Long before English settlers arrived in what is now Yarmouth and Dennis in the 1630s, many generations of Native Americans lived here. These distinct tribes fell under the collective Wampanoag nation. Elders referred to the future Yarmouth as ``Mattacheese," meaning planting lands by the sea. According to lore, within the bounds of Mattacheese lay regions which carried other names still in use today: Quivet and Sesuit are names of two necks of land in Dennis, which used to be a part of Yarmouth until its friendly split in 1793. There is a portion of Dennis' northside which bears a street sign today of Nobscusset. Parts of Yarmouth which hug Cape Cod Bay are still called Hockanom. By all accounts, the majority of dealings with the Native Americans and white settlers were friendly. Three Englishmen, all farmers, were responsible for the first permanent settlement of Mattacheese in 1639. They were Anthony Thacher, John Crowe and Thomas Howes. (A year before, Mayflower passenger Stephen Hopkins was granted a leave of Plymouth Colony in August 1638 ``to erect a house at Mattacheese, and cut hay to winter his cattle, provided it not to withdraw him from the
town of Plymouth.") By 1640, Mattacheese had been renamed Yarmouth, probably after a seaside town in England, and 28 families made their homes here. Most were farmers, but others worked trades required by a new colonial outpost, including that of tailor, cobbler, goldsmith and carriage maker. White picket fences, English-style hedges and ancient stone walls grace the properties on which many antique homes in Yarmouth rest. Architects influenced by the Greek Revival, classic Colonial, French Second Empire, and Gothic Victorian styles, among many designs in vogue through the decades. Yarmouth's varied, rich architecture is a testament to the fortitude and vision of the families who lived here since this mid-Cape town was founded by English settlers 357 years ago. Yarmouthport historic district in Yarmouth was one of the firstof the historic districts in Massachusetts and served as the inspiration and model for the Old King's Highway Regional Historic District. The beautiful private homes and Inns are excellent examples of early American architecture. There are some 200 buildings and sites of historic and architecture significance within the Yarmouth portion.