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How well do you know Sandwich?

Cpt Abraham Hoxie House

Here is an interesting home with a very interesting story.

This home was built for Captain Abraham Hoxie (1808-1888) who was the best known whaling captain in Sandwich. He commanded more than a dozen different vessels and retired to Spectacle Pond in South Sandwich in 1853 at age 45 where this home was originally located.

Apparently he wanted to be closer to town and just a few years later bought the famous salt box home on Water Street which we now know as the Hoxie House museum.
What did he do with this Gothic Revival house? He sold it and here is where it gets very interesting.

After acquiring it, the new owner had it moved to Cross Street to reap the financial rewards of being near the glass factory. He hired well known house builder and house mover Gustavus Howland to relocate it. Historian Russell Lovell described it this way:
“The house was two stories high with foundation 27×36 feet and could not be knocked apart for moving. Howland assembled 30 yoke of oxen and put this large house on a set of wheels, beginning the torturous task of moving this train (about 300 feet long) down narrow twisting streets with large trees on both sides from South Sandwich down to the village. It took three long days of noise and re-rigging and adjustments, but the house came intact to its final destination at 4 Cross Street where it can be seen today.”

Captain Hoxie was a unique character and was well know for firing off his saluting cannon from his salt box home after each Northern victory during the American Civil War.

–researched and written by Bill Daley


Historical Preservation Awards

The Sandwich Historical Commission held an awards ceremony this Spring to honor the preservation of a number of historic homes and buildings. Member William Daley hosted the event at Oak Crest Cove.

Award recipients were:


Janet Chakarian,  44 Water St

Delphi Construction (Sand Hill Community Center 16 Dewey Ave)


Chris & Cassie Dougherty (168 Main Street)

Brenda Kelly & Jeffrey McCarthy (6 Grove Street)

Steve Ottani Of Half Cape Construction (4 School Street)


Bill & Joanne Richardson (76 Main Street)

congrats to all!!

Walking Tours

As an escape from all the bad news these days the Historical Comission is designing a virtual Walking Tour of Sandwich. There is an app for this called PocketSights that you can load on your phone. Here’s what we have so far:

For information on walking tours held by the Historical Commission and the Sandwich Glass Museum click the link below:


Sandwich in the Civil War

Sandwich Civil War Plaque
Bill Daley inspecting the new Civil War plaque. The Historical Commission extends its highest praise and appreciation to Bill for spearheading this important project.

The Civil War Memorial Wall Plaque has been delivered and it now hangs on the wall of the first staircase case landing at Town Hall. It shows the full names of the 294 Sandwich men who served as soldiers and sailors. A gold star is beside the names of the 54 men who lost their lives because of the war.

As far as Cape Cod is concerned, Sandwich raised the first military unit on the Cape; the Sandwich Guards (Co. D 29th Regiment) saw the first military action; Sandwich had the most men join of any town on the Cape and sadly lost the most number of men. Sandwich was not alone in its losses; more than 600,000 Americans lost their lives during this 4 year nightmare.

Roster of Civil War Soldiers & Sailors, Sandwich, MA


Plaque At Sandwich Town Hall Memorializes Sandwich Civil War Soldiers


The Right Arm of Old Massachusetts:

The Right Arm of Massachusetts
(Click for Larger View)

On the morning of May 18, 1861, in front of Sandwich Town Hall, Major Sylvanus Phinney presented Captain Charles Chipman of Company D, 29th Massachusetts, with a blue flag that read “The Right Arm of Old Massachusetts. God Speed the Right.” In the flag’s center was an image of a raised arm holding a sword. The arm represented the Cape as Massachusetts’s right arm.
Shortly after the ceremony, Chipman’s unit left Sandwich for Boston and became the first military unit from Cape Cod to fight on the front lines of the Civil War.

By the end of the war, Sandwich had lost 54 men. By the time President Ulysses S. Grant visited Barnstable in 1876, only fragments of the banner remained.

(Click for larger view.)

As part of the Sandwich 375th anniversary celebration, that flag they received was reproduced by William Diedering III and once again was presented to Captain Chipman (as portrayed by Michael Welch) by Major Phinney (Robert F. Sennott Jr.) in front of Town Hall on Saturday, July 19, 2014. Then at 10 AM, about 46 reenactors began a parade from the Henry T. Wing School (which was renamed Camp Chipman for the day) to Town Hall where the Cape Cod Chorale sang Civil War-era songs.

Following the flag ceremony, special attention was given to those soldiers who were killed in the war by means of a bell-ringing ceremony.

According to the director of Sandwich 375 and chairman of Bringing Alive Sandwich History (BASH) William F. Daley, many people are unaware of the significant role Sandwich played in the Civil War.

“If you look at our history, Sandwich was actually the first town on the Cape to send soldiers,” he said. “Sandwich had the most soldiers sign up for the war.”

DSCN5815The reenactors consisted of the Sandwich Guard, the 3rd Massachusetts Light Artillery Battery C, and the US Sanitary Commission. After the town hall ceremony, they made their way back to Camp Chipman, where there were military drills and cannon demonstrations from the 3rd Massachusetts Light Artillery.


William Eaton and the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument:

In 2011 Commission Chairman, William Daley, wrote an article on the History of Sandwich’s Civil War Monument. It was especially fitting in that year when we commemorated the Civil War sesquicentennial, that we remembered the 293 Sandwich men who served and 54 men (Civil War Dead – Sandwich MA) who died in service to the nation in that war.

History of Sandwich’s Civil War Monument

Sandwich and the Civil War

by William F. Daley

Sandwich to honor Civil War veterans

By Paul Gately
February 13. 2014 12:01AM

SANDWICH – There are large plaques of honor displayed in Town Hall, listing the names of Sandwich residents who served in World Wars I and II. Later this year, perhaps, a memorial listing of the town’s Civil War veterans and its war dead may also be displayed.

The Sandwich Historical Commission voted 7-0 Feb. 5 to request $8,000 in Community Preservation Act funds this winter to underwrite a Civil War listing of the 215 Sandwich residents who served in the Union Army during the war.

“I think this is a very good idea,” commission chairman David Schrader said. “If we look at this, Massachusetts was so much more than very well represented in preserving the Union cause. More than 1 percent of this town’s population was killed during that war.”

Commission member William Daley said he has documented 56 Sandwich residents who died in the war. He said the Town Hall war listing would include the names of all who served, including those from West Sandwich, which became the town of Bourne in 1884.

Daley said the listing would feature names and might include military ranks achieved.

If the CPA Review Committee votes to favorably recommend the $8,000, voters will consider the request at the May Town Meeting.

Bourne’s memorial to its Civil War enlistees is located outside Town Hall at Perry Avenue, Buzzards Bay. Mostly overlooked by people coming and going on routine business in the building, it includes the names of those from what was then West Sandwich. The statue was dedicated July 4, 1923, nine years after Bourne Town Hall was built on the north side of the new canal.

The Civil War statue in Sandwich, according to town records, went up May 30, 1911. The annual Town Meeting of 1867 considered efforts to remember Civil War veterans. A Union Army soldier statue was decided upon. But the project was not undertaken for decades. The idea was likely forgotten as the years passed and Civil War stories and memories faded.

Finally, William Eaton offered to pay for the memorial. Eaton’s only condition was that the area be named for his family. Townspeople agreed and the project was carried out.

“William Eaton was precise; he did not want the area named for himself,” Daley said. “He was a tremendously humble man.”

Today the statue commands the small park outside Town Hall, which has since been named Town Hall Square, a federally recognized designation.

Optimism Flows At Forum About Wing’s Future

JAMES KINSELLA | Cape Cod Times | April 20, 2015

Wing Forum
One hundred and thirty people get ready to watch a presentation about the condition of the Henry T. Wing School on April 13 at town hall. The Wing building no longer will be used as a public school at the conclusion of the current school year. Town officials are seeking ideas for repurposing the building.

Some people would look at the Henry T. Wing School and see an aging, cobbled-together building with serious (read “expensive”) structural and electrical problems.

Others would look at the same 104,000-square-foot building and see a structure that could meet a variety of town needs—including centralized town offices, cultural and artistic space, and senior housing—under the same if varied roof.

The latter viewpoint far outweighed the former at the Monday night, April 13, forum on repurposing the Water Street building, slated to close as a public school this year. More than 130 people attended.

Continue reading Optimism Flows At Forum About Wing’s Future

Preserving Sandwich’s Brady’s Island

By Paul Gately
Posted Feb. 6, 2014 @ 1:21 pm
Updated Feb 6, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Brady’s Island is part of that natural swath between the Mill Creek marsh to the east and the wetland on the edge of downtown Sandwich. It is an historical tract that existed long before they built Route 6A right through the middle of it.

William Burbank, a planning board member and retired landscape architect experienced with difficult terrain, wants to get the Brady tract back “to its historical commonplace. I don’t know what that would be yet, but the idea is to take valuable areas and preserve open space fallen into disrepair.”

Most motorists drive right through Brady’s Island and miss it altogether. The sign is easily overlooked across from fire department headquarters. But from a small clearing, trails snake toward the marsh; toward River Road.

Suffice it to say, anybody trying to walk through the entire marshy area will get wet. This is likely why in the old days, ditches were dug to drain sections where agriculture was undertaken.

Behind the police and fire stations, the tract stretches toward the Sandwich Boardwalk; crossing the railroad tracks. The entire area is under the care and custody of the Sandwich Conservation Commission.

Burbank for much of this winter has pursued a grant award from the Sandwich Economic Initiative Corp., and he hopes to generate Sandwich Historical Commission interest in the nascent preservation effort. The historical commission in February will consider Burbank’s project ideas.

There is a need for signage, he said, and long-term clearing and maintenance in places; including five acres of upland behind the public safety buildings.

Burbank said he has considered the idea of constructing a train station along the tracks beyond the police and fire stations; something, he said, he has discussed with Thomas Cahir, the rail enthusiast and director of the Cape Regional Transit Authority.

Burbank said the Brady tract is a “charming open space” right next to everyday happenings in town. It was once the homestead of a “very independent family,” he said. He’d like to locate the foundation of the Brady homestead “and leave it as it is.”

Historical commission member Carolyn Crowell says a project such as that Burbank envisions would need “a general town information campaign” based on material held in the town archives.

There are issues to consider, Crowell said. One would involve any new structures being placed above the floodplain mark, something likely to run afoul of the Old Kings Highway Historic District Committee.

Burbank says a new channel into the area would help kill invasive vegetation, which appears at first glance to be taking over. But Crowell adds the point that more water flowing in means tidal water ultimately endangering the village area.

Burbank nonetheless argues the point that Brady’s Island preservation is a “tangible” project; even though it will need a grant award, local support and Town Meeting funds.

“We need to plan carefully,” he told the historical commission. “But we need to move briskly. This area is a real gem. It’s a diamond in the rough. It offers great views of the village. It would attract strollers, painters and photographers.”

The area will get some publicity later this year. Commission member Bill Daley, wrote a chapter on Brady’s Island for the Sandwich 375th birthday celebration book

Then they built 6A

Town Archivist Barbara Gill said the tract was uninterrupted until 1930 when the state built Route 6A through it. She said the Brady family lived on the natural expanse until the early part of the 20th century; with its homestead on the west side of Route 6A.

The area was full of haying operations, Gill said. “Special wood-float shoes were designed for the horses to cut across the marsh during harvests,” she said.

Gill said that after Sandwich was settled, the large expanse of marsh was divided up so townspeople could move in and cut the hay.

The Brady family at times included farmers, glass factory workers and tenders at the railroad crossings.

– See more at:

Sandwich building could become new cultural center

By George Brennan,

July 28, 2013

SANDWICH – An old building where the children of glass-factory workers once went to school could get new life as a cultural center.

Selectmen have agreed to allow the town’s Historical Commission to spend up to $15,000 to determine what it would take to restore the former Sand Hill School, known more recently as the Clark-Haddad Memorial Building.

Continue reading Sandwich building could become new cultural center

Public/private effort may chart Sand Hill School future in Sandwich

Posted Jun 10, 2013 @ 06:00 AM

When it comes to deciding the fate and future of historic properties around Sandwich, the town has had limited success in recent years; Town Hall restoration aside.

What to do with the Forestdale Schoolhouse, Deacon Eldred House on Shawme Pond and the old Sand Hill School / Clark-Haddad Building at Dewey Avenue are cases in point.

The Sand Hill School topic has been filled with debate and discussion for years. That discussion continues. Continue reading Public/private effort may chart Sand Hill School future in Sandwich

Five more homes to receive distinctive Sandwich historical markers


Posted Jun 06, 2013 @ 08:00 AM


 The Sandwich Historical Commission has unanimously approved distinctive markers for five more homes that help define the town’s architectural look and family histories.

A marker will be attached to a Greek revival home at 13 Liberty St. built circa 1850 by an Irish immigrant who worked at the Boston and Sandwich glassworks. Continue reading Five more homes to receive distinctive Sandwich historical markers