What will a shallop, twelve axes, ten coats, six kettles, twelve hoes, twelve knives,
forty schillings in wampum, a hat, and twelve shillings in coins get you? Well in
1656, it would have gotten you Chatham - or Monomoit, as it was called in the 17th
Century. Located at the “elbow” of Cape Cod, the land was bought by Englishman William
Nickerson from the Monomoyick, a tribe within the Wampanoag Tribe. The area was
then named after Chatham, England, and was incorporated in 1712. It became a successful
center for shipping, fishing, and whaling throughout the 1700’s and early 1800’s.
Particularly with the arrival of train travel to Chatham in 1887, the town evolved
into a popular summer community in the late 1880’s. Once families from New York
and Boston could travel with ease to Cape Cod, they began spending summers on the
Cape in increasing numbers. Today, Chatham welcomes 25,000 visitors each summer.
Chatham has been able to preserve its quaint and charming downtown, which has a
vibrant and unique mix of restaurants and cafés, small family owned businesses,
art galleries, bookstores, and antique shops. One could spend an entire day just
meandering among the shops and eateries of downtown Chatham.
Chatham is also home to over a dozen pristine beaches and ponds where you can relax,
swim, fish, surf, collect shells, canoe or kayak. Lighthouse Beach is the largest beach in
Chatham and popular with locals and visitors. Here you can watch the seals frolic
and the boats sail by. But keep your eyes open - due to the population growth of
the seals in the area, sharks, too, are now sporadic visitors to the waters off
Chatham. View all Chatham beaches.
Away from the beaches, you will find such noted landmarks as:
So whether you want to shop, hit the beach, explore the outdoors, or enjoy fine
dining while on vacation, Chatham has it all. And when you plan your trip to
explore Chatham (pinterest), be sure to choose one of many, charming
Chatham vacation rentals as your home away from home.