How Well Do You Know Sandwich?

The Sandwich Historical Commission was established in 1971 to identify, document, preserve and protect the historic and archaeological assets of the town and to promote public awareness of the history of the Town of Sandwich.

The Commission consists of not less than 3 and not more than 7 full members and up to 7 alternates. The Board of Selectmen appoints fill members for staggered three-year terms and alternates for 1 year terms.

If you are interested in serving on this commission, please fill out a Talent Bank form.

The SHC is the local arm of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, established in 1963 “to identify, evaluate, and protect important historical and archaeological assets of the Commonwealth.” (MGL Ch. 9 Sections 27-32 enabling legislation)
The powers of the Sandwich Historical Commission are established by Massachusetts General Law, Part 1, Title VII; Chapter 40; Section 8D.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Sandwich Historical Commission
P. O. Box 1905
Sandwich, MA 02563



Alternate Members

  • Ellen Carlson
  • Rich Claytor
  • Joanne Richardson

Associate Member

Volunteers Wanted

The commission is actively searching for new volunteers interested in joining the membership. We’re looking for men and women of all ages, backgrounds and education levels. The only membership qualification is a sincere interest in the discovery, documentation, and preservation of Sandwich’s historical assets of all kinds.

Come join us at a future meeting.


SHC meetings are open to the public.  They are held on the first Wednesday of every month at 6:00 P.M. at: 

Sandwich Library
McKnight Room
142 Main Street
Sandwich, MA 02563

All meetings will be posted more than 48 hours in advance at the Town Hall Annex, 145 Main St., and online at the Town Clerk’s page

Thanks to Sandwich Community TV, the Sandwich Historical Commission meetings are now being recorded on video so the public can view on demand. To view videos follow this link and click on Historical Commission

Sandwich Enterprise Editorial:
Historical Commission: A Champion For Sandwich’s Past

– Disclaimer: No endorsement is intended or made of any hypertext link, product, service, or information either by its inclusion or exclusion from this page or site. While all attempts are made to ensure the correctness and suitability of information under our control and to correct any errors brought to our attention, no representation or guarantee can be made as to the correctness or suitability of that information or any linked information presented, referenced, or implied. All critical information should be independently verified. This site is for research and education and not for commercial purposes.

67 Responses to Home

  1. Cynthia Mortensen says:

    Re: the Nathan Tobey House–I have a letter from around 1880 from Mary Ingraham to her niece Carrie (my gg-grandmother). Mary’s grandmother was Abigail Tobey. Mary writes about the historic changes made to the Tobey House, and about Dr. Elisha Tobey (Abigail’s father). I have scanned and transcribed the letter, and would be happy to share with the owners of the house, or anyone who may be interested. Plus, of course I’d love to visit someday (I’m from California…). Cheers, Cynthia Mortensen (cyndi.mortensen@gmail.com)

  2. Kevin F says:

    I am looking for Birth records from the early to mid 1700’s. Would this be something that the society would have, or could direct me to?
    thank you

  3. Deborah DeForest says:

    I am trying to research any information on the Cedarville Food & Gift Shop run by the Green family around the 1930s or 40:s. I have a picture of Gertrude Greene Young and her family in front of the store. I believe the family owned the store at that time.

  4. Stephen C Gross says:

    My husband’s ancestor, Roland G. Swift 1804-1873 had a farm in Sandwich and Barnstable. Do you know where this farm was located. His son, Cyrennus Swift, joined the Union in the Civil War and fought many battles. He met his wife and settled in Titusville, NJ near her family. We are still in NJ and when we were in Massachusetts we were on Swift Ave.. Could this be the site of the farm?
    Many thanks!

  5. David MacKay says:

    I have a cottage down on Ploughed Neck Road and I would love to find out about the history of this part of town. I would also love to see any historic photos of not only this particular area but also of the topography of the rest of the town when it was more agricultural and covered with fewer trees. Is there an online archive of photographs somewhere?

  6. Joan McGovern says:

    I too, have early and deep roots in Sandwich, Ma Edmund Freeman is my 8th gr grandfather and I have many other Quaker ancestors from Sandwich. I would very much like a book on the early settlers, can you suggest one that tells the history of this special town.I would also like a map of the early days in Sandwich if available. Please let me know where I can obtain more reading material.

    • Webmaster Don says:

      The best book for Sandwich history is “Sandwich: A Cape Cod Town” by Russell Lovell. We have posted some very good maps on this website. More books and maps are available in the Archives which are located in the Macknight Room at the Sandwich Public Library. –admin

    • Joseph Freeman says:

      My 3rd grt grand father authored 2 books. “History of Cape Cod. vol l and 2 ” Rev Frederick Freeman. Have a CD version as well as paper back.

  7. Dean Burgess says:

    The first volume of my Family History covers two of the first settlers at Sandwich: Thomas Burgess and Peter Gaunt. It also offers current research on their English origins and covers the first four generations from his eldest son. I also have a novel which was published by the Permanent Press in New York a decade ago based on the information in the Family History called An Unclean Act.
    I would like to donate them to the Commission, I can send them to your address, but I would like to have the name of a person to whom I should address the box.

    • FYI World says:

      (From Bill Daley, Sandwich Historical Commission)
      Dear Mr. Burgess,
      Thank you for your generous offer to ship your first volume of Family History as it pertains to two of the original founders, Thomas Burgess and Peter Gaunt. Your novel based on historical fact should also be a good read and we thank you for that as well. I will bring this to the attention of the members of the Sandwich Historical Commission. We work very closely with the archivist of the Sandwich Archives and your books will be presented to her for safekeeping and to enlarge our knowledge of the original founders.
      The SHC does not have a mailing address so please send them to me at:
      William F. Daley
      6 Evergreen Drive
      Sandwich MA 02563
      Kindest regards,
      Bill Daley

  8. Fantasys says:

    The firm brought enormous social and economic change to the town. Jarves relocated experienced glass workers and their families from Cambridge, Massachusetts and some from abroad. Many were Irish Catholics, and they lived in Sandwich in small single family homes as well as two, four, and six family wood-framed buildings constructed by the B S Glass Company close to the Sandwich factory in an area that soon became known as Jarvesville. Management and few of the more skilled workers lived in larger homes in the earlier settled part of the Village, and those, together with the h century homes, comprise the heart of historic Sandwich.

  9. Samuel H. Hackett, Sr. says:

    Thank you for creating this excellent site to honor Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts! My ancestors were early settlers in Sandwich. My 7th-great grandmother, Elizabeth Percival was born in Sandwich on September 10th, 1675. Her parents were James Percival (who settled in Sandwich) and Mary Rainsford (whose father was Edward Rainsford, ruling elder of the Old South Church in Boston). James and Mary were married in Sandwich in June of 1671. My other Sandwich ancestors were the Swift family, who first settled there after 1630. The progenitor of our Swift line died in Sandwich in 1643. I descend through his sons, William, William and Thomas (all of Sandwich) and then though Thomas and Thankful (Morey) Swift’s daughter, Elizabeth Swift. Other early settlers of Sandwich in my paternal line were the Reverend Richard Bourne, who came from Barnstable, Devon, England to Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Hallet family, which was connected to the Bourne family are also in my family tree and their progenitor, Andrew Hallett, was the father of Ruhama Hallett, born in Sandwich in 1644. She married Job Bourne of Sandwich and their daughter, Hannah Bourne was born in Sandwich in 1667. So, I have some solid roots in the good old town of Sandwich and I’m very glad to know that you keep its history alive, from its inception to the present day. You are all to be commended for taking on that worthy cause. All the best to all of you!

    • Dennis M Bellucci says:

      I am related to Rev Richard Bourne, he is my eight grandfather and I come from his sons Elisha and Job. I also Have Freeman, Ellis, Swift, Nye, Burgess, Tupper, Bassett and others all form Sandwich….

  10. Randy Biddle says:


    I am seeking living relatives of Mrs. Seth S. Pope (Alice Wyatt Pope) who passed away June 16, 2000. We met in 1969 when I lived in Orleans. At a gift shop in Dennis owned by Walter Trainor, Alice purchased a ship model which I made (named “Snowbird”). ‘Hoping that her descendants might know the whereabouts of that model. I have only poor, out of focus photographs of it, and if possible, would like to get better ones. If the family would consider selling the model, I might be interested in repurchasing it. Thank you in advance for whatever assistance you might provide. Respectfully, Randy Biddle, Star, Idaho.

  11. Joan M says:

    Do you have any information or photos of the old Forestdale Lodge,aka the Alibi Lodge?

  12. James Lanahan says:

    I have been working on my family tree which I discovered Edmund Freeman is one of my ancestors through his daughter Alice. She married William Paddy of which I am descended. Edmund Freeman is my distant grandfather. There seems to be a lot of their children moved down to Maryland. One of my cousins has a document which has the title of Earl listed. I hope to visit Sandwich sometime in the near future to search for more information.

    • Kat Freeman says:

      so much family in these comments! edmund freeman is my 8th great grandfather, im descended from his son edmund. i just found out he was a founder today i cant wait to get vaccinated and try to visit the town!

  13. Christian Harold says:

    This is truly an amazing website. There is so much valuable information that is so well put together. As a life-long resident of Sandwich, who also grew up here, as the years pass my passion and interest in the towns history has grown. I love this town, and to be able to learn about it gives me even more pride. I really appreciate all the work that the Sandwich Historical Commission does, it’s so important to keep this information alive for generations to come.

  14. Carl Johansen says:

    Mr. Dayley as the official record keeper for the town of Sandwich and controller of the town hall history it is incumbent of you to see that the truth of history be revealed. One such revelation that needs to be corrected is the Gold stars still on the plaque that indicates the two men who died during Basic Training rather then actual battle conditions . Perhaps you may not be aware of the Gold star that is placed along side the name of only those who died under battle field conditions. By not removing them from the plaque shows disrespect to the Gold Star families and does not present the truth as to how they dies. It is time that you correct this long time fabrication of the facts. On behalf of those who served and perished during battle field conditions.

    • William Daley, SHC has posted this reply:
      The gold stars beside the names of the veterans listed on the WWI and WWII Memorial Plaque indicate that they died while in service to their country, not that they died on the battlefield. The people who created this Memorial Plaque in the early 1950s were no doubt well aware of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Clark and Haddad. There were about 1500 people living in the town at that time and the families knew each other more so than now. Moreover, only 30 years had passed since the WWI deaths. The Civil War Memorial Plaque also in Town Hall is consistent the one for the world wars in that it also lists with gold stars all of the men who lost their lives while in service.

  15. Pat Breslin says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful job on your website. My great grandfather was a Tupper, residing in Medford, MA. I would like to examine some records in Sandwich to see if he is related to the Tuppers there.
    I will be in Sandwich on Friday, November 18th. May I make an appointment to meet with someone at the Sandwich Historic Society and/or see records?

    thank you,

    Pat Breslin
    603 294 4513

  16. Bill Thorp says:

    We recently purchased the home on 19 Pleasant St and are living there as full time residents. There is a small “barn” on the property that is of newer constructionand we want to paint it. Are there any restrictrictions concerning paint color etc…

  17. Bump in the night says:

    I have a serious question. Is there anyone that can confirm or deny the following… It’s very important to me as someone I know now lives there:

    Was 13 School Street, Sandwich, MA. a funeral home or mortuary at one time?

    • Bill Daley of the Historical Commission researched your interesting inquiry. He checked the Sandwich Town Archives for information on 13 School (asset # 299). There is nothing in the file to indicate that this residence was ever used as a funeral parlor/mortuary. There is everything in the file to indicate that it has always been a residence. The original home was built for Samuel or William Fessenden and while there is not exact date, he suspects it was circa 1840. Bill also checked with long-time archivist Barbara Gill and Sandwich native Carolyn Crowell and neither of them ever knew it to anything other than a residence. They both referred to it as the Murphy house (owners in the 1930s). Thank you for your inquiry.

  18. J Dillingham says:

    Where is the red sign with the founding fathers? It is important to have THAT sign in city hall. Where would the town be without them? Why are we not recognizing them? We HAVE the sign.. put it up!

  19. Carl Johansen says:

    To whom is ever posting the above information on the Clark /Haddad names that is posted under Mr. Cullity. It would be appreciated that the actual historical data be posted that provides the clarity that provides the true background of both men

    In July of 2015 I put together the true historical data of both men. It was published in the Cape Cod Times and it was called ‘Setting the record straight on 2 servicemen”

    The most significant finding was that both men enlisted in the service of there country on the same day, one in Barnstable and the other in Boston. The factual data proved with out question both men did in fact die from a disease, one as an Solder and the other as a Naval enlisted officer. Mr. Haddad was naturalized Citizen, from Syria, when he passed.
    The one outstanding note of historical finding was that Mr. Haddad was placed in St Peters with the McLaughlin Family plot. He was interned without any marker . He has been interned for over 97 years at St. Peters with out the proper recognition he has been denied, yet deserved .
    Mr. Haddad will have a marker placed at his place of interment that will be observed on Memorial Day 2016 for all to pay respects and recognize his sacrifice on behalf of his new found country. The ceremony will have a blessing of the marker , by Father George with full military honors and taps. We invite all to observe a long overdue recognition on behalf of historical facts.

    It would be appreciated that this research of history be incorporated into the above information in regards to both Mr. Clark and Mr. Haddad

    Carl Johansen

  20. Ralph Matthews says:

    I was hoping to find information on a former slave by the name of George Williams, who, from his own account, lived in Sandwich, MA for 14 years. I do not know if this was prior to, or after, his incarceration in Maysville, Kentucky in 1849.

  21. Carol Andrews says:

    I am impressed with Bill Daley’s biographical sketch of Timothy Ruggles. I am a collateral descendant of Timothy Ruggles (from his brother Benjamin) and I live in New Braintree, MA a town adjacent to Hardwick where Timothy Ruggles went to live after moving from Sandwich.
    I wonder if Mr. Daley has visited Hardwick and seen Timothy Ruggles’ campaign chest in the collections of the Hardwick Historical Society and his “noble” stone wall (1774) enclosure for a “kitchen garden” recently restored by the East Quabbin Land Trust. The site of his house and the boulder that served to hold a flag pole still exist on Upper Church Street.

    Thank you Mr.Daley for a fine piece about a long- overlooked figure in Massachusetts/national history.

    Carol Andrews

    • Bill Daley says:

      Carol Andrews: My apologies for not noting your post on the Sandwich Historical Commission post that you made in January 2014. Thank you for your generous comments. I have not made it to Hardwick and have not seen the items you mentioned but I hope to do so some time in the future.
      Another person told me that the hanging of Bathsheba is portrayed in a painting at the Worcester Court House. Can you verify that?
      I have been to the Worcester Art Museum and have seen the painting depicting the Ruggles home and farm. which is used on the cover of the book Murdered by his Wife about Bathsheba and Mr. Spooner.
      Lastly, a friend has sent me pictures of a plaque at Fort Ticonderoga which commemorates the efforts by British and colonial forces to win the fort during the French and Indian War.
      Thanks again.

  22. Sarah Beane says:

    I have been fortunate to trace a branch of my family tree all the way back to Sandwich in the 16 and 1700s. I am from Central Mass and will be visiting the area in a few weeks. I am interested to find any information on the following individuals:

    Rose Allen 1610-1691
    Joseph Holloway/Holley 1605-1645
    Mary Hull 1645-1692
    Joseph Holley 1636-1693
    Mary Holloway/Holley 1666-1732

    All I have are names and dates and would like to discover any further information that will shed light on who these people were.

  23. Jeremy Bangs says:

    The Town Records of Sandwich during the Time of Plymouth Colony, 1620-1692, is available, print-on-demand. For information, see the Facebook page of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum,

    Or go directly to the website of the printer, Lulu:

  24. Lee Roscoe says:


    My questions concerned information on the occupancy of the Perry homestead, later the Wm. A Nye home, and its relationship to the family of August Belmont Jr,, his mother’s father, Commodore Perry and predecessors such as Ezra Perry and his brother who settled in Manomet and Sandwich in the 1630s.

    This was for an article for one of the magazines, now complete. So now I just want to know for my own curiosity, and in case I write another piece.

    Please advise,


    Lee Roscoe
    14 D Frederick Ct.
    Brewster, MA. 02631
    508 896 3510

  25. Russell Higgins says:

    I would just like to comment on the home at 15 Water St. it is currently for sale and I have just got done looking at the interior pictures of it. How were these homeowners allowed by the town and/or historical commission to turn this house into what it is? It looks like a fine antique colonial from the outside but, is far different on the inside. It literally looks like it was completely gutted and turned into some modern European atrocity! I just shake my head at this and wonder why and how…

  26. John Rorstrom says:

    Looking through the historic houses page, I noticed that there is no detailed information regarding the history of an ancestral house of my family. The house has remained in the family since it was built in 1827. How can this information be updated?

  27. Diane and Alan Freeman says:

    Edmund Freeman is my husbands 8th Great Grandfather. We plan to travel to Sandwich in May 2014 in hopes of learning more about the Freeman family arriving in the USA and settling in Sandwich. My husband and two young adult sons are excited to do some research.
    I hope we can find documents or other information about Edmund Freeman. Any help you can provide will be much appreciated.
    Diane Freeman

  28. Thomas P. Vincent says:

    My wife, Angela, and I will be staying at the Isaiah Hall B&B Inn in Dennis on July 10 and 11, during which time we will visit Sandwich. My son and I are probably the only remaining direct descendants with the Vincent name of John Vincent, your first constable, who (though not one of the original twelve from Saugus) left Saugus in 1637 for Sandwich, and resided in Sandwich between 1637 and 1667. At some time between 1662 and 1667 he left Sandwich for Yarmouth, which later became Dennis. John’s great great grandson, and my fourth great grandfather, Joshua Vincent, left Dennis to purchase land in Ashfield in 1779.

    I hope we can find in Sandwich documents or other information about John Vincent. Any help you can provide will be much appreciated. We look forward to seeing your beautiful town.

  29. Elaine Turner says:

    My grandfather purchase 2 lots in 1914 part of the “Pocasset Park Tract”, located in the town of Sandwich. I am unable to find a map or plans of the property after extensive search. Can anyone help?
    Thanks You,

  30. Dick Housley says:

    I want to purchase the Town map that was created and for sale at the Glass Museum. They are sold out and could not tell me where to purchase one. Please where they are available. Thank you

    • SHCadmin says:

      The historic map reproductions were the product of the Friends of Sandwich Town Archives (FOSTA), a volunteer group at the Sandwich Public Library. We are all grateful for their diligent work. Please contact Joanne Lamothe via email: jlamothe@ocln.org

  31. Richard Bradford Hall says:

    I’m impressed and gladdened to find this site.

    My interest in the historic preservation of the Town of Sandwich has been, since my childhood, intensely important to me. All my boyhood summers were spent in East Sandwich.
    This site can only serve to enlighten people in the “less is more” philosophy of historic conservation. Congratulations on this website which I only happened on by chance! After all, we are only stewards for the time we own any old house. And it’s up to us to preserve as much original fabric as possible when approaching the preservation of and conservation of a period house.

    Thank you.

  32. Chief Larry Marsell Holliston Police (Ret.) says:

    I have digital pix of building on Tupper Road that was destroyed by fire last week end.
    They were take +/- three weeks ago. If they are of any interest to you let me know.
    Larry Marsell

  33. Dick Carey says:

    My wife and I are the sixth family to have owned the Tobey House located at 44 Water Street. I went to the web page of street addresses to see who was listed at 44 Water Street. There is no mention of the first owner and builder of this home. His name was Nathan Tobey (Tobie) the son of Thomas Tobey.

    According to Thomas’ will, he gave Nathan the land in 1681. In 1685 Nathan married and lived in this house and they had two children. His first wife died in 1690 and he remarried that same year. A book written by a local historian stated that the house must have been built in 1690 as a result of Nathan’s second marriage.

    In doing my research of our residence and Nathan’s home it must be assumed that since it took two to three years to build a home due to the daily responsibilities to provide food and other necessities of life that Nathan would not have built a second home at the time of his second marriage in 1690. People didn’t move out of their home because a spouse or offspring passed away. The actual date of finished construction is someplace between 1681/83 and 1685.

    The house was first built as a hall and parlor design. It maintains much of its original interior features including five working fireplaces, gunstock and summer beams and low ceilings in the original first period part of the house. It appears the home was last added on to around 1820. I should also mention this house was never torned down and moved to another location within the town.

    The last male owner of the home was Ansel Tobey. He died in 1895; his daughter Vesta Tobey Brown sold the house that same year to a Miss Julia Yard and her brother Robert Yard of New York City. The Yard’s maintained the home for a number of years as a summer residence. Later, Julia moved into the house full-time and passed away in it in 1935.

    • SHCadmin says:

      Thank you for this remarkable biography. I have posted this story on the page for 44 Water St. We will also include the information on a new MACRIS form.

    • Ann Whitney says:

      Just found this old post of yours researching my husband’s Tobey ancestors. He is a direct descendant of this Nathan. Such wonderful information! We hope to visit Sandwich in the near future. Are you a descendant of Sarah Carey?

  34. Bill Coburn says:

    I, too, am impressed with this web site, adding onto the comment by Kaethe:
    As I recall in recent readings about King Philip’s War, there was an instance after one of the battles with native Americans, when one of the colonist leaders retreated to Sandwich, after a battle. The constant friction/war/ murder and mayhem which was, unfortunatly part of everyday life in 17th and early 18th century Massachusetts and New England deserves greater attention. It is akin to the generalized fear about nuclear war from the 1950’s, but it was probably more strongly felt than that (as the ‘enemy’ was in everyone’s backyard) and for a much longer time. Understanding the very complex relationships between the colonists and native Americans puts into sharp focus one of the major themes of everyday colonial life and deserves more attention for those wishing to understand the everyday experiences of early settlers and their native American neighbors.

  35. Martin says:

    We visited Sandwich in September 2009. A wonderful nice place!

    We also visited the Hoxie House and this is my point of approach. Inside the Hoxie House there is an exponat, a metal box with a complicate closing mechanism. The nice lady leading the visit, said that there are no informations about this box (age, function, owner etc.).

    During a recent vacation near Passau, Germany we visited a castle with a mediveal exposition. And we saw a similar box.

    Now I try to get in touch with responsibles of the Hoxie House to send them informations and pictures about this box.

    However I cannot find any mail adress. Can somebody help and provide me a mail adress of a responsible person of the Hoxie House?

    Thanks in advance!

    Martin from Wiesbaden, Germany

    *Site Admin Note: Response sent with the email address of the SHC.*

  36. Lisa Hassler says:

    Wow! This is a wonderful website. Looks great and a fantastic resource for anyone interested in the history of the town. Thanks!

  37. John Hackett says:

    I thank Bill Daley for acquainting me with the website. What a terrific historical introduction to Sandwich. Though I have been living in Sandwich for 12 years I know little if its history. Thank you to the publishers from a” WashaShore.”

    Jack Hackett
    51 Holly Ridge Drive

  38. Linell Grundman says:

    This is a wonderful site for the town. People will learn so much and I’m sure it will be helpful to our visitors. Thank you!! I’m sure there is a link from our great town web-site. Way to go!!

  39. Richard Connor says:

    Terrific web site. The historical record has never been more important to the Town of Sandwich, and it’s residents. This web site will be a valuable tool, for getting the message out.
    Thanks to all involved.

  40. Bob King says:

    What a wonderful website. Kudos to those responsible…it will be a great resource to link. Thank You.

    • Joseph Freeman says:

      My 3rd grt grand father authored 2 books. “History of Cape Cod. vol l and 2 ” Rev Frederick Freeman. Have a CD version as well as paper back.

  41. Kaethe O . Maguire says:

    I know the word Fort for the Wing House above has been debated. John Cullity told me once that it was never a ‘fort’; however, considering the King Philip’s war I can see that the ‘fear’ would have been there and the possibility of building a fortification ‘just incase’ seems credible. However, my question is…Was there ever an attack on the immigrants English in Sandwich by the Native Population? To my knowledge, there was not, but I am not the last word on this!
    Thanks. Kaethe O. Maguire

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