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Located between Falmouth and Barnstable in Barnstable County, Mashpee is the home of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. When Europeans first made contact with the tribe in the seventeenth century, they were in control of most of the coastal areas. The settlers and natives interacted with one another for decades and worked together, shaping many of the local communities and helping one another through difficult winters.
At one time, Mashpee was the largest Indian reservation in the area until the British Crown designated it as a plantation in 1763. It then transitioned into a colonial district. While the natives were allowed to maintain their own government, they still fell under the rule of the Crown. After the Revolutionary War ended, the native government was replaced with an appointed committee of colonial representatives. Eventually, the state divided the communal lands of the Wampanoag and handed out parcels of land called allotments to the head of household of each family.
Mashpee is made up of several smaller villages including Mashpee NeckWhile, Seconsett Island, New Seabury, Monomoscoy, Popponesset, Seabrook, and Popponesset Island. It’s within driving distance of Both Boston and Providence, Rhode Island giving residents of the villages the perfect opportunity to work in the city and live/play on the Cape. Each of the smaller villages has a personality and character of its own.
Bordered by Nantucket Sound to the south, Mashpee has several beaches that are ideal for spending the day on the water. Both Lowell Holly Reservation and South Cape Beach State Park are close by. Mashpee also has several small, inland ponds, rivers, and brooks that give nature lovers the ideal location for hiking, biking along trails or simply just enjoying the view.
In addition to the beaches in the area, tourists have a variety of historical sites to explore. The Old Indian Meeting House constructed in 1684 is one of the oldest Native American churches in the United States. The Mashpee One-Room Schoolhouse is open for tours from June through October. Built in 1831, the school is a popular destination for tourists who visit the area. The Quashnet Conservation Area and Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge are popular destinations for tourists who like to explore nature. Opened in 1995, the Wildlife Refuge is home to several species of waterfowl, bald eagles, deer, fox, and rabbits. It also includes cranberry bogs, salt marshes, and white cedar swamps. The forests in the area are ideal for hiking and both nature areas offer educational programs during the summer months.
The homes and condos/apartments in the Mashpee area are a pleasant mixture of simple, functional cottages and luxury, high-end living areas. There are several architectural styles to be found throughout the area making it possible for a prospective homeowner to find almost any type of home that suits their interest. Seaside cottages to large manor-style homes are ideal for family living, while condos and apartments are well-suited for those who like to commute to the city, but still want their beachfront view.