The Cape Cod and the Islands Portal
A map of Cape Cod and the Islands in relation to other landforms in Massachusetts
Cape Cod, often referred to locally as simply the Cape, is a cape in the easternmost portion of the state of Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States. Today it is co-extensive with Barnstable County, and is defined by the towns along the Cape Cod Canal, and those to the east on the peninsula all the way to Provincetown. Several small islands right off Cape Cod, including Monomoy Island, Monomoscoy Island, Popponesset Island, and Seconsett Island, are also in Barnstable County, being part of municipalities with land on the Cape. The Cape's historic and maritime character and ample beaches attract heavy tourism during the summer months.
Cape Cod was formed as the recessional moraine of a glacier, resulting in a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean.
In 1914, the Cape Cod Canal was cut through the base or isthmus of the peninsula, forming what may be loosely described as an island. The Cape Cod Commission refers to the resultant landmass as an island; as does the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in regards to disaster preparedness.
Cape Cod is one of the biggest barrier islands in the world, shielding much of the Massachusetts coastline from North Atlantic storm waves. This protection erodes the Cape's shoreline at the expense of cliffs, while protecting towns from Fairhaven to Marshfield.
Road vehicles from the mainland cross over the Cape Cod Canal via the Sagamore Bridge and the Bourne Bridge. The two bridges are parallel some four miles apart, with the Bourne Bridge to the west, and the Sagamore to the east. In addition, the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge carries railway freight as well as passenger services.
The Islands is the collective name for the set of large islands south of Cape Cod in the southeast corner of the U.S. state of Massachusetts: Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and the Elizabeth Islands, and a small number of minor islands. The Islands are the location of numerous beach resorts, celebrity second homes, and preserved buildings dating back to the whaling era.
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838) is the only complete novel written by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The work relates the tale of the young Arthur Gordon Pym who stows away aboard a whaling ship called Grampus. Various adventures and misadventures befall Pym including shipwreck, mutiny, and cannibalism before he is saved by the crew of the Jane Guy. Aboard this vessel, Pym and a sailor named Dirk Peters continue their adventures further south. Docking on land, they encounter hostile black-skinned natives before escaping back to the ocean. The novel ends abruptly as Pym and Peters continue towards the South Pole.
The story starts out as a fairly conventional adventure at sea, but it becomes increasingly strange and hard to classify. Poe, who intended to present a realistic story, was inspired by several real-life accounts of sea voyages, and drew heavily from Jeremiah N. Reynolds and referenced the Hollow Earth theory. He also drew from his own experiences at sea. Analyses of the novel often focus on the potential autobiographical elements as well as hints of racism and the symbolism in the final lines of the work.
is a town
in Barnstable County
. Sandwich was first settled in 1637 by a group from Saugus
with the permission of Plymouth Colony
. It is named for the seaport of Sandwich, Kent
. It is the oldest incorporated town on Cape Cod. The western portion of the town was separated from the original "Town of Sandwich," and it became the town of Bourne
, in 1884.
There are many historic homes in Sandwich, including the Benjamin Nye Homestead, on Old County Road (formerly known as the original "Old King's Highway"), the Benjamin Holway House, built in 1789, at 379 Route 6A, which property also now currently hosts one of the original Nye Homestead structures, built in 1698, believed to have originally served as either a tavern or a shop, and which is now used as a law office.
Sandwich was the site of an early Quaker settlement. However, the settlement was not well-received, as their beliefs clashed with those of the Puritans who founded the town. Many Quakers left the town, either for further settlements along the Cape, or elsewhere, including places like Dartmouth. Early industry revolved around agriculture, with fishing and trading also providing for the town. Later, the town grew a small industrial component along the Scusset River and Old Harbor Creek and its tributaries. Today, most of its industry revolves around tourism. Additionally, Deming Jarves founded the Boston & Sandwich Glass Factory in 1825.
There are several attractions in Sandwich, including Heritage Museums and Gardens, the Wing Fort House, the Sandwich Glass Museum, the Thornton Burgess Museum, Hoxie House (the oldest house on Cape Cod), the Dan'l Webster Inn, and the Dexter Grist Mill, the oldest on Cape Cod, and Shawme Lake. The Sandwich town boardwalk is also popular for tourists. The walkway was destroyed by Hurricane Bob in 1991, but was rebuilt via private donations. It is also home to a major portion of Otis Air National Guard Base, including half the land the runways are on.