historic district and historical commission member who takes exception to recommendations made by the firm. Mirande Dupuy-Dewi...

CHATHAM – Efforts are underway to save the iconic Chatham Harbor-front windmill which was placed under demolition delay by the historical commission last month. Commission Chairman Frank Messina said he's been in touch with representatives of the owners of the 66 Briggs Way property, who want to remove the 86-year-old windmill and build a new house. They're eager to find a new home for the windmill so they can...

CHATHAM – What really happened on Feb. 18, 1952? While the book and movie of the Pendleton rescue, “The Finest Hours,” tells the story of how a four-man Coast Guard crew from Chatham saved 32 men from a sinking tanker off the town's coast, like any historical event, there's always a lot more to tell. At the Chatham Historical Society's Atwood House Museum Sunday, those other stories of the CG36500 and the P...