Barnstable County, Massachusetts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Barnstable County, Massachusetts
Barnstable County Courthouse, Barnstable MA.jpg
Barnstable County Courthouse
Seal of Barnstable County, Massachusetts
Seal
Map of Massachusetts highlighting Barnstable County
Location in the state of Massachusetts
Map of the United States highlighting Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location in the U.S.
Founded 1685
Seat Barnstable
Largest city Barnstable
Area
 • Total 1,306 sq mi (3,383 km2)
 • Land 394 sq mi (1,020 km2)
 • Water 912 sq mi (2,362 km2), 70%
Population
 • (2010) 215,888
 • Density 548/sq mi (212/km²)
Congressional district 9th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.barnstablecounty.org

Barnstable County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, the population was 215,888.[1] Its county seat is Barnstable.[2] The county consists of Cape Cod and associated islands. (Some adjacent islands are in Dukes County and Nantucket County.)

Barnstasble County comprises the Barnstable Town, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT Combined Statistical Area.

Barnstable County was formed as part of the Plymouth Colony on 2 June 1685, including the towns of Falmouth, Sandwich and others lying to the east and north on Cape Cod. Plymouth Colony was merged into the Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1691.

History[edit]

Giovanni da Verrazzano[edit]

Cape Cod is described in a letter from the Italian explorer, Giovanni da Verrazzano to Francis I of France, relating the details of a voyage to the New World made on behalf of the French crown in the ship, Dauphine, the only surviving of a fleet of four.[3] Sailing from Madeira in 1524, the Dauphine made land in North Carolina in March. It sailed north to Newfoundland, mapping the coast and interviewing the natives, whom he found friendly south of the cape, but unfriendly north of it. To the north of an island that reminded Verrazzano of Rhodes, the Dauphine made its way with difficulty over shoals "never less than three feet deep" extending "from the continent fifty leagues out to sea," which Brevoort, based on their extent, has identified as Nantucket Shoals.[4] Verrazzano called them Armellini. On the other side was a promontory, Pallavisino, which is probably the cape,[4] as they sailed along it for "fifty leagues." Details of the north end are not given, but subsequently they came to a "high country, full of very dense forests, composed of pines," which, according to Brevoort and others, resembles the coast of Maine.[4]

Bartholomew Gosnold[edit]

After Verrazzano the eastern United States acquired the map label of New France, but France had no way to develop it. Scattered colonies in the wilderness of a few dozen men could not be supported until the foundation of Quebec in 1608. Meanwhile the paper claim did not deter entrepreneurs. In March, 1602, Bartholomew Gosnold set sail from Falmouth, Cornwall, in the ship, Concord, transporting a crew of 8, an exploration party of 12, and 20 colonists, with the intent of establishing a trading post in the New World. Intersecting the coast of Maine, they turned to the south, encountered what appeared to be an island, and dropped anchor in Provincetown Harbor. Gosnold at first called the land Shoal Hope, but after discovering it was a cape, and acquiring a hold full of cod from the abundant schools in Cape Cod Bay, he changed the name to Cape Cod.[5]

Gosnold explored the cape, establishing good relations with the natives there, approximately 1500 members of the Nauset Tribe, closely related in language and custom to the Wampanoag people of the mainland, and under their sovereignty. John Brereton, chaplain of the expedition, reported that they were dark-skinned, customarily nude except for deerskins over the shoulders and sealskins around the waist, and wore their long, black hair up in a knot. They painted their bodies. Some knew a few English words, which is something of a historical problem, as Gosnold and his companions are believed to have been the first English to land in America.[6] Gosnold made a point of describing how healthy the people appeared.

Subsequently Gosnold sailed around the cape to discover an island, "full of wood, vines, gooseberry bushes, whortleberries, raspberries, eglantines, etc.," as well as large numbers of shore birds. He named it Martha's Vineyard after his daughter. Another island nearby, Cuttyhunk Island, he named Elizabeth Island, in honor of Elizabeth I of England, from which the Elizabeth Islands take their name. He intended to place a trading post there, but when the time came for the return voyage, the colonists decided not to remain. Gosnold ventured a second time to the New World in 1608 as Captain John Smith's second in command of the Jamestown expedition. After three months there he died of malaria.[5]

Martin Pring[edit]

In 1603 another mercantile expedition set sail from Bristol, England, in two ships, the Speedwell and the Discoverer, commanded by a 23-year-old captain, Martin Pring. Elizabeth I had died two weeks earlier, but Pring had secured permission from Sir Walter Raleigh, who held from the queen exploration rights to all of North America.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,306 square miles (3,380 km2), of which 394 square miles (1,020 km2) is land and 912 square miles (2,360 km2) (70%) is water.[7] It is the second-largest county in Massachusetts by total area. It has approximately 550 miles (890 km) of shoreline.

Barnstable County is not co-extensive with Cape Cod. The latter is a geophysical term defined by its insular or peninsular landmass. According to Freeman, it is a "long, irregular peninsula" between 65 mi (105 km) and 75 mi (121 km), measured along the north or the south shores respectively, and between 5 mi (8.0 km) and 20 mi (32 km) wide. Originally, he points out, only the tip was considered the cape, but as it was settled the name extended from its tip to the shortest line across the isthmus.[8] Barnstable County, on the other hand, is a geopolitical and legal term. It is the area contained within the borders of all cities and towns defined to be in the county by the Massachusetts General Court. These borders were located in multiple episodes of disputed legislation during the centuries since the foundation of Plymouth Colony.[9]

The main difference between Cape Cod and Barnstable County is the band of water up to several miles wide extending from the shoreline to the outermost county border. The offshore area contains significant maritime life, as well as being a recreational and transportational medium, and containing historical material lost with sunken ships.[10] It is true that the landmass of Barnstable County includes and consists mostly of Cape Cod.

The highest elevation in the county is 306 feet (93 m) on the summit of Pine Hill, located on Joint Base Cape Cod in Bourne. The lowest point is sea level.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Barnstable County borders Plymouth County to the northwest; off Barnstable County's southern shore are Dukes County and Nantucket County.

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 17,342
1800 19,293 11.3%
1810 22,211 15.1%
1820 24,026 8.2%
1830 28,514 18.7%
1840 32,548 14.1%
1850 35,276 8.4%
1860 35,990 2.0%
1870 32,774 −8.9%
1880 31,897 −2.7%
1890 29,172 −8.5%
1900 27,826 −4.6%
1910 27,542 −1.0%
1920 26,670 −3.2%
1930 32,305 21.1%
1940 37,295 15.4%
1950 46,805 25.5%
1960 70,286 50.2%
1970 96,656 37.5%
1980 147,925 53.0%
1990 186,605 26.1%
2000 222,230 19.1%
2010 215,888 −2.9%
Est. 2013 214,990 −0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2013[1]
Age breakdown of residents in 2000

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 222,230 people, 94,822 households, and 61,065 families residing in the county. The population density was 562 people per square mile (217/km²). There were 147,083 housing units at an average density of 372 per square mile (144/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.23% White, 1.79% Black or African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.63% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.11% from other races, and 1.66% from two or more races. 1.35% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 24.0% were of Irish, 15.6% English, 9.4% Italian, 5.9% German and 5.0% "American" ancestry according to Census 2000. 93.6% spoke English, 1.7% Portuguese, 1.4% Spanish and 1.0% French as their first language.

There were 94,822 households out of which 24.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.20% were married couples living together, 9.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.60% were non-families. 29.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the county the population was spread out with 20.40% under the age of 18, 5.20% from 18 to 24, 25.00% from 25 to 44, 26.20% from 45 to 64, and 23.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 89.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $45,933, and the median income for a family was $54,728. Males had a median income of $41,033 versus $30,079 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,318. About 4.60% of families and 6.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.60% of those under age 18 and 5.00% of those age 65 or over.

Demographic breakdown by town[edit]

Income[edit]

The ranking of unincorporated communities that are included on the list are reflective if the census designated locations and villages were included as cities or towns. Data is from the 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.[16][17][18]

Towns of Barnstable County
historical map of 1890
Rank Town Per capita
income
Median
household
income
Median
family
income
Population Number of
households
Woods Hole CDP $123,954 $125,156 $136,731 725 368
New Seabury CDP $61,788 $91,528 $101,563 975 483
Chatham CDP $59,799 $82,656 $103,375 1,754 805
Popponesset CDP $59,468 $250,000+ $250,000+ 158 96
1 Chatham Town $52,039 $69,325 $97,096 6,177 2,920
Monomoscoy Island CDP $49,544 $107,143 $170,179 177 72
Mashpee Neck CDP $48,867 $90,096 $108,618 869 333
2 Wellfleet Town $47,428 $59,234 $93,107 2,858 1,621
Falmouth CDP $44,413 $34,018 $75,590 3,595 2,116
Harwich Port CDP $42,832 $49,925 $79,205 1,909 1,021
Dennis CDP $42,820 $52,727 $68,750 2,330 1,220
Yarmouth Port CDP $42,334 $63,177 $82,159 4,908 2,593
3 Orleans Town $42,268 $61,897 $84,099 5,946 2,888
North Falmouth CDP $41,985 $75,408 $84,444 2,849 1,343
Provincetown CDP $41,925 $46,696 $87,857 2,842 1,539
Teaticket CDP $41,595 $46,469 $67,171 1,625 901
4 Provincetown Town $41,488 $46,547 $87,228 2,994 1,645
Seconsett Island CDP $41,384 $60,625 $115,250 32 22
Seabrook CDP $40,604 $69,400 $88,750 354 154
Sandwich CDP $40,209 $82,989 $86,875 2,699 1,265
5 Truro Town $39,856 $71,964 $85,909 1,903 873
Monument Beach CDP $38,459 $80,240 $90,110 2,714 1,185
Bourne CDP $38,452 $53,059 $55,469 1,406 699
6 Falmouth Town $38,334 $61,244 $77,488 31,674 14,293
West Chatham CDP $37,397 $52,500 $92,552 1,109 540
East Sandwich CDP $36,850 $91,806 $103,914 4,018 1,621
7 Barnstable City $36,121 $62,191 $75,620 45,486 20,119
8 Sandwich Town $36,047 $82,485 $95,273 20,635 7,702
Barnstable County County $36,000 $60,525 $76,708 216,639 96,775
East Dennis CDP $35,874 $64,875 $84,550 2,795 1,269
9 Eastham Town $35,352 $56,029 $75,803 5,011 2,404
Massachusetts State $35,051 $65,981 $83,371 6,512,227 2,522,409
West Falmouth CDP $34,659 $58,831 $59,073 1,684 769
10 Brewster Town $34,380 $59,321 $77,463 9,853 4,354
Northwest Harwich CDP $34,287 $54,753 $63,947 4,060 1,750
11 Harwich Town $34,087 $57,455 $69,811 12,259 5,537
Brewster CDP $34,024 $46,473 $69,713 2,291 1,117
North Eastham CDP $33,833 $50,214 $68,693 1,792 938
12 Mashpee Town $33,492 $62,763 $73,560 13,900 5,753
13 Yarmouth Town $33,251 $50,228 $63,975 23,919 11,825
Popponesset Island CDP $32,909 $39,712 $62,639 152 54
14 Bourne Town $32,330 $62,531 $79,613 19,632 8,051
15 Dennis Town $31,986 $51,580 $64,861 14,392 6,790
East Harwich CDP $31,872 $60,674 $67,146 4,426 1,953
South Yarmouth CDP $31,498 $46,505 $60,015 11,463 5,732
Pocasset CDP $31,038 $54,349 $83,472 3,065 1,390
Orleans CDP $30,759 $39,444 $48,125 1,453 778
Sagamore CDP $30,655 $70,554 $76,523 3,728 1,379
East Falmouth CDP $30,575 $55,967 $66,141 5,926 2,689
West Falmouth CDP $30,553 $45,529 $53,027 6,097 2,948
West Dennis CDP $30,428 $49,815 $64,619 2,095 1,020
Forestdale CDP $30,139 $84,981 $88,274 4,047 1,313
Buzzards Bay CDP $30,074 $51,341 $79,145 3,120 1,218
Harwich Center CDP $29,955 $58,729 $80,278 1,864 813
Dennis Port CDP $28,071 $45,375 $65,313 3,686 1,633
United States Country $27,915 $52,762 $64,293 306,603,772 114,761,359
South Dennis CDP $26,704 $49,123 $58,027 3,486 1,648

Politics[edit]

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 13, 2010[19]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
  Democratic 44,070 26.48%
  Republican 27,687 16.63%
  Unaffiliated 93,815 56.36%
  Minor Parties 881 0.53%
Total 166,453 100%
Presidential election results[20]
Year Democratic Republican
2012 53.2% 70,822 45.4% 60,446
2008 56.1% 74,264 42.1% 55,694
2004 54.6% 72,156 44.3% 58,527
2000 51.5% 62,363 41.0% 49,686

Government[edit]

Barnstable County is one of the last functioning counties in Massachusetts.[21] County government consists of a legislative branch (Cape Cod Assembly of Delegates) and an executive branch (Barnstable County Commissioners).

Cape Cod Assembly of Delegates[edit]

The Assembly of Delegates is the legislative branch of Barnstable County. There are fifteen towns located within Barnstable County, and each town is duly represented on the Assembly of Delegates. In 1989, by an Act of the Massachusetts General Court and confirmed by a majority of Barnstable County voters, the Barnstable County Home Rule Charter went into effect and the first session of the Assembly of Delegates convened. All legislative powers of the County are vested in the Assembly of Delegates which acts by ordinance and also adopts resolutions.

Membership[edit]

The Assembly of Delegates consists of fifteen Delegates representing each of the towns located in Barnstable County. A Delegate’s vote is weighted based on the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census. The town of Barnstable, for example, has the largest vote of 20.92% and Truro has the smallest vote of only 0.93%.

Barnstable County Commissioners[edit]

There are three Barnstable County Commissioners who together act as the Executive Branch of county government. Each commissioner is elected at large and serves a four-year staggered term. Duties of the commissioners include direction of county agencies, preparation of budgets for submission to the Assembly, care of county property and finances, proposing ordinances to the Assembly, and appointment of the County Administrator.

Membership[edit]

Mary Pat Flynn (Falmouth), Chair Term: 2013 – 2017

Sheila R. Lyons (Wellfleet), Vice-Chair Term: 2013 – 2017

William “Bill” Doherty (Harwich), Commissioner Term: 2010 – 2014

Cape Cod Commission[edit]

The planning agency of Barnstable County is the Cape Cod Commission.

Communities[edit]

Cities and towns have been legally incorporated as such under the laws of the State of Massachusetts. They include the entire territory of the state. A city may continue to name itself a town even though legally a city. Villages are subordinate to cities or towns. In addition to and not necessarily based on these legal municipalities are the arbitrary divisions of the United States Census Bureau. Villages are census divisions, but have no separate corporate existence from the towns they are in. Other arbitrary divisions may be in use. For example, the City of Barnstable has five fire districts that cover the seven villages - each village has its own fire department except that Centerville, Osterville and Marstons Mills have combined their efforts into the COMM Fire Department.

USA Mass Cape Cod upper lower.svg
1 white, green rounded rectangle.svg
2 white, green rounded rectangle.svg
3 white, green rounded rectangle.svg
4 white, green rounded rectangle.svg
5 white, blue rounded rectangle.svg
6 white, blue rounded rectangle.svg
7 white, blue rounded rectangle.svg
8 white, red rounded rectangle.svg
9 white, red rounded rectangle.svg
10 white, red rounded rectangle.svg
11 white, saddlebrown rounded rectangle.svg
12 white, saddlebrown rounded rectangle.svg
13 white, saddlebrown rounded rectangle.svg
14 white, saddlebrown rounded rectangle.svg
15 white, saddlebrown rounded rectangle.svg
Upper Cape
1 white, green rounded rectangle.svg Bourne
2 white, green rounded rectangle.svg Falmouth
3 white, green rounded rectangle.svg Sandwich
4 white, green rounded rectangle.svg Mashpee
Mid-Cape
5 white, blue rounded rectangle.svg Barnstable
6 white, blue rounded rectangle.svg Yarmouth
7 white, blue rounded rectangle.svg Dennis
Lower Cape
8 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Brewster
9 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Harwich
10 white, red rounded rectangle.svg Chatham
Outer Cape (occasionally, Lower Cape)
11 white, saddlebrown rounded rectangle.svg Orleans
12 white, saddlebrown rounded rectangle.svg Eastham
13 white, saddlebrown rounded rectangle.svg Wellfleet
14 white, saddlebrown rounded rectangle.svg Truro
15 white, saddlebrown rounded rectangle.svg Provincetown

City[edit]

Towns[edit]

Villages[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Giovanni da Verrazzano (2006). "Letter to King Francis I of France, 8 July 1524: Excerpts". National Humanities Center. p. 8.  Text reproduced by permission from Wroth, Lawrence C., ed. (1970). The Voyages of Giovanni da Verrazzano, 1524-1528. New Haven: Yale University Press. 
  4. ^ a b c Brevoort, James Carson (1874). Verrazano the Navigator. New York: American Geographical Society of New York. pp. 135–136. 
  5. ^ a b Conway 2008, pp. 31–32
  6. ^ Conway 2008, pp. 33–35
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ Freeman 1860, p. 27
  9. ^ A history of this extensive legislation through 1860 on a town-by-town basis can be found in Freeman 1862, passim
  10. ^ In an effort to protect this area, Barnstable County created the Cape Cod Commission, giving it control over the oceanic waters within county jurisdiction, to exclude the bays and river mouths as well as the Cape Cod Canal. Its final plan, completed in 2011, includes maps showing the total extent of Barnstable County, most of which is oceanic, including most of Cape Cod Bay, half of upper Buzzard's Bay, and some of the waters to the south of the cape. "Cape Cod Ocean Management PLan" (pdf). Cape Cod Commission. 13 October 2011. p. 33. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ "SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  17. ^ "ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  18. ^ "HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  19. ^ "2010 State Primary Party Enrollment Statistics" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  20. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2011-06-11. 
  21. ^ "Worcester County, Massachusetts". Princeton University. Retrieved October 8, 2014. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°43′N 70°15′W / 41.72°N 70.25°W / 41.72; -70.25