Cape Cod Museum Trail – Sandwich Glass Museum

Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA.

By Mary Moran

Photos by Pat O’Connell

Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA.
Sandwich Glass Museum

The Sandwich Glass Museum, located in Cape Cod’s oldest town, showcases, Sandwich’s rich history. The museum focuses primarily on the glass industry and the major impact it had on Cape Cod and its residents. The museum is home to numerous period-piece glass exhibits and it is ever-changing. Special exhibits display glass work from both local and internationally-known glass artists. In addition, there is a working glass furnace where visitors can watch live glass blowing demonstrations every hour on the hour. From the Palmer House Inn, the Sandwich Glass Museum is about a thirty minute drive and is a perfect activity for a rainy day. Visiting the glass museum is a great way to explore what one of the other beautiful Cape Cod towns has to offer.

Glass Display at the Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA.
Glass Display.

Sandwich Glass History

Boston & Sandwich Glass Company Sign at Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA.
Boston & Sandwich Glass Company Sign.

Settled by the English in 1637 and incorporated in 1639, Sandwich was the first town to be established on Cape Cod. At the time, of its settlement, Sandwich was mainly an agricultural area. Its primary export was timber. The timber was sent to England. In 1825, a wealthy Boston merchant, by the name of Deming Jarves chose to build a glass company in Sandwich. He decided to establish the company in Sandwich because there was talk about potentially building a canal, which would provide easy and safe transport of the glassware to southern ports. The passage around the eastern coast of the Cape was traitorous to ships. He also chose Sandwich because of the large volume of timber available that could be used to fuel the furnaces that are necessary to create the glass. Thus, the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company was established. Jarves attracted glassblowers from the New England Glass Company and he also recruited English and Irish workers who were known for their craftsmanship in the art of glassworks. During this time, a new glass pressing process became popular, and Jarves incorporated the pressing technique into his production pieces. He was innovative and would end up holding patents for improvements made on the process. With improvements came business, and the Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. continued to expand. In time, the entire community revolved around the glass company. By the 1850’s, the pressing process had been perfected, leaving no imperfections in the glassware. Now that their glass was flawless, the Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. began mass-producing colored tableware.

Red Glass Display at the Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA.
Red Glass Display.

Jarves left the company in 1858 over a dispute with the board of directors. From his loyal craftsmen he received a fair well gift of one- of-a- kind glassware engraved with the letter “J.” Original pieces from the set are on display at the museum.

After the Civil War, Midwestern glass companies took top spot against New England due to a more cost friendly pressed glass made from soda-lime which was less expensive than the pure quartz silica used at the Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. Also, the glass factories in the coal country of Pennsylvania used coal to fire their furnaces.

In 1888 the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company closed its doors and shut off the furnaces causing a great economic depression in the area. The economic decline subsequently forced many people to leave Sandwich in search of employment. By the 1920’s, the glass industry no longer existed in the town and all of the factory buildings were demolished.

In 1907, the Sandwich Historical Society was established. They began celebrating the great history of the glass industry in Sandwich.  In 1925 when its first glass exhibit was held , it was celebrated as; “A century of Sandwich Glass.” Today, the Sandwich Glass Museum’s mission is “to promote a broad understanding and appreciation of the Sandwich town history. A particular emphasis has been placed on the unique contribution of the glass industry to the local community, the region, the nation, and the world.”

More information on the Sandwich Glass Museum:

Sandwich Glass Museum
129 Main Street
Sandwich, MA 02563
Website 

More museums on the Cape Cod Museum Trail


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day exploring gardens on Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.


Mary Moran is a Falmouth native and knowledgable about Cape Cod. In addition to writing for the Palmer House Inn, she’s also frequently at the inn and available  to answer quest’s questions. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time exploring Falmouth’s coastal waterways.

Cape Cod Museum Trail – 1736 Josiah Dennis Manse Museum

Front of the 1736 Josiah Dennis Manse Museum on Cape Cod, New England, USA.

Cape Cod Museum Trail: 1736 Josiah Dennis Manse Museum

By Chelsea Corson

Front of the 1736 Josiah Dennis Manse Museum on Cape Cod, New England, USA.
1736 Josiah Dennis Manse Museum on Cape Cod

Reverend Josiah Dennis, was the first minister of the Congregational Church of the East Precinct in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Dennis was hired in 1727 and served for 36 years while calling, the manse his home. The town of Dennis was named in the Reverend’s honor when a part of the town of Yarmouth was separated, 30 years after the reverend’s passing in 1763.

The saltbox style of house construction was very common in the eighteenth century in New England, at the Josiah Dennis Manse Museum on Cape Cod, New England, USA.
The saltbox style of house construction was very common in the eighteenth century in New England.

When visiting Josiah Dennis Manse Museum, visitors are greeted and guided by authentically garbed doyens through each room of the studiously renovated home. The house itself, is a lovely example of a classic saltbox structure. The saltbox is a traditional style of architecture that is classic New England construction.  A saltbox house has two stories on the front and a long sloping roof on the back that forms one story. Saltboxes are generally a wooden frame house with a central brick chimney. Walking through the house, I felt as if I had stepped back into the 1700’s. The volunteer guides do an excellent job of sharing the historical significance and interesting facts about the home as well as the family who once lived there.

The one room school house at the Josiah Dennis Manse Museum on Cape Cod, New England, USA.
The one room school house.

There is a single room Schoolhouse on the Manse grounds, which was built circa 1745. Half of the room is furnished with traditional 1700’s classroom furniture and the other half with 1800’s furniture. It’s interesting to see the differences. Children also enjoy seeing this room because it is one of the “hands on” rooms in the museum, that allows them to explore and imagine what it would be like if they had lived and gone to school in the 1700’s or 1800’s. Another interactive room is on the second floor of the Manse. There one finds the spinning and weaving room, where visitors are encouraged to explore and touch the exhibit pieces.

The well, where all of the water was drawn. Notice the leveraged pole with the stone as a counterweight. The Josiah Dennis Manse Museum on Cape Cod, New England, USA.
The well counterweight.

The addition at the back of the Manse is a Maritime Room. Paintings, models, and dioramas of Dennis’ maritime history are on displayed. Pictures of the eight Shiverick Clipper Ships, a lightship model, and various mementos that were brought back, from all over the world, to Dennis by local sea captains. This addition is a lovely treat for maritime enthusiasts. We at the Inn enjoy learning about the cape’s nautical history, especially with the Palmer House Inn’s history of being home to a whaling ship owning family in the early 1900s.

This museum is located just a few blocks off route 6A and is close to the heart of Dennis Village. The museum is only open Tuesdays and Thursdays during the summer, which is a beautiful time of year to visit this historical site.

From the Palmer House Inn, it is a 50 min. drive to the 1736 Josiah Dennis Manse Museum. Visiting during the summer, you could visit the museum in the morning, followed by a picnic lunch on nearby Corporate Beach, which is less than a 5 min. drive. If you’re looking for a full Cape Cod experience, DMP Surfside Grill is right on the beach and has a fantastic selection of beach side seafood favorites. Try their Fish & Chips or Lobster Roll to round out a day of Cape-style history, architecture, cuisine, and a beautiful beach view.

For more information on the Josaih Dennis Manse Museum:

1736 Josiah Dennis Manse Museum
61 Whig Street
Dennis, Massachusetts 02660
phone 508-385-2232
info@DennisHistoricalSociety.org
website

More museums on the Cape Cod Museum Trail


Chelsea is a Falmouth local, born and raised. She loves telling people all the great things to do and places to see in her hometown. She is also a professional artist who loves to travel. This past year she spent traveling and working along the east coast of Australia and visited New Zealand for a few weeks. “I have to say, there’s no other place in the world quite like Cape Cod.”


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day exploring gardens on Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.

Cape Cod Museum Trail – Highfield Hall and Gardens

Holidays at Highfield

By Chelsea Colson | Photos by Pat O’Connell

Holidays at Highfield a Cape Cod museum
Holidays at Highfield

One of Falmouth’s most treasured historical sites, Highfield Hall and Gardens is  one of Cape Cod’s most visited sites. The Hall and Gardens is a center of cultural and community life in Falmouth. Highfield has welcomed over 125,000 visitors since opening in 2006 after 5 years of renovation. One of the most interesting features of Highfield is it’s extravagant history.

Fairy Houses on a Rock Wall
Fairy Houses on a rock wall.

Highfield Hall and Gardens’ rich history begins with its construction. It was one of the earliest summer mansions on Cape Cod and was built by the Beebe family of Boston in 1878. It is one of the few remaining examples of Stick-style Queen Anne architecture in the Northeast. At the time of its construction, the mansion was one of the first expansive summer retreats on the Cape and was surrounded by park-like gardens, a stable, carriage trails, a caretakers cottage and almost 700 acres of woodlands.

James Beebes, one of Boston’s merchant princes, gifted the funds for his children to create and live in the home. While residing in Falmouth, Pierson, Franklin, and Emily Beebe lived lavishly. Servants quarters were located on the upper floor.  The servants assisted the siblings when they threw many extravagant parties on the property. In 1932, Franklin Beebe James’ only surviving child, passed away, leaving no heirs to the Beebe fortune and estate.

Beebe Woods Conservancy nature trails.
Beebe Woods Conservancy nature trails.

After being bought and sold several times, the estate had been transformed and re-purposed from a private home into a hotel. In 1972 Josephine and Josiah Lilly purchased the entire estate and generously donated the nearly 400 acres of Beebe Woods to the town for permanent conservation as green space. The local arts organization received the buildings and acreage around the mansion. Unfortunately for two decades, the property was vandalized and neglected until 1994. At that time, Highfield Hall Inc. saved the property from demolition. After several years of wrangling to keep the building standing, Town Meeting Members authorized Falmouth Selectmen to lease the property to Historic Highfield. In 2001, $8.5 million was raised through donations to renovate the hall and the 6 surrounding acres. Private individuals made a majority of the donations. The funds went towards replacing the roof, repairing the foundation, repairing, flooring, windows and doors. In September 2006, Highfield Hall had its grand reopening when the 1st floor was completed. By April 2007, the Hall’s 2nd and 3rd floors were completed and the building finally was fully renovated. The landscape restoration came after, lasting from 2010 – 2012.

Now that you’ve learned the summary of Highfield Hall & Gardens’ intricate history, it’s time to come back to the present. “Arts on the Hill”, a collective of non-profits that operate the estate, hosts a variety of classes, lectures, theatre presentations, concerts and gallery shows.  They also offer estate tours. Visitors can stop by to browse the current art shows or visit when there is a theatre show scheduled. When the weather is permitting one can take advantage of Beebe Woods and enjoy a calming nature walk. Two of the most recent additions are the restored “Sunken Garden”, a cutting garden and a labyrinth.

On your next visit to the Palmer House Inn, make sure you don’t miss this Falmouth treasure. It is a short 3 minute drive up the hill, or a 13 minute walk from the Inn.

www.highfieldhallandgardens.org


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guest rooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day exploring gardens and Cape Cod museums, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.