Incorporated into the Cape in 1712, Chatham, Massachusetts is a maritime place of pristine beaches, wild barrier islands, tidal shoals, fleeting sandbars, circular coves and miles of saltwater inlets.
History of Chatham
Chatham’s history can be best explored through its museums. Chatham Historical Society’s Atwood House Museum boasts a collection of 3,000 artifacts – paintings, decorative arts, maritime items, photographs and historical documents – and showcases a collection of over one hundred nautical charts, most dating from the 19th century. A historic 1887 train depot was converted into what is now the Chatham Railroad Museum, which displays rail-centric exhibits, including model locomotives from the 1939 New York World’s Fair and a restored 1910 caboose.
The Chatham Marconi Maritime Center celebrates the first wireless transmission that occurred between the United States and Norway due to Guglielmo Marconi; the center pays tribute to Marconi’s contributions to wireless communication and Chatham’s connection to that technology.
Today Chatham remains remarkably old-fashioned, despite a well-deserved reputation for shopping. Chic boutiques reside in quaint storefronts along its winding Main Street lined with historic inns, white-steepled churches, trendy eateries and art galleries.
Main Street is the spot to be during the town’s annual 4th of July Parade, the Chatham Christmas Stroll and First Night, a family-friendly gathering that concludes with fireworks at Oyster Pond and the traditional "Dropping of the Cod” at midnight. On summer evenings, the Chatham Band Concert provides free concerts at Kate Gould Park for all to enjoy.
A visit to Chatham’s busy commercial fishing pier reveals the thriving fishing village. Watch local fishermen unload their day’s catch, as well as seals hoping to get a free meal. The Chatham-based Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance engages the local fishing community in building lasting solutions to protect the Cape’s ecosystem and the future of fishing businesses.
Things To Do in Chatham
Just south of Chatham is the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, a fragile nine-mile long barrier beach preserve that encompasses 2,750 acres, including the Monomoy Islands. These islands are home to dunes, beach grass and migrating birds, and hundreds of harbor seals carpet the coastline from November to May. Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary conducts guided natural history tours of Monomoy throughout the year, and seal tours depart there in season.
While interactive seal tours give you a glimpse of the marine mammals drawing sharks to this section of the Cape, you can learn more about the ocean’s apex predator on land at the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Chatham Shark Center. The conservancy is leading research efforts here in Cape waters to better understand this fascinating creature, and the shark center gives the public amazing insight into those efforts.
If you’re looking to become one of the town’s newest homeowners, contact Demakis Family Real Estate’s Mattapoisett office for more information. You can also create an account to save your searches and receive updates when homes you may be interested in hit the market!