By Paul Gately
Posted Sep 7, 2018 at 10:57 AM
The Sandwich Historical Commission’s historic marker/plaque program has
reached the 154 mark, and more awards are on the way in a town where
many homes are much older than 100 years.
Commission member William Daley rides herd on efforts to recognize and
designate homes a century old or more in all sections of town, something that
helps tell Sandwich’s veritable way-we-were story that dates to the 1600s.
The house markers are distinctive, with a white background with dark green
lettering, crafted by Doug Amidon.
Daley said that only once has a homeowner objected to plaque placement or
otherwise recognizing something historic about their property.
“Markers don’t restrict home ownership,” Daley said. “They just recognize
that you’re living in a house with a history and that it’s a wonderful thing to
have. Most owners are pleasantly surprised about their property and what
owners previously lived there, perhaps glass factory workers or stagecoach
“Some are amazed the original owners had numerous kids in a small Cape Cod
house,” he added.
The oldest property recognized to date is the John Ellis House at 76 Main
Street. The William Freeman House circa 1690 at 432 Route 6A is also listed
as a historic property, complete with a plaque.
Daley in his background research about Sandwich homes has not uncovered
any of local history’s mysteries. But he has “discovered curious things.”
One story, he said, involves an Irishman who moved to Sandwich, worked in
the glass factory, joined the Union Army during the Civil War, was promoted
to lieutenant, and was later killed. His family left Sandwich.
Daley encourages townspeople who live in homes at least 100 years old to
consider the plaque program. If interested, they should contact him at
wfdaley[at]comcast.net or visit http://sandwichhistory.org/historic-marker-program/.
Download a one-page application form
Daley will check property records at the Sandwich Archives and the
Barnstable County Registry of Deeds to confirm background details. The
application will be brought to the full historical commission, which will vote
on whether or not to accept the paperwork.
The homeowner will then be informed of the approval, and Amidon will
create the marker. There is an $80 charge.
The historic markers program should not be confused with historical
commission discussions about establishing a preservation awards program.
That is a separate undertaking still in a discussion phase.