My latest renter left a nice review of her family's Summer Pines Cottage stay this past school vacation and since she recommended the 1856 Country Store in Barnstable, I thought I'd share a bit more about this unique store from their own website for all of you who might like to visit.
"Lovely cottage with beautiful views and a great loft space with two beds for kids. The view of Kelley's Pond was beautiful and we enjoyed exploring West Dennis Beach. We would recommend visiting the 1856 Country Store in Barnstable and Currents for beautiful jewelry near the cottage."
The 1856 Country Store’s history goes back to 1840 when it was built originally as a place to store cranberries after the harvest. It was turned into a shoe store by Samuel and Moses Hallet in 1842. It was then changed to a general store in 1856. The store has been a beloved piece of Centerville and Cape Cod ever since.
To this day, Centerville retains much of its 19th century charm. Main Street is lined with sea captains’ homes. One of the most beautiful of the seven villages in the Town of Barnstable, Centerville’s roots go back to the 17th century, when it was called “Chequaquet”, meaning “pleasant harbor,” or “village by the sea” by the local Wampanoag Indians. The area of land that Chequaquet occupied was part of a much larger tract purchased in 1648 from the Wampanoags by Myles Standish for two brass kettles and some fencing.
The early 18th century settlers first built their homes around Lake Wequaquet and took advantage of its fertile soil, fresh water and fish. In the early 19th century Chequaquet experienced dramatic expansion and growth. The first post office was established in 1834 and the village’s name was changed to ‘Centreville.’ The village was aptly named for its central location in the Town of Barnstable; as such, it held an important position in the town, serving as a crossroads and a meeting place.
One of the questions I often get asked from my renters and visitors is are there any Cape Cod beaches that have free parking during the summer months? In the July and August, most of the larger well-known beaches on the Cape have paid parking between certain hours of the day. Of course one of the benefits of staying at Summer Pines Cottage is having a terrific swimmable lake right there and being able to walk or bike to the beautiful West Dennis Beach, but with so many beaches on the Cape to explore, here are some other nearby beaches that are free to park any time of day.
Bayview BeachBayview Street
West Yarmouth, MA
Parking limited to about 20 cars
Colonial Acres BeachStandish Way
West Yarmouth, MA
Parking limited to about 15 cars
Englewood BeachNew Hampshire Avenue
West Yarmouth, MA
Parking limited to about 20 cars
Gray's BeachCenter Street
Parking limited to about 50 cars
During these scary days of exclusion and divisiveness, we want you to know that Summer Pines Cottage is a welcoming, inclusive place. We welcome LBGTIQ or straight. We welcome scientists. We welcome artists. We welcome women. We welcome men. We welcome families. We welcome couples. We welcome solo travelers. We welcome people from all countries. We welcome people of all color, religion or race. We welcome National Park Services employees. We stand on the side of respect and love for all beings and for the earth. Come stay at our peaceful sweet cottage if you need a place to reconnect with the beauty of the earth and with each other to remember what is really important in this life.
New England whaling ca. 1860:Whale Fishery -- Attacking a Right Whale, by Currier & Ives
Scrimshaw, the art of engraving and carving images into bone or ivory, is a long standing Cape Cod tradition dating back to the whaling days of the 17th and 18th centuries. Great whaling boats, harbored in Nantucket and other New England towns, roamed the seas hunting for whales and their precious oil, and the sailors onboard passed the time away by carving and engraving the bones and teeth of the hunted creatures.
Originally, whaling in the United States was believed to have started in the towns of Long Island around 1650, with Nantucket joining the trade around 1690. And with the whaling trade came the art of scrimshaw. While most current scrimshaw pieces are not carved from real whale bone, antique originals can still be found in the shops of Nantucket, such as the Scrimshander Gallery, owned by Michael Vienneau. Many pieces depict elaborate images of the sea and the ships that were involved in the whaling business, and beautifully romanticize the lives of the sailors and their adventures. These unique pieces of art not only evoke a sense of the sea and it’s history, but also evoke a sense of the Cape and New England that no other art form can quite capture.
No need to go to the North Pole this year to ride The Polar Express - Cape Cod Central Railroad has their very own Polar Express event that you and your children can experience.
On board THE POLAR EXPRESS™ chefs will serve cocoa and cookies to all passengers.
Passengers are invited to wear their pajamas on the train just like in the movie! On board the passenger cars are festively decorated for the holidays. The Conductor will welcome everyone aboard and punch each child’s train ticket. En route to the North Pole the book The Polar Express™ will be read and music from The Polar Express™ movie will be played. Passengers are served hot chocolate and cookies by dancing chefs. Upon arrival at the North Pole Santa Claus and elves are visible waving to the train as passengers watch from aboard the train. Santa Claus and elves then board the train. Elves will be in each train car and will entertain passengers and lead them in singing Christmas carols. Santa Claus will move through each train car and greet each child, giving them their own personal silver sleigh bell. The rides run Dec. 2-4, 9-11, 14-23
As children, many of us were taught that the first place the Pilgrims landed in the New World was on Plymouth Rock but the first landing actually took place in Provincetown Harbor on Cape Cod on November 21, 1620.
The true story is written on http://www.millsgen.com/gen/hist/pilstor4.htm "On 19 November 1620, after four months on board, the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod. They tried to make for the Hudson River, but were turned back by tumultuous storms. Now that they had made it to the continent, they were many miles north of the Virginia colony and there was no way they could reach it due to the inclement weather. They finally came to rest in Provincetown Harbor on 21 November 1620, where "they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who brought them over the vast and furious ocean and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof." The voyage from Plymouth had taken 65 days."
The Pilgrim Monument was founded in 1892 to commemorate the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing and they have a beautiful lighting ceremony to watch on November 23rd from 5-7pm. More info at Pilgrim Monument
The spectacular 252-foot tall Pilgrim Monument dazzles the night sky with thousands of white lights. Traditionally, the illumination of the Monument occurs precisely at 6 p.m., and the lights continue to shine through the first week of January.
Photo: Chuck Anzalone
As the Cape is getting to be more and more of a foodie destination in the past couple of years, I shouldn't have been surprised that The Brown Jug in Sandwich has upped their game. We stumbled upon their charming european style garden on a warm Sunday afternoon in September. They now offer custom-made pizzas and wine and beer (served from a drink window next door) in their outdoor patio. You can watch the chef make your pizza in the open-air kitchen complete with a wood-fire pizza oven. As well as their new outdoor dining area, the store also has a nice selection of wines and bread, cheeses and meats so you can also pick up dinner to take to the beach. Another reason to escape to the Cape this Fall...
While most families visit the Cape between June and August when schools are out, locals know that the best time to be on Cape Cod is September and October. Warm days, cool nights and restaurants and shops offering deals; the Fall is a perfect time to explore the villages and beaches of the Cape.
Here are some festivals and events to enjoy in Sept and Oct:
Harwich Arts and Music Festival - Sept 17th+18th
"Truro Treasures" Weekend - Sept 17th-19th
ScallopFest - Sept 23th-25th
ClamBQ! The Orleans Food & Music Festival - Oct 1st
Yarmouth Seaside Festival - Oct 8th+9th
Summer Pines Cottage has two night stays available between Sept 23-Oct 9th so come stay with us in our romantic cottage with a fireplace and baseboard heat and enjoy these Fall festivals!
I am a designer and Cape native who loves cottage style, simple, small house living and guiding people