In 1639, Barnstable was established by the Plymouth Plantation Colony as the third town on Cape Cod.
Barnstable takes its name from Barnstaple, Devon, England. On the first Tuesday of December, the same year, its deputies took their seats in the general court. The early settlers were farmers, led by the Reverend Joseph Hull, the founder of Barnstable. A memorial tablet was dedicated there in 1939 (the 300th anniversary of the town's founding) marking the site of his home, and the rock from which he preached still stands along the highway there.
Soon after the town's founding, agriculture, fishing and salt works became its major industries.
By the end of the 19th century, there were some 804 ships harbored in the town. But the role of sailing ships declined with the rise of ocean-going steamships and the railroad, which had arrived in 1854.??
By the late 19th century,
Barnstable was becoming world-renowned as the tourist destination it still is to this day. Many prominent Bostonians spent their summers on the Cape shores, as did presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Grover Cleveland.
Places include the Ancient Burying Ground and Gideon Hawley House, representing the town's colonial history. The town's many beaches are pop?oric sites and buildings which date to the beginnings of the town.
 
antiqBrewster Grist mill
usiness in Brewster. in 1837 there were 60 salt works on the beaches. Small windmills pumped water into a succession of large vats.



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