Chatham Massachusetts is located in Barnstable County, on the elbow of the Cape Cod. It was settled in 1665 and founded in 1712. It is an active, vibrant community.
Chatham: By the Numbers
Lattitude: 41.681944 & Longitude: -69.960278
Area: 24.4 square miles
Median Household Income: $45,519
CHATHAM, WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO:
Where to go and what to see:
- Atwood House: This is the home of the Chatham Historical Society. The museum features collections of antique tools, town documents, exhibits on commercial fishing, an herb garden and a turret from Chatham’s Twin Light.
- Railroad Museum: The museum is housed in a restored railroad depot from 1887. The exhibits include items like model locomotives from the 1939 World’s Fair, early railroad memorabilia and a restored wooden caboose.
- Chatham Light: This historic Massachusetts lighthouse is the home of the local US Coast Guard station. It is open for tours on Wednesdays in July and August and on other dates in May, June, September and October.
- Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge: This 3,244 acre wildlife area is a migratory home or resting place for more than ten different kinds of birds. It was established in 1944. There is a headquarters and a visitors center on Morris Island. Monomoy features birdwatching, fly fishing, saltwater fishing, hiking, educational exhibits at the visitors center and guided tours in the summer.
- Beaches: Chatham is surrounded by water on every side (almost) so there’s a beach just about any way you head. Some of the most popular ones include: Cockle Cove, Ridgevale, Oyster Pond, Pleasant Bay, Pleasant Street, Forest, Harding and Schoolhouse Pond (for residents).
- Caleb Nickerson House: This museum is open for tours on Wednesdays from June to late September. They sponsor educational and fun events throughout the year.
- Colonel Benjamin Godfrey Windmill: The old grist mill is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from late June to early September.
- Marconi Maritime Center: The museum is open from late June to early October.
What to do:
- Easter Egg Hunt: This celebration of spring is held at Kate Gould Park.
- History Weekend: This celebration of the rich history of Chatham is held every year around the middle of the month of June. Historic sites all over town are open for free tours.
- July 4th Parade: Chatham has been parading down the street to celebrate Independence Day for more than 100 years. The event attracts over 20,000 people. The parade begins at 9:30 in the morning.
- July 4th Strawberry Festival: The Methodist Church sponsors the event and serves strawberry shortcake, hot dogs, sandwiches and more.
- Summer Concerts: Concerts are held every Sunday night from mid-July to early September.
- Lobster Roll Suppers: The suppers are held on Fridays from July to September.
- Taste of Chatham: This charity event that celebrates the Best of Chatham has been going on for 20 years and features local restaurants, caterers, artists, floral designers and more. It is held in late July.
- Chatham Band Concerts: These free community concerts are held every Friday night from early July to early September at Kate Gould Park. The band has been performing since 1931. It is composed of local musicians who volunteer their time and expertise.
- Memorial Day Ceremony: The memorial day celebration in Chatham includes visits to five different sites in town and brief ceremonies at each one. Participants include: the VFW, the American Legion, veterans, cub scouts, girl scouts, town employees, the Coast Guard Auxillary and Color Guard, politicians and more.
- Festival of the Arts: Organized by the Creative Arts Center, this three-day festival features over 120 artists from the region and the nation. In addition to the arts and crafts, visitors will find local food trucks, ice cream, a children’s tent and a free shuttle bus. This festival began in 1971 and is held in mid to late August every year.
- Oktoberfest: Held in late October the festival celebrates with German food, beer, pumpkins, games, vendors, live music and more.
- Veterans Day Parade: The parade marches down Main Street to Veterans Circle.
- Christmas by the Sea: This celebration of the season is held in early December and includes a Santa’s arrival at the fishing pier with the coast guard, a Christmas Stroll, a tree lighting, a Christmas parade, caroling, bell ringers, hot cocoa, prizes, a concert, an inn tour and more.
- First Night:: This huge family-friendly celebration of the new year features a full day of live music, poetry readings, dance, a costumed road race, a bubble wrap stomp, a children’s art studio, a noise parade, a town photo and an early fireworks display for the kids. The highlight of the festival is a midnight countdown to midnight with the dropping of a huge eight-foot aluminum and polycarbonate Cod and a fireworks display on Oyster Pond. The schedule changes yearly. In 2016, the performances included: ice carving, bluegrass, acoustic music, jazz, acapella, Renaissance music, juggling, rock and roll, kids music, a male choir, Broadway tunes, piano music, Irish music and more. Some events are free while others require that you buy a button.
- Chamber of Commerce: The Chatham Chamber has one of the most informative Chamber sites that we have seen for years. It’s a great resource for local events and sightseeing information.
- Town website
FAMOUS FOR OR KNOWN AS:
- Shirley Booth (Hazel) lived here after she retired.
- Harry Connick Jr. has a home here.
- Julie Harris lived here and died in West Chatham in 2013.
- Sandra Day O’Connor has a home here.
WALKSCORE & LOCAL BUSINESS INFO
The Hero Feature Photo of the Chatham marshes was taken by Todd Van Hoosear and posted to Flickr. It was published under a Creative Commons License. (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic) The photo was cropped and the contrast and color were adjusted. See the original work here.
The Chatham Railroad Museum was taken by Flickr member fullc0de. The photo was published under a Creative Commons license. (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic) The photo was cropped and the contrast and color were adjusted. See the original photo here.
The photo of Monomoy was found on the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge on Facebook. It was taken on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.
For other photo credits and copyright info, see our Photo Credits page.