Swift & Co Weathervane

This piece of a hand-carved wooden weathervane is from one of the first slaughterhouses of Swift & Co., located on Bonehill Road in Cummaquid. Started by Gustavus Swift, Swift & Co grew to become one of the nations leading meatpacking businesses. On August 17, 1936, the slaughterhouse was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. This piece of the weathervane (and the name of the road “Bonehill”) is all that remains of the slaughterhouse. 

Want to read more about Gustavus? We found this article on his biography on yourdictionary.com. We can thank Gustavus for inventing the refrigerated railcar. Read more in the link below.



(Source: Smithsonian Institution Archives)


Venture into the broad scope of printed ephemera for the purposes of conveying information relevant to a diverse range of social activities in 19th and early 20th century postcardsIndividually, each of these little artifacts has a story to tell. Taken together, they weave a narrative of American culture from 1861 to the present day.


Postcards, as we are familiar with them today, have taken a considerable amount of time to develop. First restricted by size, color, and other regulations, postcard production blossomed in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Postcards were popular because they were a quick and easy way for individuals to communicate with each other. Today deltiology, or the collection of postcards, is a popular hobby.


On February 27, 1861, the U.S. Congress passed an act that allowed privately printed cards, weighing one ounce or under, to be sent in the mail. That same year John P. Charlton copyrighted the first postcard in America. By 1870 the postcard shot to popularity as a means of cheap, quick communication. Hymen L. Lipman began reissuing Charlton’s postcard under the name Lipman’s Postal Cards.

On June 8, 1872, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that approved government production of postal cards. The first government-produced postcard was issued on May 1, 1873. One side of the postcard was for a message and the other side was for the recipient’s address. By law, government postcards were the only postcards allowed to bear the term “Postal Card.” 


Only the U.S. Post Office was allowed to print postcards until 1898, when Congress passed the Private Mailing Card opening the postcard business to private publishers and printers. While private publishers were allowed to print postcards, they were more expensive to mail than the government-produced cards. Initially the government prohibited private companies from calling their cards postcards. Instead they were known as souvenir cards.

In December 1901, the Postmaster-General issued Post Office Order No. 1447, which allowed the words “Post Card” instead of the longer “Private Mailing Card” on the back of postcards. Private printers were also allowed to omit the line citing the 1898 Private Mailing Card Act. However, messages were still not allowed on the address side of postcards. By this time, the front of most postcards had images, which eliminated it as a space for messages. Because of the absence of message space on the address side of postcards, this post card period is known as the Undivided Back Period. 



It wasn’t until 1902 that a message could be written on the same side as the address. Subsequently, in 1907, the U.S. Postal Service introduced the divided back postcard which allowed messages to be written on the left and recipient’s address on the right. This, along with a craze to collect, sparked the height of postcard sending from the early 20th century through to the First World War. 


Postcard collection covers different periods in postcard history and shows changes in their design and style over the decades, earliest dating from 1880 to postcards from the 1900s. Early postcards were black and white. Colorization began in 1893. Well-known artists were commissioned to create illustrations for these early postcards. Writing was permitted on the front of the card over photographs or artwork. Starting in 1913 and well into the 1930s, postcards featuring a white border became commonplace in the United States. New printing processes allowed printers to produce postcards with a high rag content, which gave them a look of being printed on linen, rather than paper. The most notable printer of linen postcards was Curt Teich Co. of Chicago, which printed its first linen card in 1931, and whose postcards became popular around the world. 



Postcard themes in a collection showcase people, occupations, historic homes, town streets, businesses, and tourist attractions. The value of a vintage postcard is determined by several factors, including its age, rarity, and condition. Generally speaking, older and rare postcards tend to be more valuable than newer ones; cards in better condition will fetch a higher price than those damaged or faded. Another factor influencing a postcard’s value is the scene depicted on it. Some of the most valuable postcards include photos of ocean liners or railroads, as collectors are interested in making these rare images part of a collection. Photos from the early 1900s of homes, families, and other personal scenes are also popular, falling under the name Real Photo Postcards. 

The Golden Age of Postcards peaked in 1910. Since then, postcards have predominantly been reserved for holidays and are increasingly eclipsed by newer forms of digital communication. 


Unlike the first postcard design with a printed stamp, illustrated postcards by commercial publishers required the sender to buy and stick on a special one-cent stamp beginning in 1898. The postcard stamp rate was increased to two cents in 1917 and to three cents in 1932. 


Postcards were sent without an envelope, so anyone could read the message. To get around this, secretive Victorians developed the “Language of Stamps” to send coded messages. By angling the stamp in different directions, writers could send various hidden messages like ‘Have you forgotten me?’ or ‘With all my heart.’ The secret language of stamps code allowed a message to be sent within a very public form of correspondence.

Summer pastimes are still here today

Victorian life could be busy but Victorians liked to make good use of their leisure time by playing games, watching sports, going on day trips and holidays, attending events, or enjoying hobbies. The ways in which people could entertain themselves varied depending on whether they were rich or poor, male or female.

What follows is a list of activities to introduce you to yesteryear’s charm and delight but to also inform you that these pastimes are not far gone as we celebrate and entertain in many of the same ways.

For you are, as poet Henry David Thoreau said, “about to be rich, if not in money, in sunny hours and summer days.” 

Play a Game of Croquet

Croquet started sometime before 1850 and somewhere in Ireland, moved to England and eventually found it’s way to the US.   In the beginning croquet was more of a women’s game, but men being what they are found that they could tweak the game to make it more manly. Croquet was also a game where both women and men could play together and equally challenge each other for sport or for fun.

When looking for antique croquet sets, look at the croquet posts. Usually the older sets have more ornate croquet posts. Balls in general are made from wood. The mallets will also be made of wood. The mallet heads tend to have more detail than today’s mallets. Antique sets coming from England will usually be older and worth more.  Often people who sell antiques go to England to bring back the wooden croquet balls and mallets they find there.

Really nice mallets can sell for $80-$200. Post can actually sell for even more and are often used in Folk art. Don’t pay more than $5 for balls, if you intend to sel them.

Go for a Sunday Drive - Old King's Highway - Route 6A

The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce provides a wonderful history of our historic scenic byway. Cape Cod’s Route 6A, also known as Old King’s Highway, is one of America’s most iconic byways and comprises the largest contiguous historic district in the United States. In 2021, Old King’s Highway achieved National Scenic Byway Status. This designation makes it one of only four in Massachusetts! 

Most people consider Old King’s Highway the section of east-west roadway on the northern side of Cape Cod between the towns of Bourne (just east of the Sagamore Bridge) and Orleans (ending at the Orleans Rotary). Route 6A also extends all the way to Provincetown, however, it does not exist as a standalone roadway in the towns of Eastham and Wellfleet and the village of South Truro, where it vanishes within US Route 6. Route 6A re-emerges in North Truro at Shore Road and extends all the way to Provincetown, where it ends at the US Route 6 junction at Herring Cove.

In all, Route 6A traverses about 62 spectacularly scenic miles from end to end. Click here for some great points of interest along Old Kings Highway, and check out the Cape Cod Travel Guide article “Cruisin’ Route 6A!” 

The Town of Barnstable has some GREAT antique maps of the historic scenic byway on their website. 

If Antique Cars are your thing, we highly recommend The Heritage Museum and Gardens up the road in Sandwich, MA. 


Attend a County Fair -- Barnstable County Fair

The Barnstable County Agricultural Society held its first fair, consisting primarily of livestock and handicraft exhibits, in October of 1844 at the County Court House in Barnstable Village. By the late 1800s and early 1900s, the County Fair had become the most popular annual event on Cape Cod. 

Read more about the history of the Barnstable County Fair and get your tickets here.

Enjoy Time on the Water - Freshwater or Oceans

Sandy Neck became the first area of whaling on Cape Cod to open up its grounds to the public for whale watching as well. The whaling industry, along with the fact that Sandy Neck marked the entrance to Barnstable Harbor necessitated the construction of a lighthouse at its eastern end referred to as Beach Point. 

Barnstable Beaches Map

Cycling your afternoon away

The penny-farthing, also known as a high wheelhigh wheeler or ordinary, was an early type of bicycle. It was popular in the 1870s and 1880s, with its large front wheel providing high speeds (owing to its travelling a large distance for every rotation of the legs) and comfort (the large wheel provides greater shock absorption). You can see one live at the Phinney/Jones house Thursday – Saturday 1-4pm.

It became obsolete in the late 1880s with the development of modern bicycles, which provided similar speed amplification via chain-driven gear trains and comfort through pneumatic tires, and were marketed in comparison to penny-farthings as “safety bicycles” because of the reduced danger of falling and the reduced height to fall from.

The name came from the British penny and farthing coins, the former being much larger than the latter, so that the side view resembles a larger penny leading a smaller farthing. Although the name “penny-farthing” is now the most common, it was probably not used until the machines were nearly outdated; the first recorded print reference is from 1891 in Bicycling News. For most of their reign, they were simply known as “bicycles”, and were the first machines to be so called (though they were not the first two-wheeled, pedaled vehicles).  In the late 1890s, the name “ordinary” began to be used, to distinguish them from the emerging safety bicycles; this term and “hi-wheel” (and variants) are preferred by many modern enthusiasts.

Victorian America Celebrates Easter

(Source: This Fabulous Century: 1870-1890)

Early Christians aligned their celebration of Christ’s resurrection with the Anglo-Saxon’s Spring Equinox, falling on the first full moon after the vernal equinox. It is believed that the term “Easter” originated from the Pagan fertility goddess “Eostre,” who’s fertility was celebrated at the time of the Spring Equinox. They viewed the time as the rebirth of fertility and life, which is why eggs and rabbits were the symbols chosen to represent Easter. 

In the postwar years after the Civil War, Easter emerged as a favored holiday. Youngsters took up those ancient Easter symbols, the egg and the rabbit. Gentlemen sent cards to ladies. And both sexes turned the holiday into a fashion show, as people of all shapes and tastes paraded their brightest spring outfits up and down the main streets of their towns.

Traditions outside of religious observation and worship have cropped up and have become favored. Easter eggs (both dyed chicken eggs and decorative gifts of milk glass Easter Eggs), Easter bonnets, new dresses, new neckties, fancy sit-down meals, greeting cards sent by mail or delivered in person all became part of the Easter season.


Easter Greeting Cards and Postcards

Easter greeting cards were exchanged, many with spiritual images on them like lambs and crosses. Brightly colored paper was used in the creation of these cards, and some contained images of bunnies and eggs.  Check our facebook page for a greater collection of postcards and share yours or let us know which one is your favorite.

Like your favorite!

Easter Eggs

One of the oldest American Easter customs is the Easter egg hunt or egg rolling. Dolley Madison introduced the Washington egg rolling, and when Congress forbade the use of the capitol grounds for it in the 1870s, President and Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes moved it to the White House lawn in 1878. The Easter egg is one of those ancient pagan symbols of new life that was early taken over by the Christian church. The Easter bunny–the notorious fecundity of rabbits and hares makes them obvious symbols of life–is probably of German origin, and was quickly adopted in America.

Like today, children in the Victorian era loved Easter. Children would dye eggs using cranberries, beets, oranges, and lemon peels. During the 1800s children would participate in both egg rolling and egg hunts, and the winner would receive a special prize. Some Victorian egg hunts included cardboard eggs lined with fabric and contained little candies. Lemonade and cookies were served at these special events.

Samplers / Victorian Embroidery and Needlework / Tatting Lace

Our most recent donation is a beautiful little girls sampler from 1809

Ruth Done Knowles, Born 1798

Sampler Date 1809 in Eastham, MA


Samplers were typically learning exercises during the 18th and 19th centuries; samplers were stitched more to demonstrate knowledge than to preserve skill. The stitching of samplers was believed to be a sign of virtue, achievement and industry, and girls were taught the art from a young age. Many samplers would contain Family trees, while others commemorate events, such as weddings or births. Alphabet samplers were used to demonstrate a record of stitch capability and talent and often would capture a record of a life event, right of passage, or special life history of the needle artist.

Needlework was important for young girls learning home economic skills to manage a household, and the personal adornment of herself and her family. Alphabets allowed girls to practice the marking of linen (sheets, undergarments and other personal items were named so they came back to their right owners after wash day), while spot motifs and border patterns could be used to decorate both clothes and domestic furnishings.

Historically, needlework tended to flourish in female and feminine spaces — namely, the home and clothing. It gave women a voice when they had none. It is said that women would stitch their thoughts in the hems of their skirts as a way to express their silent opinions on trending topics in the world.

Today, it is enjoying a revival with Google reporting a 100% increase in searches for embroidery kits since the pandemic hit in 2020. Ever since the first textile was created, there have been stories woven into fabric. Whether it be literally or figuratively, textile design does not exist without a narrative. 

Special thanks to Marcia Brown-Smith for her time and help with researching the delicate and beautiful history of our recent sampler donation and sharing her history of the Needle Arts. 

Marcia Brown-Smith has been serving the needle art industry since 1979 providing finishing services for retailers throughout the United States and other countries as well as for private clients, students and designers. With an average of between 500-700 pieces completed each year, the opportunity to work on a wide variety of needle art, both canvas and linen, has generated the development of finishing techniques that easily offer professional results. Marcia has been special editor for a major needlework publication, has been a teacher on the national level for a variety of mainstream needlework venues since 1991, has lectured and exhibited for many needlework seminars, museums and guilds nationwide and ran a successful finishing business for 35 years. She is now creating her own needle art designs and teaching them nationally while continuing to provide finishing services to private clients and students.


Buy this book on Amazon: Distinctive     Presentations in Needle Art


Nabby Easterbrooks, Born 1794

Sampler Date 1805 in Sandwich, MA





May spotless innocence and truth my every action guide and guard my inexperienced youth from vanity and pride.





Victorian Embroidery

Source: RiverCity Screenprinting & Embroidery


Traditional Victorian ladies were raised to sew not just standard, function-meeting items like blouses, skirts, and trousers; they could also create a variety of petticoats, corsets, garters, even reticules and other types of handbags and luggage items. Hand-sewn and embroidered baby clothing was also quite popular; in fact, it is from the Victorian era that layettes became so popular. Household items such as doilies, pillows, curtains, other linens, and even pet accessories were also popular hand-sewn items. 


It was a skilled Victorian lady who could provide all of her home’s clothing and linen needs herself, though plenty paid friends to add Victorian embroidery and specialty crocheted and knitted embellishments. Some women made quite the profit from marketing their sewing and embroidering skills – the same 1873 Harper’s Bazaar article wrote at length about a widow who owned her city house outright and was able to independently support herself and her children, all on the income earned by plying a needle. (You Go Girl!)



While Victorian women taught their daughters, sisters, and other female relatives basic sewing skills to ensure they could practically supplement their household with in-house repairs, middle and upper class women in the market for marriage would set out to specifically learn the tricky talents of Victorian embroidery – the so-called “fancy work” that added beautiful decorations to clothing and linens. 


Fancy work was taught at home and even at school, and towards the end of the 1800s women’s colleges were even offering Victorian sewing and Victorian embroidery classes. Once married, these middle and upper class women would delegate the function-only work of basic sewing and repairs to maids, and utilize their own hands for fancier work. Lower class women too learned the skill of Victorian sewing and embroidery; however they learned it at the expense of shorting themselves on opportunities for learning reading, writing, and arithmetic. Furthermore, many lower class female students were required to learn and deploy Victorian sewing and embroidery skills as a way of paying for their room and board at school.

Miscellaneous sewing artifacts and sewing table

Tatting Lace

About 2000 years ago, fishermen used a large shuttle to weave heavy cord into fishing nets.  About 1000 years ago sailors knew many different kinds of knots to use on the sailing ships.  The Bolin Knot was used for the anchor; it was a slip stitch. Tatting may have developed from netting and decorative ropework as sailors and fishermen would put together motifs for girlfriends and wives at home. Decorative ropework employed on ships includes techniques (esp. coxcombing) that show striking similarity with tatting. A good description of this can be found in Knots, Splices and Fancywork.

All these cords were handed down to weavers who used a finer thread to make lace.  The shuttle was smaller to accommodate this finer thread and the lace they made was sewn onto satin and velvet.  Ladies wore beautiful garments with lace, lace making was a thriving business in Europe.

Tatting was one of these laces.  Children and handmaidens were taught to tat edgings that were quickly bought up by the weavers who would add the tatting edgings onto the garments and charge a large sum of money for the garment.

In England, this lace was called knotting. In France it was called frivolet.  In America it was called tatting.  In 1845 in Cork, Ireland the nuns had developed the art of lace making with crochet, knitting, and tatting. They saw the poor people eating grass so they brought out their beautiful laces, sold them, and gave the money to the poor. Irish immigrants came to America wearing tatting, and then they sold the tatting to make pin money.

One of the reasons people keep treasured artifacts from the past is because they hold a deeper meaning of something that matters. Ordinary everyday objects of life are just that — ordinary, without context beyond their purpose. The historic items that have the greatest attachment are usually the little things. Small handheld tools and instruments that people have used to construct or create something lasting. Tools like this Historical Treasure, a tatting shuttle, are reminiscent of more than what they were used to create. They are often symbolic of the people who used them.

Tatting Edgings

Tatting Shuttles

Tatting shuttles come in all sorts of different styles and material. Some are made of tortoise shell, pearl, ivory or wood. Elaborately designed shuttles could be quite expensive and sometimes were accompanied by exquisite carrying cases.

In later years, needlework skills were of utmost importance during the Victorian era. Leisure time recreation was a bold statement of economic status at that time, and the level of status was often determined by the skill set of one’s handiwork. If a woman had time to devote to making fancy lace pillows, table coverings and edgework, it meant she wasn’t bothered with the labors of housework, survival. By the 1930s through the 1950s it evolved into a common pastime or hobby. Tatting patterns were featured in the latest edition of leading women’s magazines.

Today many hand-crafted arts are in danger of becoming lost to obscurity. This does not seem to be the case with needlework such as crochet, knitting and tatting. Although the ancient technique is not practiced as often as the others, tatting and its various shuttles continue to be passed on to future generations.

Presidents' Day History

(Source: National Archives)




Though this day is commonly called Presidents’ Day, the observed federal holiday is officially called “Washington’s Birthday,” contrary to popular belief.


Historically, Americans began celebrating George Washington’s Birthday just months after his death, long before Congress declared it a federal holiday. It was not until 1879, under President Rutherford B. Hayes, that Washington’s Birthday became a legal holiday, to be observed on his birthday, February 22.


Washington’s Birthday was celebrated on February 22 until well into the 20th century. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act “to provide uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays.” By creating more 3-day weekends, Congress hoped to “bring substantial benefits to both the spiritual and economic life of the Nation.” As one of eleven permanent holidays established by Congress, Washington’s Birthday was moved from February 22 to the third Monday in February. Moreover, Congress has never declared a national holiday that is binding in all states; each state has the freedom to determine its own legal holidays. This is why there are some calendar discrepancies when it comes to this holiday’s date.


In a sense, calling the holiday “Presidents’ Day” helps us reflect on not just the first president, but also the founding of our nation, its values, and what Washington calls in his Farewell Address the “beloved Constitution and Union, as received from the Founders.” One of the great traditions followed for decades has been the reading of President George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address by a U.S. Senator in legislative session, which remains an annual event to this day. Additionally, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is February 12, so by calling the holiday “Presidents’ Day,” we can include another remarkable president in our celebrations as well.

US Presidents born in Massachusetts

US Presidents who called Massachusetts home

Bet You Didn't Know This...

Cape Cod and The Islands Presidential Trivia

Have you ever visited a real ice house? We have one in Cotuit Village

The Historical Society of Sansuit and Cotuit have an actual ice house that you can visit.

The ice house, opened in the summer of 2012, has a wonderful exhibit of ice harvesting tools and photographs. 

Rothwell Ice House in Cotuit

Baby its cold outside - What better to do than harvest some ice?

Ice Harvesting, early 1850s
By W. T. Woods - Derived from W. T. Woods' "Price list, Wm. T. Wood & Co. manufacturers of finest quality ice tools, Arlington, Mass", c.1894, Public Domain

The History of Ice Harvesting

Sourced online by our Docent, this article was written by Michelle Prior, Wright-Locke Farm

Before the advent of freon-based refrigeration in the early 1900s, ice was the only way to keep things cool and keep food from spoiling. Ice Harvesting – the process of extracting ice from freshwater sources – was a significant business throughout the 1800s.  The commercial ice industry can trace its roots to Boston, the first natural ice business began in Boston in 1805.  In its heyday, ice was the first agricultural product of the year in New England, harvested in the heart of winter, January & February.

Specialized tools were developed to harvest 12-20” thick ice, and the work was extremely labor intensive. Scrapers were used to clear snow from frozen lakes and ponds and the pond ice was scored into large grids (like a checkerboard) by ice plows. Large custom-made saws were used to cut ice blocks following the outlines of the scored grid. Splitting bars or spades separated the blocks from the larger grid. People working on the edge of the cut sections of ice then used long picks or poles to direct the ice blocks into channels cut into the pond – pushing them along like a floating assembly line. Ice blocks were then lifted into ice houses by conveyor belts powered by animals, machines or humans.  Gaffs were used to lift the blocks into place and the ice was tightly packed in rows and columns inside the Ice House.

Ice Preservation and Ice Use

Ice was preserved in houses which were specifically built for the purpose of storing harvested ice.  Ice houses were double walled and tightly insulated with straw or sawdust. Small ice houses were built by private landowners and commercial ice houses could store as much as 80,000 tons of ice.  The ice itself was sold to individuals and businesses and ice harvested in the heart of winter was preserved and sold throughout the year. Ice was often wrapped in blankets before being transported for sale.

Ice from New England was sold to customers in the southern United States, in the West Indies, South America, India, China and Europe. In the 1850s the ice box was patented and ice boxes began to appear in homes in greater numbers and families would receive weekly ice deliveries.  

Ice was used primarily for preserving foods and making ice cream– it was not consumed the way it is today, to chill beverages or be blended into smoothies. Ice harvesting from natural water sources began to decline with the invention of automated ice machines and the widespread expansion of refrigeration.  However, ice harvesting is still being done in New Hampshire and Maine and the public can participate in the annual President’s Day weekend harvest at the Thompson Ice House in South Bristol, Maine.


  • One individual block of ice would often weigh 300 pounds.
  • British records reflect that Queen Victoria purchased ice from Massachusetts in the 1840s.
  • In 1880 Boston produced ~8% of all the ice consumed in the United States.
  • By 1899, ice harvesting was the 9th largest industry in the United States worth nearly $220 million in today’s dollars.

2021 Holiday Season - John Stackhouse Lighthouse Memorial Ceremony

Shown from left to right: Honorary special guest and wife of John Stackhouse; Linda Stackhouse. Shown with Linda are key project coordinators; Vice President Richard French, Board Member Brook Smith and member; Peter Scarafile.
the lighthouse will be daily during the holiday season from dusk till 11pm
December 3rd lighting ceremony for the John Stackhouse Lighthouse Memorial

John Stackhouse and Peter Scarafile

In December, we celebrated the installation and first official lighting of the John Stackhouse Lighthouse Memorial. Special thanks go out to all the generous people who graciously donated to his memorial and participated in this event. The evening was a little brisk, but fun was had by all. Guests enjoyed hot cider and holiday snacks with warm conversations of loving memories. John served as a past member of our Board of Directors and served as past President of the Barnstable Historical Society.  Of the many things that John was passionate about were the giant lighted metal sculptures along 6A that were lit during the holiday season. To that end, John dreamed of having one in front of the BHS. With this installation we honor his contributions to not only the BHS, but our community.

Victorian Era Thanksgiving Traditions

Although the first Thanksgiving is considered to have been between the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag, Thanksgiving as a national holiday, and the traditions still practiced today, actually have a Victorian beginning. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until the campaign efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale however, that convinced President Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving as a national holiday on October 3, 1863 with the first national celebrations on November 26, 1863. The hope was for Thanksgiving to be a time to give thanks and would help to “heal the wounds of the nation” from the devastation of the Civil War. 

Our Docent, found a great article providing more history about the traditions of Thanksgiving from our U.S. National Park Service. 


Vererans Day Rememberance - Thank you to all that have served

Printed media was a large part of wartime efforts. Government agencies held competitions for artists to submit their designs, allowing the government to increase the number of designs that it could choose from. It is said there were almost 200,000 different designs printed during the war depicting mostly positive rallying cries to support the war effort at home and for our troops abroad. 

We found this interesting and very informative article called the “Powers of Persuasion” from the National Archives. 


Expand your Holiday Repertoire with Four Vintage Cranberry Recipes (1919)

Cranberries are a Thanksgiving classic for good reason. The fruit is native to North America and was a staple in the Native American diet and lifestyle. Pilgrims were introduced to cranberries, likely at that very first Thanksgiving. Cranberries were harvested commercially for the first time in 1816 and were later sold in cans beginning around 1912. Ocean Spray cooperative began to take over the market in 1930 when they swapped from dry harvesting to wet and the rest is history.

Share your favorite cranberry recipe on our Facebook page

Cranberry Scoops

Did you know – that in the early 1900’s Barnstable County had more than 2408 acres of land under cranberry cultivation? Who knew there were that many acres dedicated to Cranberries – just in Barnstable County?! We are sure many of you are familiar with this prized antique Cape Cod cranberry harvesting tool. This is called a cranberry scoop and was used to increase the harvest production of the delicious red fruits. We found a great article written in the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association that provides an extensive history of the cranberry. 

Cape Cod Cranberry Gowers Association – History