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Timothy Ruggles – The Rise and Fall of a Massachusetts Loyalist

By Bill Daley

Timothy Ruggles of Sandwich was a prominent leader in the Massachusetts colony during the time immediately preceding the American Revolution in 1775. Had he not been a Loyalist, he might have been one of the founding fathers of the new nation.

He was born in Rochester, Massachusetts in 1711, the son of Reverend Timothy
(Harvard College 1707) and Mary Ruggles and was the fifth generation of his
family born in America. His father wanted him to be a learned man and sent him
to Harvard. However, he did not follow his father into the ministry because he did
not have the reserved temperament of a clergyman. Instead, he was more
inclined towards the adversarial disposition of a lawyer. Consequently, he
studied law and graduated in 1732. Upon graduation, he opened up a practice in
his home town of Rochester where he was also elected as a Representative of the
General Court, or Assembly, at the age of 25. From the beginning, he was
ambitious and driven towards success. Being over six feet tall, he projected a
commanding presence over his much shorter associates.

Newcomb Tavern today

His practice took him to County Courts in Plymouth and Barnstable. When
traveling to Cape Cod, he usually stayed at the Newcomb Tavern in Sandwich. It
was the first inn to open in Sandwich and the building still stands as a private
home on Grove Street. The tavern was being run by Bathsheba Bourne
Newcomb, a beautiful, dark skinned and wealthy widow with 7 children. There
must have been an instant spark of passion between these two fiery personalities
because they were married within five months of Bathsheba’s burying her first
husband. Neither cared about the opinions of others. Timothy (age 25) and
Bathsheba (age 32) were wed in1736 by her father, Judge Melitiah Bourne, the
wealthiest man in Sandwich. The fact that she was beautiful, independently
wealthy and from a prominent family; must have played a role in his decision to
become the instant head of a large family. He was no stranger to a house full of
children because he was the eldest of 12.

They resided at the inn in Sandwich and immediately began a family of their own.
However, Timothy initially kept his official residence in Rochester because of his
re-election to the General Court from that town. The unexpected death of lawyer
Nathaniel Otis created a need for an attorney in Sandwich and Ruggles filled the
void and officially became a Sandwich resident in 1739.

Ruggles hung his lawyer’s shingle outside the inn and maintained the dual role of
attorney and inn keeper. In 1821, a family descendent wrote, “He was social,
witty, profane, wise about human nature, and quick to drop ceremony and
convention when they ceased to be of social value.” Hard manual work was not
beneath him and he personally attended both the stable and the bar. Oddly
enough, he was a virtual teetotaler who only drank an occasional small beer.

James Otis Sr.

All the while, he continued to expand his law practice and was recognized as one
of the leading lawyers in the province of Massachusetts. He served as a
representative of the Crown for a fixed fee which often brought him into opposition
with James Otis Sr., a Cape Cod neighbor from Barnstable who was representing
individuals who had charges brought against them by the authorities. Later in his
career, Ruggles would find himself vying against James Otis Jr., a strong advocate for the cause of independence, but that would happen many years later.

In the meantime, Ruggles political career continued to move forward and among
the many posts he held was that of Excise Collector for Barnstable County. He
remained popular among his new townspeople and was elected to 6 terms as
Sandwich’s Representative to the Assembly in Boston during the 17 years he
lived there. During his time in Sandwich, he not only built up his practice, but also
his family. He had seven children with Bathsheba, 4 girls and 3 boys.

In 1753, at age 42, he was seeking a grander life style and he moved his wife and
their 7 children to Hardwick, a new town outside of Worcester, Massachusetts.
The relocation had been in the planning stage for some time and Ruggles acted in
concert with 6 other Ruggles families who moved to the area where they had
acquired a very large tract of land. Timothy was by far the richest and most well
known person in the new town. Bathsheba’s children from her first marriage were
now older and some were married and they did not make the move to Hardwick.
William Newcomb Ruggles now ran the Sandwich tavern.

Ruggles began a life style commensurate with his wealth and that of English
country gentlemen. He entertained his guests in a lavish style and conducted
hunts on the property and hosted many grand dinners. Surprisingly, it was around
this time that he stopped eating meat and became a vegetarian. Russell Lovell’s
book about Sandwich gives us a good description of the Ruggles 400 acre farm.
He writes:

“Timothy and Bathsheba established no ordinary farm in Hardwick.
He laid out a deer park and stocked it. He bought imported and local horses of
excellent breeds and developed splendid hunting and riding horses. He bought
prize bulls and developed a dairy herd. He laid out a large orchard with many fruit
varieties. In all these activities, especially the selection of stock, the breeding
patterns of his animals and the grafting and propagation of his trees, he displayed
the greatest interest and observation in advanced scientific practices. He was able
to entertain in baronial style, and his home became a magnet for travelers from all
over the state.”

Ruggles continued to be active in politics and like he had done in his other
communities, he was elected as Hardwick’s Representative to the General Court
in 1754; a position he would hold for the next 17 years. He was also appointed a
judge in Worcester.

The French and Indian War against the British and its American colonies broke out
shortly after his move to Hardwick. His leadership skills and loyalty to the cause
were quickly evident when he raised a regiment of colonial volunteers from
Worcester County and he assumed their command as Colonel. It was not long
before he participated in a joint Colonial-British regulars attack on Crown Point in
the Lakes region of New York. It failed and Ruggles was vocal in rebuking the
British tactics of marching columns of troops against entrenched enemy positions.
The English, under the command of Sir William Johnson, did not appreciate
criticism from a colonial volunteer.

The next year, 1756, the all Provincial American forces won a significant victory at
Lake George and this time Ruggles was second in command. He continued to
fight in the campaigns of 1756, 1757 and 1758 and was subsequently named
Brigadier General in charge of Provincial forces from Massachusetts and Rhode
Island. In 1759, as second in command to Lord Amherst, the joint British and
Provincial forces attacked Fort Ticonderoga and wrested it from the French. Fort
Ticonderoga would later play an ironic role in his life. He participated in
campaigns in each season through 1762 when the battles largely ended in
America. Ruggles had achieved wide spread recognition as a fine officer who
demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and whose troops would willingly serve
under him.

After the war, he triumphantly returned to Hardwick and was amply rewarded by
the Crown for his efforts. He was named Survey-General of the King’s Forests
receiving 300 pounds per year and was also granted 1500 acres in nearby
Princeton. His political career blossomed and he was named Chief Justice of the
Worcester Superior Court. Not only did he continue to represent Hardwick in
Boston, but he was named Speaker of the House in 1762/1763. Around this time,
young John Adams wrote in his journal, “Ruggles grandeur consists in the
quickness of his apprehension, steadiness of attention, the boldness and strength
of his thoughts and expressions, his strict honor, conscious superiority, and
contempt of meanness. People approach him with dread and terror.”

Up until this time, the colonists considered themselves as staunch Englishmen as
they had done for the last 150 years. Circumstances were about to change and so
would the attitudes of some and later many of the colonists.

The French and Indian War had cost a huge sum of money and England insisted
that the American colonies help pay the debt of 147 million pounds accrued during
the war. England also had a 10,000-man army still stationed on the western
borders of the colonies to protect against Indian attacks and possible French
encroachments. The Crown wanted the colonies to help bear the costs.

Consequently, Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765 that taxed legal
documents, newspapers and playing cards. The stamp was evidence that the tax
had been paid. Stamps were familiar in England adorning all kinds of documents
and they generated 300,000 pounds per year for the Crown. However, this was
the first time Parliament had placed an external tax on the American colonies.
Ruggles, who fought in the war, appreciated the price that England had paid in
lives and pounds. He was a Tory and loyal to the King and thought it was a
reasonable approach and cautioned for moderation. He was in the minority.

James Otis Jr.

Many in the colony openly rebelled against the tax. People in New York, Virginia and Philadelphia took to the streets in protest. Mobs in Rhode Island hanged the tax officials in effigy. New Englanders called for a boycott of British goods. In
Boston, the Sons of Liberty destroyed the home of Lieutenant Governor Hutchinson. James Otis Jr., a Ruggles opponent and the son of his old adversary
on Cape Cod, called it a violation of the colonists’ constitutional rights. When the younger Otis was elected as a member of the Assembly, Ruggles confided to a dinner guest, “Out of this election will arise a damned faction which will shake this
province to its foundation”.


The Massachusetts Assembly called for a meeting of all of the colonies to discuss
and act upon the Stamp Act. In June, 1765, representatives of 9 of the 13
colonies met in New York. It was the first national convention of the colonies and
it was convened without the approval of the Crown. Massachusetts sent 3
representatives with the two more important being Timothy Ruggles and James
Otis Jr. The Royal Governor of Massachusetts awaited instructions from London,
but knew that the colonial congress would be completed by the time he received
direction. Therefore, he attempted to mitigate the situation by using his leverage
to have Loyalist Ruggles made President of the Congress. The fact that his peers
voted him President indicates that loyalty to the Crown was still a moderate and
popular position to most Americans in 1765. Ruggles had reached the apex of his

The Congress sent a deferential petition to the King and Parliament stating the
“Essential Rights and Liberties of the Colonists.” Among many items, they listed
2 privileges essential to freedom; 1) – that they are free of all taxes unless
consented to by their representatives and 2) – that they are entitled to a trial by their
peers (and not by the Admiralty Court). It was a moderate document in that it did
not either reject or acknowledge Parliament’s authority. Nevertheless, Ruggles
was 1 of 2 representatives who refused to lend his signature to the proceedings.

This was the beginning of his down fall from popularity along with all other Tories
and he would eventually face virulent attacks. One of the earliest denunciations
came in the form of a censure from the Massachusetts Assembly, led by James
Otis Jr., for the Brigadier’s refusal to approve the actions of the Stamp Act
Congress despite his being President of the group.

Within a year Parliament repealed the Stamp Act due to the protests in the
colonies and the political pressures brought by the English merchant class who
were experiencing large losses due to the colonial boycotts. However, the strains
and tensions between the colonies and England would continue to grow in the
ensuing years. The inhabitants of Massachusetts would move from a quiet
accommodation with the British imperial system to massive rebellion against it.
Despite Ruggles censure, the Brigadier would continue to be elected as the
Representative from conservative Hardwick and was re-elected to the General
Court as late as 1770.

England was still in a quandary as to how to pay for the war debts and the new
Chancellor of the Exchequer levied the Townsend Act upon the American
Colonies which taxed common goods imported into the colonies. Once again it
was vehemently opposed by the Americans who boycotted English goods and
smuggled in other products to avoid the tax and threatened violence against the
custom officials. “Taxation without representation is tyranny”, a phrase credited to
Otis, was on the lips of many colonists. Like its predecessor, the Stamp Act, it too
was quickly repealed – except for a symbolic, small tax on tea. In December 1773
the Sons of Liberty, furious about even a small tax, conducted the Boston Tea
Party and dumped 40 tons of British tea into the harbor. It would be the prelude to
the Revolution.

The British responded rapidly and harshly to the deteriorating situation in Boston.
In 1774, England closed the port of Boston, the busiest port in America, as the
Crown tried to isolate the rebellious locals. General Gage arrived in the city,
declared martial law and was made Governor General of the colony. He ended
the native democracy of the colony by refusing to convene the Assembly.

Furthermore, he changed the nature of the Governor’s Council. Instead of its
members being nominated by the Assembly, Gage personally appointed 36 Tories
to the Governor’s Council. Many of the appointees declined the position because
the practice was fiercely opposed by the populace and because they faced
violence from the Sons of Liberty.

Ruggles was one of the appointed councilors and stubbornly decided he would
accept the position. When his Hardwick townsmen found this out, they ordered
him to immediately leave town. The next morning, just after daybreak, he rode out
of town alone fleeing to the safety of the British encampment in Boston. He was
met at a bridge by his brother, Benjamin who had taken the Patriot side. It was
reported that the Brigadier said, “I shall come back at the head of 500 soldiers if
necessary” to which his brother replied, “If you cross this bridge today, you will
never cross it again alive.” It was August 1774 and he never returned.

Mercy Otis Warren

Timothy Ruggles was now a vilified figure. The appointment of the 36 councilors by General Gage prompted Mercy Otis Warren, sister of James Otis Jr., to write her satirical play, The Group in late 1774. One of the lead characters is Brigadier
Hateall, a ferocious warmonger who is married to a lowly tavern woman, “nut-brown Kate, the buxom dowager.” The veiled similarities to Mr. and Mrs.
Ruggles could not be missed. Hateall says he would not abandon his position in the Governor’s Council even to save his wife, family and friends. He boasts of beating his wife and recommends the same course be taken to other wives if they object to quartering British soldiers in their homes. Mercy’s friend, John Adams, had the play published anonymously and the Patriots read it with delight. She reveled in savaging her former Cape Cod neighbor, a Tory and lifetime opponent of her brother and father.

In April 1775, the battles at Lexington and Concord were waged and the war had
begun. In June, the British forces decided to attack the colonialists atop Bunker
Hill. General Gage let it be known that he thought the rebels would run at the
sight of British cannon. Ruggles believed he was wrong and that the Americans
would fight bravely. When the battle ended in disaster for the British, Ruggles
was reported to have told him, “My God sir, your folly has ruined your cause.” The
Revolution was fully underway and Boston, under control of the British, became
the only safe place for the 1500 Tories who fled to it. Among them was Ruggles
who organized 200 Loyalist men called the Loyal American Volunteers. There is
no evidence that Ruggles ever fought against the American Forces.

The British and Loyalists continued to be hemmed in Boston by General
Washington’s forces and the stalemate continued until a young Colonel Knox
pulled, pushed and dragged cannon from the recently seized Fort Ticonderoga to
Boston. When the British realized their fleet was in jeopardy, they had no choice
but to evacuate Boston. On March 17, 1776, the British and Loyalists sailed away
having been driven out by the cannon from the fort that Timothy Ruggles had
helped capture 20 years earlier during the French and Indian War.

Ruggles evacuated to the English strong hold in New York and stayed on Staten
Island and later Long Island. While in New York he began a series of
unsuccessful efforts to gain British support for a Loyalist company. But the British
saw them as “colonists” and not their equals as “Englishmen”. His habit of
informing the British officers of their stupidity did not help his cause. A fellow
Loyalist, Edward Winslow, wrote at the time: “There was such a mixture of virtue
even with his obstinacy that while we depreciated it as unfortunate to ourselves,
we dared not oppose it.”

At the end of the war, Timothy Ruggles was among the 30,000 to 40,000 Loyalists
who were relocated to Canada by the British. The Crown rewarded him for his
service by granting him 1,000 acres in Wilmot, Nova Scotia on the Bay of Fundy
where at age 70 he built a new estate. He resided there until his death at age 83
in 1795.

Tories, for the most part, were people with entrenched power and wealth. They
were the office holders, large land owners, clergymen of the established church,
and judges. An inordinate number of Massachusetts Tories also were Harvard
graduates. They were conservatives who were reluctant to accept change and
were certainly opposed to a revolution that rejected the King and Parliament.

They thought of themselves as Englishmen who wanted stability in the colonies
and harmony with their mother country. They were proud of the British Empire and
they considered themselves as Englishmen and part of the most powerful and
The Brigadier was descended from a long line of Ruggles who were ministers,
lawyers, and representatives in the legislature. He was an integral part of the
power structure. As the clashes between London and the colonies increased, he
was resolute in his defense of the Crown. He was unbending in his loyalty to
Britain and he could not bring himself to cross over to the other side. As far as he
was concerned, the movement for independence was being driven by an unruly
mob and he rejected their violent efforts for separation from England. While his
opponents saw him as obstinate and inflexible, he saw himself as a man of
uncompromising principles. It was not in his nature to change sides.

Had he done so, his leadership skills, military expertise, and judicial ability would
have put him in a position to play a prominent role in the development of a new

When Massachusetts in 1778 published a list of the top 300 Tories, Timothy
Ruggles was 3rd on the list (behind Governor Hutchinson and Tax Collector
Oliver). They were officially exiled from Massachusetts, their property seized and
they were forbidden to return on pain of death.

The Revolution split the Ruggles family. When he fled to Boston, Bathsheba did
not go with him and she never joined her husband in exile. Over the years their
relationship had withered and any bond between them was now gone. Perhaps his
nearly 7-year war time absence drained the relationship and added further to
Bathsheba’s independent spirit. Their 400-acre farm was confiscated by the
authorities and she went to live with her son Timothy III until her death. On the
other hand, the Brigadier had the loyalty of his 3 sons. John and Richard would join
Ruggles in Boston, New York and ultimately in Nova Scotia. Timothy Ruggles also
brought five slaves with him on his journey to Nova Scotia including two children.
Timothy III also moved to Nova Scotia after the death of his mother. The
Brigadier’s four daughters were married and stayed in Massachusetts.

His favorite daughter, Bathsheba, met a tragic fate. On July 2, 1778, she along
with her 3 accomplices were hanged for murdering her husband. The incredible
spectacle of the quadruple hanging took place in Worcester, very close to the court
house where her father had been the Chief Justice.

–Bill Daley

Originally written in 2008 and updated to include new information in 2021.


Baldwin, Charles C. The Worcester Magazine and Historical Journal. 1826.
Brown, Richard. Revolutionary Politics in Massachusetts, the Boston Committee of
Correspondence and the Towns 1772 – 1774. Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
Brunnell, Paul. Thunder Over New England, Benjamin Bonnell, the Loyalist. Norwell
Mass: Christopher Publishing House, 1988.
Crane, Stephen. Great Battles of the World. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1900.
List of Graduates of Harvard College Who Were Tories in the American Revolution
Residing in Massachusetts. William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 7, No 2, Oct. 1898.
Lovell, R. A. Jr. Sandwich, A Cape Cod Town. Sandwich Mass.: Archives and
Historical Center, 1984.
Lovell, Russell A. Jr. Annals of the Revolution – Timothy Ruggles Parts 1-3. The Acorn
(Sandwich Historical Society): 1 (Nov. 1974); 2 (Feb. 1975); 3 (May 1975).
Morgan, Edmond S. The Stamp Act Crisis: Prologue to Revolution. UNC Press, 1995.
Murphy, Brenda. The Cambridge Companion to American Women Playwrights.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Navas, Debrah. Murdered By His Wife. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press,
Stark, James H. The Other Side of the American Revolution. Salem: Salem Press Co.,
Stuart, Nancy Ruben. The Muse of the Revolution, The Secret Pen of Mercy Otis
Warren and the Founding of a Nation. Boston: Beacon Press, 2008.
Also, Jim N. Ruggles of Canada has provided rich information about his ancestor,
Timothy Ruggles. He stated that the Book of Negroes listed all the Loyalists who returned
to Nova Scotia, Canada and it includes free blacks and slaves. The book shows that
Timothy Ruggles left Long Island with 5 slaves, including two children when he left for
Canada with the other Loyalists.

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.

A View From The Chair – Sand Hill School

Open House and Forum March 24, 2012
at Sand Hill School, 16 Dewey Ave, Sandwich, MA

A View From The Chair, Feb 15, 2010UPDATE – March 24, 2012  Many thanks to everyone who attended the events yesterday. Because of you, the day was a success. Please check back for further updates.

I want to thank the members of the commission responsible for helping to pull this together: Ellen Carlson, Jonathan Shaw, Don Bayley, Carolyn Crowell, and Jennifer Madden.

Any time a new plan in Sandwich is developed and future land use is changed every neighbor’s property is impacted.  Some residents accept that the impacts on their property or their neighborhood may have long range benefits to the community as a whole; others will see any impact as a direct threat to their rights as landowners. Both sides are equal parts of the planning debate.

The Sandwich Historical Commission is very fortunate to have as facilitator, co-vice chair, Ellen Carlson. The duties of her full-time career as community planner with the National Park Service make her uniquely qualified to coordinate the Sand Hill School community visioning event.

I hope you will have the opportunity to tour the building and participate in the public forum that follows.  See our NEWS page for more details.

If you are not able to attend the forum please send an email to Ellen Carlson at ecarlson[at]sandwichhistory.org with your comments and we will incorporate them into the discussion.

Terry Blake, Chair

A View From The Chair – February 2012

Moving into mid-winter, with several feet of snow on the ground and only the heartiest of travelers on the roads, being pulled along in open sleighs while wrapped in thick woolen blankets. The only sounds are the soft clop of horse hooves in the snow and church bells in the distance.

SleighTraveling west along the Old King’s Highway – you haven’t had a King on earth in over 70 years – you descend Sand Hill and cross Ford Swamp where the road curves inland toward the village. The road is known as Main Street here, and you pass the modest glass workers’ houses before you reach the Methodist Church, the Unitarian Church, larger houses, then the Central Hotel and the First Parish Church. Every church is ringing it’s bells and every respected citizen of the town is filing into one or the other – or perhaps the Catholic Church, down on James Street, near the glass factory.

There’s one more church up ahead. You round the corner toward the mill pond and SCREEEECH!! A policeman has traffic stopped as a large dump truck is directed Continue reading A View From The Chair – February 2012

A View From The Chair – December 2011


View From The Chair-Dec-2011Looking Back

As 2011 draws to a close the Sandwich Historical Commission finds itself weighing the merits of two controversial issues and pursuing another that few people considered an issue at all.

The request from the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce for the town to give them the Sand Hill School/Clark-Haddad building for use as a visitor’s center is the most difficult problem the  SHC has faced in its forty years of existence. At the core of the problem is the question of the best way to preserve one of only two remaining historic school buildings in Sandwich. Continue reading A View From The Chair – December 2011

A View From The Chair – October 2011

View From The Chair-Oct-2011The Sandwich Historical Commission welcomes its newest member, Don Bayley. His appointment to the commission was approved by the Sandwich Board of Selectmen on Thursday, October 20 for a term of (almost) three years. Don has been doing several projects for us since joining as a volunteer in April of this year and we’re sure he will be a great asset for years to come.

Volunteers Welcomed

Our call for new volunteers has not gone unanswered. I have another fish taking a nibble at the bait right now and hope to have him on the hook and landed on the deck before the next meeting. So if you’re considering joining us, or just interested in what we do, please drop me an email. You will be in good company. My address is tblake[at]sandwichhistory.org
Of course, you will replace [at] with @.

Terry Blake, Chair

A View From the Chair – September 2011

View from the Chair-Sep-2011The Sandwich Historical Commission is entering an exciting phase. Thanks to the contributions of our members and volunteers, we have recently achieved some notable steps in our mission to document the town’s historical assets.

Looking Back

Just in the last few months we have seen the following accomplishments:

There are important projects in work as well, including a vital headstone restoration project and an archival documentation project. Continue reading A View From the Chair – September 2011

Sandwich Town Archives General Index Available Online

The holdings of the Sandwich Town Archives have been indexed in one single listing for the first time. The listing is available HERE in searchable .pdf format. The index does not include the many volumes of published genealogical works in the Archives because they are already available through the Sandwich Public Library’s online catalog.

The Commission recognizes Associate, Don Bayley, for his diligent work in compiling this index at the Chair’s request.

Historic Marker Program In The Sandwich Enterprise

Historic Marker Program Leads To Unusual Discoveries

On news stands now! Local news story encourages local pride in historic homes through inclusion in Historical Commission’s program.
Read what may be hidden under the old floorboards.

A feature article by Mary Stanley is on the front page of the April 22, 2011 issue of The Sandwich Enterprise. Capenews.net members can read the article on line. Get yours now.

Sandwich Enterprise 4/22/2011