Mashpee Town Hall
Location in Barnstable County in Massachusetts
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||27.2 sq mi (70.5 km2)|
|• Land||23.4 sq mi (60.6 km2)|
|• Water||3.8 sq mi (9.9 km2)|
|Elevation||55 ft (17 m)|
|• Density||599/sq mi (231.2/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||508 / 774|
|GNIS feature ID||0618256|
For geographic and demographic information on specific parts of the town of Mashpee, please see the articles on Mashpee Neck, Monomoscoy Island, New Seabury, Popponesset, Popponesset Island, Seabrook and Seconsett Island.
After English colonists arrived, they began to settle Mashpee in 1658 with the assistance of the missionary Richard Bourne, from the neighboring town of Sandwich. In 1660 the colonists allowed the Christian Wampanoag, who had been converted, about 50 square miles (130 km2) in the settlement. Beginning in 1665, the Wampanoag governed themselves with a court of law and trials according to English custom (they had long governed themselves according to their own customs).
Following their defeat in King Philip's War (1675–1676), the Wampanoag of the mainland were resettled with the Sakonnet in present-day Rhode Island or brought, together with the Nauset, into the praying towns in Barnstable County. Mashpee on Cape Cod was designated as the largest Indian reservation in Massachusetts. The town's name is an Anglicization of a native name, mass-nippe: mass is "great", or "greater" (see Massachusetts), and nippe is "water". The name has been translated as "the greater cove" or "great pond," or "land near great cove", where the water being referenced is Wakeby Lake, which is greater at one end.
In the year 1763, the Crown designated Mashpee as a plantation, against the will of the Wampanoag. The colony gave the natives the right to elect their own officials to maintain order. The population of the plantation declined steadily due to the conditions placed upon the Wampanoag. Designation as a plantation meant that the area governed by the Mashpee Wampanoag was integrated into the colonial district of Mashpee.
Following the American Revolutionary War, the town in 1788 revoked Mashpee self-government, which American officials considered a failure. They appointed a committee, consisting of five European-American members, to supervise the Mashpee.
In 1834, the state returned a certain level of self-government to the Wampanoag, although they were not completely autonomous. With the idea that emulating European-American farming would encourage assimilation, in 1842 the state broke up some of the Wampanoag communal land. It distributed 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of their 13,000-acre (53 km2) property in 60-acre (240,000 m2) allotted parcels to heads of households, so that each family could have individual ownership for subsistence farming.
The legislature passed laws against the constant problems of encroachments on Wampanoag land by European Americans, but did not enforce them. The competing settlers also stole wood from the reservation. It was a large region, once rich in wood, fish and game, and desired by white settlers, who envied the growing community of Mashpee. The Mashpee Indians suffered more conflicts with their white neighbors than did other more isolated or less desirable Indian settlements in the state.
Ultimately the Wampanoag lost their land and self-government, although many of their descendants have remained in the area. A 1999 video, Mashpee, describes the impact of 1970s land claims by the Wampanoag.
In 1870 the state approved the incorporation of Mashpee as a town, the second-to-last jurisdiction on the Cape to undergo the process.
Today the town of Mashpee is known both for tourist recreation and for its distinctive Wampanoag culture. The Wampanoag hold an annual pow-wow at which they display traditional activities and crafts.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Mashpee has a total area of 27.2 square miles (70.5 km2), of which 23.4 square miles (60.6 km2) is land and 3.8 square miles (9.9 km2), or 14.10%, is water.
Mashpee is considered to be on the "upper", or western, portion of Cape Cod. It is bounded by Sandwich to the north and northwest, Barnstable to the east, Nantucket Sound to the south, and Falmouth to the west. It is approximately 65 miles (105 km) south-southeast of Boston and 70 miles (110 km) east-southeast of Providence, Rhode Island.
Like all towns on the Cape, Mashpee's topography is that of sandy soil, small ponds and inlets, surrounded by the pines and oaks indigenous to the area. The town's shoreline is framed by Waquoit Bay to the west and Popponesset Bay to the east, both spawning several rivers, brooks and small ponds. The town is also the site of South Cape Beach State Park, along Dead Neck and Waquoit Bay, and the Lowell Holly Reservation, comprising the land between Wakeby and Mashpee Ponds.
There are no freeways in the town of Mashpee. It was also the only Cape town not to have a railroad at one time or another in it, though according to 2.5. Rail Transportation, Joint Base Cape Cod has a railroad track stretching into the town. Major roads include Massachusetts Route 28, Massachusetts Route 130 and Massachusetts Route 151. Route 28, along with U.S. Route 6 to the north, comprise the main east-west routes along the Cape. Route 130's southern terminus lies just outside the town limits in Santuit, a village in Barnstable, and Route 151's eastern terminus is within the town, both ending at Route 28, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) apart.
There is no rail service in the town. The nearest airports (Cape Cod Airfield, an airstrip for small planes, and Barnstable Municipal Airport, the largest airport on the Cape) can be found in neighboring Barnstable. The nearest national and international air service can be reached at Logan International Airport in Boston, or at T. F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island.
The Breeze bus lines serves Mashpee Commons. For a small price, one may travel along the Breeze bus lines from Mashpee into the towns of Barnstable, Sandwich, Falmouth, Bourne and Yarmouth. Bus lines and routes may be obtained at town hall or the Mashpee Commons.
|* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.|
As of the census of 2010, there were 14,006 people, 5,256 households, and 3,652 families residing in the town. The population density was 514.9 people per square mile (198.3/km²). There were 8,325 housing units at an average density of 354.6 per square mile (136.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 84.13% White, 4.28% African American, 6.08% Native American, 1.22% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.27% from other races, and 2.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.24% of the population.
There were 5,256 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 25.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the town the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $50,871, and the median income for a family was $56,702. Males had a median income of $43,922 versus $31,416 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,215. About 4.5% of families and 5.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 2.7% of those age 65 or over.
Mashpee is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of both the Third and Fifth Barnstable districts, with the area around Otis being in the third and the southern portion of town being in the fifth. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Cape and Islands district, which includes all of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket with the exception of Bourne, Falmouth, Sandwich and portions of Barnstable. The town is patrolled by the Seventh (Bourne) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.
On the national level, Mashpee is a part of Massachusetts's 10th congressional district, and is currently represented by Bill Delahunt. The state's senior (Class II) member of the United States Senate, elected in 2012, is Elizabeth Warren. The junior (Class II) senator, elected in 2013, is Ed Markey.
Mashpee is governed by the open town meeting form of government, led by an executive secretary and a board of selectmen. The town operates its own police and fire departments, both of which are headquartered together near Pine Tree Corner. The town's post office and public library are also located nearby, and the library is a member of the Cape Libraries Automated Materials Sharing library network.
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Mashpee has two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school located in the town. The middle school is located in the same building as the high school, but operates under its own administration and has its own wing strictly for the 7th & 8th grade students.
- Kenneth C. Coombs School (K-2)
- Quashnet School (3–6)
- Mashpee Middle School (7–8)
- Mashpee High School (9–12)
Mashpee operates its own school system for the approximately 2,200 students in town. The Kenneth C. Coombs School (Also known as the K. C. Coombs School) is for pre-school to grade 2, the Quashnet School is for grades 3 to 6. Mashpee Middle School is for grades 7 & 8, and Mashpee High School is for grades 9 through 12. Before Mashpee High opened its doors in 1996, students residing in Mashpee attended nearby Falmouth High School.
Mashpee's athletics teams are named the Falcons, and their colors are royal blue, white, and black. They compete in the South Shore League in all sports except winter track, which competes in the Eastern Athletic Conference. Mashpee High School's main rivals are Monomoy Regional High School, Abington High School and Sandwich High School. From 1999 to 2003 Mashpee played Sandwich High School in an annual Thanksgiving Football Game rivalry. From 2003–2009, Mashpee played Cape Cod Regional Technical High School. In 2009, Mashpee dropped the Thanksgiving rivalry with Cape Cod Tech and has since renewed the Thanksgiving rivalry with Sandwich, which is effective in the year 2010. In 2011, the high school football team won the Massachusetts Division 4 State Championship by defeating Cardinal Spellman, 34-8 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
Additionally, high school students may attend Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich free of charge. Students from Mashpee may also attend the two Catholic high schools that serve the area, Bishop Stang High School in Dartmouth, or the newly opened Pope John Paul II High School in Hyannis. Private schools are also located in nearby communities including Falmouth Academy in Falmouth and Cape Cod Academy in Barnstable. Also, students also have the option to attend Tabor Academy, a private-prep boarding school located in nearby Marion.
Historic sites in Mashpee
- Old Indian Meeting House, built in 1684
- Mashpee One Room Schoolhouse, built in 1831 – open for public tours June through October
- Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1995, National Wildlife Refuge consisting of salt marshes, cranberry bogs, white cedar swamps, and expansive forests. Also home to an expansive populations of New England Cottontail rabbits, white-tailed deer, red fox, red-tailed hawks, waterfowl, shorebirds, and even bald eagles.
- Quashnet Conservation Area, large woodlands/wildlife conservation area directly south and adjacent to Otis Air National Guard Base and Camp Edwards. It is the largest tract of undeveloped forest/woodland area on Cape Cod.
- Jessie Little Doe Baird, Wampanoag Native American historian and linguist, known for her efforts to revive the Wampanoag language (Wôpanâak)
- Jamaal Branch, former NFL player, attended Colgate, 2003 Walter Payton Award winner, graduated from Falmouth High School in 1999.
- Melvin Coombs, Wampanoag Native American dancer, cultural educator, and cultural interpreter; born and raised in Mashpee
- Carlo D'Este, military historian and a resident of New Seabury in Mashpee
- Willie Ford, former NFL player, attended Syracuse, graduated from Falmouth High School in 1995
- Erik Erikson, developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on social development of human beings
- Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots; owns a residence in the Popponesset Island area of Mashpee
- Dana Mohler-Faria, President of Bridgewater State University
- Rachael Ray, TV show host on The Food Channel, family owned and ran a restaurant in her childhood called "The Carvery" in Mashpee
- William Rosenberg, founder of Dunkin' Donuts, died at his home in Mashpee in 2002 at the age of 86 from bladder cancer
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Mashpee town, Barnstable County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Handbook of North American Indians. Chapter: "Indians of Southern New England and Long Island, late period," p. 178ff; The Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe webpage; Mashpee Wampanoag Nation webpage; Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah webpage
- Mark Ganning and Maureen McNamara, producers (Director) (1984). Mashpee. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Street Atlas, South Easton, MA: Arrow Maps, Inc., 2004, p. 61.
- "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 13, 2011.
- "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision – GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- 1950 Census of Population. 1: Number of Inhabitants. Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21–10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1920 Census of Population". Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21–5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1890 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1870 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Index of Legislative Representation by City and Town, from". Mass.gov. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- "Station D-7, SP Bourne". Mass.gov. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 15, 2008" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
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