• History

    The History of Chatham

    Introduction

                Chatham is a beautiful small town located in Barnstable County in Massachusetts, US. It sits on the south-eastern top part of Cape Cod and has been historically known for its fishing community. Town of Chatham was first settled by the English in 1664 and was first named Monomoit. Chatham got its status of a town in 1712 when it became popular place for spending summer vacations. Chatham has population of over six thousand people, but the number reaches as many as 25,000 in the summer period when many people come to the place. Chatham is made of four villages that comprise the town – Chatham, North Chatham, South Chatham and West Chatham.

    Chatham`s Old History

                The lands where initially Native Americans lived were called Monomoit, hence that is why the initial name of the town was Monomoit. First explorer to set the foot to Chatham was Samuel de Champlain in 1606. Many other Europeans came and go from the place in the following years, but the English settlers were the first to populate the place in 1664. Historically, Chatham community was famous for fishing, shipping and whaling. Due to the numerous buildings dating back from 18th century, Chatham kept its old charm and regularly attracts thousands of visitors from everywhere.

    Historical Landmarks

                Chatham Lighthouse is one of the most popular landmarks in town, established by former US President Thomas Jefferson in 1808. The original lighthouse from 1808 was replaced with twin lighthouse towers in 1841, but unfortunately both of them got lost due to bad erosion. However, in 1877 the Chatham Lighthouse has been rebuilt and it stands to this day.

                What makes Chatham different town from others in the Cape Cod is that it still has the same old charm since forever. The walkable Main Street is full of nice old buildings and home of many family-owned businesses and shops. The Main Street is also popular shopping place where you can find some nice shops selling all kinds of things, including art crafts and handicrafts from local people.

                Chatham may not have professional and social opportunities like in other places on Cape Cod, but it is still very charming, scenic and quiet place to live and work. Winter period is when town is almost empty, because many people use the town as their summer retreat. Interesting fact is that in the summer months the population of the town goes up to almost thirty thousand people, most of them tourists. Beaches are very crowded then, especially the most popular beach in town – the Lighthouse Beach.

                Among the few historical landmarks in Chatham, the following are the main ones that should not be missed when in town. The Atwood House is the oldest in town, dating back from 1752. Caleb Nickerson House from 1772 is also well-worth visiting, same as the attractive Josiah Mayo House from 1820. Museum lovers and history buffs should check out Chatham Railroad Museum and Marconi Maritime Museum, dating back from 1887 and 1914 respectively.