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WELLFLEET— JEWEL ON THE CAPE by Nea Colton D'Amelio paintings by George Yater 1958 The Churches of Cape Cod story and paintings by George Yater 1960. WELLFLEET— JEWEL ON THE CAPE by Nea Colton D'Amelio paintings by George Yater
Cahoon’s Hollow on the Back Shore
Its summer visitors in the profusion of sand roads that curl in and around the town between the Atlantic side and the Bay side.
These sand roads are a remarkable experience for visitors. When you meet another car, you have to nuzzle your car up in the bushes to let the other pass. A newcomer is virtually
Cap’n Higgins Spit-and-Chatter Club and the Morning Glory House
Sandwich Congregational Church. On the village green of the Cape's most venerable town, this church, 110 years old, is dominated by a graceful spire of the Christopher Wren type, one of the most beautiful on Cape Cod. In its early years, this church had two ministers, neither of them ordained, and each with his own following, like rival sopranos in an opera company. When Sunday came, they would count the congregation to' see who had attracted the most fans and the winner would have the right to preach the sermon.
Friends Meeting House. This is the oldest Quaker meeting house in America. It stands atop Spring Hill near East Sandwich and was established in 1658. Puritans were hard on Quakers, whose doctrine they regarded as corrupt and damnable, and whom they thrashed and plundered regularly.
but our purpose here is to guide the .visitor to a few of the older ones, those which stem from the "golden age" of New England architecture, and to sketch a little history.
Dennis Congregational Church (lower left, opposite). Some of America's oldest graveyards are situated on Cape Cod, and the bones of many an old sea captain rest here in the churchyard of the Congregational Church in Dennis. Nearby is another cemetery, this one without stones at all. A simple inscription on a granite slab reads: "Burial Ground of the Nobscusset Tribe of Indians of which Tribe Mashantampaine was Chief." The famed Cape Playhouse, a top-notch summer theater, was converted from the old Nobscusset Meeting House which had served as a school-house, tinshop, slaughterhouse, blacksmith shop and garage.
Bell Meeting House (lower right, opposite). This church in Truro got its name from the fact that it houses one of the Paul Revere bells on the Cape. It was built in 1827 on a site known as the "Hill of Storms" where a Congregational Church had been built in 1709. Truro has had many churches in its past. It was once big enough to support four Congregational churches during the prosperous middle 1800s when fishing vessels and packing sheds lined the harbor. After many lean years, interest in the old Bell Meeting House has been rekindled and people in this part of the Cape are now working to preserve and restore it.
West Parish Meeting House (shown above). This church in the village of West Barnstable is now 243 years old, the oldest Congregational Church on Cape Cod. It bespeaks age in other ways. The communion service includes a pewter flagon brought by church members from England in 1634, and the call to service is sounded from the square bell tower by one of the four Paul Revere bells now on the Cape. The church society traces its existence right back to the Congregational Church of Southwalk, London, in 1616.
Mashpee Indian Church (top right). Built in 1684, this is the oldest church building on Cape Cod. It is situated on land that was part of a fifty-square-mile tract secured by a conscientious white man named Richard Bourne for the Mashpee Indians whose homelands were being taken from them in exchange for brass kettles. Bourne became minister of their first meeting house which was erected in the 1660s. When war broke out between white and Indian, the Mashpees refused to fight the whites. Some of their descendants still come to service in this old building which is now sadly in need of repair. Visitors are welcome.
Congregational Church, Falmouth (show below). This church was built in 1796 and half a century later was- rolled across the street to its present site. In its steeple hangs another Paul Revere bell, inscribed with this cheerful note: "The Living to Church I Call, and to the Grave I Summon All." Well, anyway, it's a pleasant spot on the largest village green on Cape Cod. Flanking the church building on all sides are the fine homes of old sea captains, many with widow's walks on top.