Town of Mashpee
Intersected by Route 6A, Brewster was once home to many wealthy sea captains. Some of their homes still stand today and serve as inns and B&B’s. Nickerson Park, with its ponds, picnic areas, camping and miles of bike trails, offers a great alternative to a beach day for visitors.
Mashpee History and Information
The Town of Mashpee, incorporated in 1870, is the fastest growing municipality in the Commonwealth, and felt by its new and old residents to be one of the most gifted with natural beauty. Along with the Martha’s Vineyard Town of Gay Head, it is also unique as one of the remaining homes of the Wampanoag Nation, the Native American tribe that met the Pilgrims at Plymouth. Although now outnumbered by new residents, the Wampanoag continue to play a significant role in defining the character of the community through the town’s Indian Museum, the annual July Pow Wow and other ongoing activities of the Tribal Council. With over five miles of sandy beaches on Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds, extensive water frontage on Waquoit and Popponesset Bays, four of the largest freshwater ponds on Cape Cod, the three championship golf courses of New Seabury and Willowbend and numerous other visitor amenities such as the nationally recognized Mashpee Commons project, Mashpee is a prime resort, seasonal home and retirement community offering both a relaxed pace of life and a complete range of services. With enhancement of its economic base in mind, the town is actively seeking both environmentally friendly industrial and commercial development and increased tourist facilities. As part of that effort the Board of Selectmen has officially embarked on a “green tourism” development project focusing on enhanced access and programming at the town’s 1,000-plus acres of conservation lands as well as South Cape Beach State Park, the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and The Trustees of Reservations’ Lowell Holly and Mashpee River Reservations. In addition, 2200 acres in Mashpee have been proposed for inclusion in a new National Wildlife Refuge. All of these efforts are intended to insure that the town remains true to its Native American heritage, maintains its economic vitality and protects its natural resources and the sense of tranquility that makes residents feel it is one of the best places in the Commonwealth to live, work and visit.
Points of Interest
1 Wampanoag Indian Museum – Entering this museum is like traveling back in time before Europeans settled on Cape Cod. The main diorama is a depiction of typical Wampanoag village life, complete with a restored wigwam. Located across from the herring run on Lovells Lane off Route 130.
2 Old Indian Meetinghouse – Standing beside the edge of a former Wampanoag burial ground, this building stores colorful stitched-block quilts. Every quilt tells a story about a Wampanoag-Mashpee Indian who passed away. Built in 1684, it is the oldest meetinghouse on Cape Cod. The loft is also an exhibit, featuring carvings of tall ships. Located on the corner of Meetinghouse Rd. and Route 28.
3 Annual Indian Powwow – Native Americans from around the country travel to this event in Mashpee very second week of July. Originally, these events were scheduled for tribal chiefs to convene and discuss important issues. Now the weeklong festival features tribal dance ceremonies, fireworks, crafts and refreshments. A large dinner is held on Saturday and a traditional Cape Cod clambake on Sunday. Check with town hall for exact dates and an events schedule. Located on Route 130.
4 1800s Cemetery – This cemetery is a tiny plot established in the early 19th century. A closer look reveals unusually decorative headstones covered with handwritten symbols, scenes and inscriptions. Located on Route 130.
5 Lowell Holly Reservation – Around 130 acres, Harvard University President Abbott Lawrence Lowell created this nature reserve. Picnic areas and scenic trails dot the entire area. An ideal place for a quiet escape. Located off Route 130 at the edge of Mashpee Pond.
Beaches– Beach stickers are available at the clerk’s office at town hall on Great Neck Road, Ph# (508) 539-1446.
- Attaquin Park Beach- Is the place to go for freshwater swimming and boating. It is located on Mashpee-Wakeby Pond the largest freshwater body on Cape Cod.
- John’s Pond Beach- Is another good public beach for a freshwater swim and then maybe head over to the volley ball net for a game.
- South Cape Beach- Is operated by both the town and state. Situated on Nantucket Sound it’s a beautiful sandy beach and is great for fishing.
New Seabury Country Club 508-477-9111
Quashnet Valley Country Club 508-477-4412
Willowbend Country Club 508-539-5000