Topics: Local History

A Storm At Sea

By: Bill Amaru

Boy – Thar’s a Jesus lot o’wind that blows on George’s Bank. Perhaps one of the most beautiful and moving experiences nature offers the human condition can be found at sunrise, at sea. The sunrise over the North Atlantic Ocean in summer can be extraordinarily beautiful. The breeze which is almost always busy at sea seems to pause for the moments it takes for the sun to rise above the horizon. The heat th...

CHATHAM — Just down the hill from the gristmill that he operated, a new stone monument pays tribute to Col. Benjamin Godfrey, eight other notable leaders and 49 Chatham families that sent loved ones into harm’s way nearly 250 years ago. On Memorial Day, citizens gathered in Chase Park for the dedication of the town’s first Revolutionary War memorial. Dressed in colonial garb and playing the part of Col. Godfre...

A children’s book that painter Alice Stallknecht never finished.  Puffer fish and tonsillectomy “tools.”  Chatham’s sport and sailing clubs. These intriguing topics are all included in three new exhibits at the Atwood Museum, Home of the Chatham Historical Society (CHS) this summer. In addition, the museum will host six Thursday evenings of live music for the first time. Stallknecht (1880-1973) arrived in C...

Learning History And Lending A Hand

By: Alan Pollock

Mass Maritime Cadets Work On CG36500 CHATHAM — It was a little bit like visiting with a celebrity. For a handful of Mass. Maritime Academy cadets, all future officer candidates in the Coast Guard, spending a morning working on the venerable rescue boat CG36500 left them paint-splotched and starstruck. “It’s incredible. This was the actual boat,” cadet Cole Francavilla said. “It’s crazy.” Francavilla ...

Jinny Doane Named To Harwich Hall Of Fame

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH –Longtime town librarian, the late Virginia E.“Jinny” Stridstone Doane, has been inducted into the town’s Hall of Fame. Selectman Donald Howell made the announcement during the annual town meeting last week. He said Doane is probably best known as being the town librarian at Brooks Free Library for 42 years. Under her leadership, the library grew to a renovated, state-of-the-art facility, increasing it...

Remembering When The 'Perfect Storm' Hit Chatham

By: Bill Amaru

Most everyone knows what the Perfect Storm was. The 1991 gale, also sometimes called the “Halloween Nor’easter,” was a massive series of unusually powerful low pressure cells which came together over the waters east of New England and then backed up into our coastal waters with devastating consequences. The moniker “Perfect Storm” was not meant to characterize the storm in a positive way. It was coined to describ...

CHATHAM — While the four members of the Gold Medal Lifeboat Crew died years ago, the story of their daring rescue of 32 men from the stricken tanker Pendleton remains very much alive 70 years later. Commemorations of that anniversary took place in Chatham on Friday, involving citizens young and old. In a small ceremony at the Chatham Fish Pier, citizens braced against the cold wind and marveled once again at...

Cape Rep Offers Valentine's Day Singing Telegrams

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

      Are you searching for that perfect, unique Valentine's Day gift, but you just can't seem to think beyond the usual box of candy or bunch of flowers? Do you wish you could give something different and unforgettable while also supporting one of your favorite local arts institutions?      Look no further. Give the gift of a live or virtual personalized singing telegram this Valentine's Day to help rais...

South Harwich Meetinghouse Premieres Chamber Concert Series

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

     Are you looking for a way to gracefully sweep the last chilly bits of winter away and get out into the community as spring approaches? Make 2022 the year of exquisite chamber music enjoyed in the beautifully restored South Harwich Meetinghouse.      The 2022 premiere season of the Masterpieces at the Meetinghouse concert series will take place on Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. at the South Harwich M...

ORLEANS – By most accounts around town, the planned renovation of the Main Street Community Center represents a noticeable improvement to the existing building. But the Orleans Historical Commission has more specific concerns, namely whether the proposed work constitutes a historic restoration of the property. Commission members voted 5-0 Jan. 26 to find that they lacked the information needed to make a recomm...

Cape Playhouse Welcomes New Artistic Director

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

          The Cape Cod Center for the Arts (CCCA), which owns and operates the historic Cape Playhouse in Dennis, has named Tony Award-winning producer  David Elliott as its new artistic director. Elliott will take over for Michael Rader.           Elliott brings a wealth of experience to his new position. For the past 15 years he has served as co-director of Perry Street Theatricals, an award-wi...

ORLEANS – An expanded survey of the town's historic properties and improved traffic signaling near the intersection of Main Street and the Cape Cod Rail Trail are among the projects seeking community preservation funding this spring. The community preservation committee began hearing project presentations Jan. 13. The committee is charged with making recommendations on approximately $1.5 million in proposed Co...

Holly Jolly Holiday Social At Cape Rep Theatre

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

          Get into the spirit of the season at Cape Rep Theatre in Brewster on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18 and 19 at 4 p.m. at the Holly Jolly Holiday Social, a chance to gather with friends in the name of sugarplums and mistletoe while favorite Cape Rep performers give voice to classic holiday songs. This fun musical event is part of a full month of Brewster for the Holidays festivities.           Cape Rep Mark...

ORLEANS -- The Centers for Culture and History in Orleans, better known as the CHO, has long been an ambassador and safekeeper of town history. But the organization's staff and board of directors see the potential for it to be a broader community resource. With recent renovations to the CHO Meetinghouse and abutting Hurd Chapel, that refocused mission will soon be put into practice. "We're trying to transfo...

Chatham's Oldest Resident Dies At 108 CHATHAM – One of Juliet Bernstein's most cherished memories was accompanying her mother in a horse-drawn surrey so that she could vote for the first time following the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920. "I was 7 but it truly impressed me," Mrs. Bernstein said in a 2020 interview. That experience helped shape a dedication to equality and social justice that foll...

Family's Land Donations Help Preserve Critical Pond, Woodland Habitat

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

Back in 1962, Jake Brown, a self-described “ocean person,” and his wife Barbara purchased their first parcel of land in Harwich, a hillside between rolling woodland and Hinckleys Pond. Their new haven was not oceanfront property, but its location overlooking the freshwater pond captured the Browns’ imagination and their hearts. “I had always loved the ocean, and I admit I was hesitant at first, because a pond ...