Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod. Located in Barnstable County, it is located just northwest of Barnstable proper. Settled in 1639, was originally a Quaker settlement. The area has an abundance of historic homes and locations. This includes the Benjamin Holway House that was built in 1789 and the Benjamin Nye Homestead located on Old County Road. Structures on the Nye property date back to as early as 1698. Another building on the property serves as a law office.
Even though conflicts arose that involved the Quakers and other settlers, many of the areas most notable families are still strongly connected to them. Shortly after the original community was established, many Quakers left the area and established new settlements elsewhere. In fact, the area still hosts the oldest, regularly scheduled Quaker Meeting in the country.
Both agriculture and fishing were prime industries in the area from Sandwich’s earliest days. As the town grew, other industries moved into the area due to the access to the Scusset River and Old Harbor Creek. While agriculture and fishing still play a role in the area’s economic makeup, the biggest industry today revolves mostly around the tourism trade. The area’s entire northeast shoreline is made up of beaches and shoreline offering travelers surf and turf options when it comes to how they spend their time and money.
In 1825, the Boston & Sandwich Glass Factory opened its doors. Although in later years, the business would decline, the business is still thought of as playing an integral role in the growth of the Sandwich community. The Sandwich Glass Museum is a popular tourist attraction and allows visitors to see the many types of glassware that were produced in the original factory. Closing in 1888, the factory’s owner Deming Jarvis received a wide variety of patents that are well-known throughout the industry.
In addition to the Glass Museum and the historic homes, tourists can also visit Dexter’s Grist Mill. The Mill and buildings that surround it are reminiscent of times long past. The Thornton Burgess Museum and Sandwich Boardwalk are also popular destinations. The boardwalk is especially popular since it starts in the downtown area and leads to the Town Beach located on Cape Cod Bay. The Cape Cod Bay shoreline offers several beaches that draw in travelers during the peak of tourist season. Bungalows and small cottages are available for monthly rentals for those who choose to take an extended vacation.
Sandwich is full of diversity in terms of both its people and the homes they live in. With the area’s strong ties to agriculture, there are many rural homes in the area. Combined with the single-family homes, and large manors, the area is extremely diverse in terms of architecture and style. From the condos and apartments located throughout the area and along the beach, to the comfortable rural homestead, Sandwich offers the very best of both worlds.