Cape Cod Museum Trail – Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

Monarch butterfly exhibit at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.

Exploring the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

By Mary Moran | Photos by Pat O’Connell

Continuing on to the lower cape area of the Cape Cod Museum Trail will lead you to the exquisite Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. Originally created in 1954, the museum members met at Brewster Town Hall. From there, the museum’s directors  established themselves in a small building on an 80-acre area of salt marsh on Cape Cod Bay in 1960. Today, the  museum has expanded into a 17,000 square foot building that sits adjacent to over 400 acres of magnificent conservation land, This preserve includes,  salt marshes and pristine beaches.  All of this beautiful property is owned by the museum itself.

Whale exhibit at the Museum of Natural History.
Whale exhibit.

The 400-plus acres that are owned by the museum is located in Stony Brook Valley and the town of Brewster. The conservation land includes: Wing’s Neck Island, a salt marsh and the beach along Cape Cod Bay between Quiett and Pain’s Creeks.

The mission of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is to inspire appreciation, understanding and stewardship of our natural environment through discovery and learning.

Here, at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, visitors of all ages can engage in a variety of workshops, classes, lectures, exhibits, walks, films, field trips, panel discussions, interactive exhibits and tours. The goal is to teach visitors to explore the diversity of the natural world here on the Cape. At the nature center, one can explore his/her potential as a citizen scientists or amateur naturalists.

Bees Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Bees.

Exhibits currently at the museum include Archaeology, Honey Bees, Biomimicry, People of the Land, Preserved Bird Collection, the Marsh View Room, Natures-cape Gallery, Butterfly House, and more. The grounds also have a wildflower garden and three separate nature trails to explore and learn about the abundance of plant, animal, and marine life existing in the region. Interactive exhibits and educational films are two more exciting options to explore while visiting.

The museum has collections based exhibits, that include live marine science exhibits that include whales and birds. There are also many off-site nature tours. The grounds of the museum include in addition to the three nature trails  a wildflower garden.

The most popular field walk is the “John Wing Trail”. It is 1.3 miles in length and passes through a coastal pitch pine woodlands, across the salt marsh to Wing’s Island and goes down across a salt marsh swale to a barrier beach with tidal pools on Cape Cod Bay.

The butterfly house opens on June, 1 and closes on September 3. There is an additional charge to go into the house and to participate in the feeding.

For reservations call: 508-896-3867  X 133

The museum also focuses on the interactions and impacts that humans have upon nature and vice versa. The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is a “must-visit” while sightseeing through the breathtaking areas of the lower cape.

This museum is located on the Kings Highway, Route 6A, about a ninety minute drive from the Palmer House Inn. It is a wonderful place to spend a afternoon while visiting the Cape.

For business hours and admission information:

Visit their website at www.ccmnh.org or give them a call at 508-896- 3867.


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 this Cape Cod museum, 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 knowledgeable 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 – The Cape Cod Museum of Art

Cape Cod Museum of Art

Cape Cod Museum of Art

By Mary Moran

The Cape Cod Museum of Art’s mission is “to collect, study, interpret, and exhibit works by outstanding artists with a regional association. The museum’s collections and exhibitions also include works drawn from a broader context, providing a more comprehensive understanding of our regional artistic heritage. Through its educational and outreach programs, the museum seeks to preserve this heritage by fostering artistic and cultural growth.”

In 1980, Harry Holl, a potter and sculptor, got together with Roy Freed, an artist and lawyer, and proposed the idea of opening an art museum with primary focus on artists with association to Cape Cod and the Islands. After the proposition, the men assembled a group of artists, activists, and educators to create the Scargo Lake Museum in January of 1981. Only a year later the name would be changed to the Cape Cod Museum of Fine Arts and a membership campaign would begin. By 1984, the museum had gathered 1,000 interested and active members. A quaint storefront in Theater Marketplace (Dennis Village) would be the first home of the museum. Expansion of the museum was inevitable and quickly occurring. In 1985, Cape Cod Museum of Fine Art’s trustees signed a lease agreement to build the museum on an acre of land at the Cape Playhouse, also located in Dennis. Two years later, the Davenport West family donated a building to house the collection. The building, however, was located in Harwich, a near-by mid-Cape town. A $300,000.00 dollar campaign was soon established. The purpose of the  fund raising effort was to transport the building from South Harwich to the Cape Playhouse grounds in Dennis. A refurbishing budget was also included in the fund raising effort. In September of 1987, the generously donated building was divided into eleven pieces and loaded onto seven trucks to make the journey to its new site. It took nearly three years for the reconstruction, but the museum finally opened in 1990.

In the mid-1990’s, the museum’s trustees and president launched a three-phase campaign to further expand and enrich the museum and its contents. Phase one was to turn the museum into a year-round, state of the art facility. The second phase was a renovation and addition in 2001 which included seven climate-controlled galleries, an auditorium, sculpture garden, museum shop, library, elevators, and more. The third and final phase was in the summer of 2003 with the formation of the Weny Education Center.

To further enhance the museum’s mission statement, its name was once again changed, this time to the Cape Cod Museum of Art. Today, the Cape Cod Museum of Art is the only museum completely dedicated to preserving and exhibiting works by artists of the entirety of the Cape Cod and Islands region. In order to continue the creativity and uniqueness of local artists and their work, the museum offers classes and workshops to both children and adults. Summer pottery and summer art camp are also available for children to cultivate their artistic sides. There is even an Art & Alzheimer’s Program where those with memory loss and their caregivers can learn and create beautiful works of art together.

Only a 50 minute drive from the Palmer House Inn, the Cape Cod Museum of Art is a wonderful place to visit in order to get a unique and view of Cape Cod and what it has to offer.

Cape Cod Museum of Art
60 Hope Lane
Dennis, MA 02638
508.385.4477
website


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 knowledgeable 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 – 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.