Chatham News and Town Information

CLAIM TO FAME: Mariners’ town, Site of “The Finest Hours”Chatham

HISTORICAL BRAGGING RIGHTS: Final resting place of Squanto

BEACHES:  Cockle Cove, Forest, Harding, Oyster Pond, Pleasant Street, Ridgevale, Schoolhouse Pond, South

DON’T MISS: Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, Monomoy Theater, Chatham Orpheum Theater, Main Street & Downtown, Maps of Antiquity

Half-way between Falmouth and Provincetown, Chatham is located at the “elbow” of Cape Cod and was one of the first places on the peninsula to attract early explorers.  Despite efforts by the French in 1606, it was not until 1656 that a group of English settlers – many of whose surnames still dominate the town’s census list – were able to take root on the land the Native Americans called Monomoit.

In 1712 Chatham was officially named and incorporated as a town. The inhabitants of the town found deep sea-fishing to be more lucrative than farming, and today, Chatham and Provincetown are the only areas on the Cape to support sizable commercial fishing fleets.

The legendary Native American Tisquantum, a.k.a. Squanto, died in Chatham and is buried in an unmarked grave on Burial Hill.

Sandwiched between Harwich to the west and Orleans to the north, Chatham covers an area of 17 square miles. The town borders both the Atlantic Ocean and Nantucket Sound, which provides several beautiful of varying water temperatures.  Lined up along Nantucket Sound at the end of their namesake roads off of Route 28 are Cockle Cove, Ridgevale, and Hardings Beaches. These family beaches provide gentle surf, full facilities and skilled lifeguards that make any beach day enjoyable for all ages.

On the Atlantic Ocean side of Chatham sits Lighthouse Beach.  Fittingly named for the Chatham Lighthouse that is perched above the beach, Lighthouse Beach stretches for miles to South Beach and Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge.  The currents in this area can be tricky and swift, so swimming is discouraged. There also have been shark sightings in the harbor over the past few years that have occasionally closed the beach.

Just a short walk from the lighthouse along tree-shaded Main Street is Chatham’s quaint village center, renowned for its leisurely strolling and shopping.  Featuring pedestrian-friendly crosswalks, on street parking and additional parking lots, Main Street stretches for almost 2.5 miles with its many shops, restaurants and businesses.

Chatham’s Main Street village center is the hub for many of Chatham’s cultural and community activities.  From July to early September, Chatham’s free band concerts at the gazebo in Kate Gould Park are arguably the best on the Cape and attract crowds in the thousands.  Not far from the gazebo is the historic and beautiful Eldredge Public Library that has stood at the center of Main Street since 1895.

Chatham has a strong sense of community and is a happy combination of past and present: old-fashioned and picturesque, while offering the best in modern facilities, exemplified by its state of the art Police and Fire Departments and the new Monomoy Regional High School serving residents of Chatham and Harwich.  Chatham’s vibrant community thrives throughout the year.

Town of Chatham Information

Town of Chatham

549 Main Street
Chatham, MA 02633
(508) 945-5100

Fire Department
135 Depot Street
Chatham, MA 02633
(508) 945-2324

Police Department
127 Depot Road
Chatham, MA 02633
(508) 945-1213

Chamber of Commerce
2377 Main Street
(PO Box 793)
Chatham, MA 02633
(508) 945-5199
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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