- Beaches - Points
of Interest - Schools - Chamber
of Commerce - Bourne Lodging
In 1627, Pilgrim leaders from Plimoth Plantation established a
trading post along the Manomet River between the English colonists on
Cape Cod Bay, Dutch colonists to the south beyond Buzzards Bay and
Indians three miles to the north at Great Herring Pond.
Using wampum, the Pilgrims traded wool cloth, clay beads, sassafras
and tobacco imported from Virginia; the Dutch traded linen cloth, metal
tools, glass beads, sugar and other staples; and the Indians traded
furs. As the area developed, it was named Bourne, after either Jonathan
Bourne or the Rev. Richard Bourne (who donated to the Wampanoag Indians
the land that eventually became the town of Mashpee).
With the construction of the Cape Cod Canal, Bourne was split in
half. It remains the only town to occupy land on both sides of the
canal. Aptucxet Trading Post, the first recorded commercial trading site
in America, is on the Cape side and has been converted into a museum.
showcasing 17th Century firearms, furniture and
cooking utensils. The Victorian train station built for President Grover
Cleveland is also exhibited. The nearby Jonathan Bourne Historical
Center overlooks the canal, as well.
Much of the Cape side of Bourne is occupied by the Massachusetts
Military Reservation, consisting of
Otis Air National Guard Base, Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, and
Camp Edwards Army National Guard and Reserve Training Site. Every first
weekend of August, Otis air base puts on a two-day open house and air
show. The Massachusetts Maritime Academy is located on the other side of
- Cape Cod Canal - The first major Cape Cod landmark tens of
thousands of visitors lay eyes on annually. This Natural Historic
Civil Engineering Landmark measures 480 feet across, is the widest
sea-level canal in the world. Lined with scenic overlooks and
multi-use trails on both sides, it is a popular tourist destination.
The channel was opened in 1914 and stretches 17.4 miles up the
coast. With a shifting tide every 6 hours, it is the only known
waterway experiencing 4 daily high tides.
- Indian Burial Hill - One of the oldest burial grounds in the
region, this hill rises on the mainland side of Bourne. It was the
final resting place for many Wampanoag Indians. The area was closed
to burials in 1810 after King Saul was put to rest. Christian
Missionaries also dedicated a bronze plaque here in the 1800s to the
Cape's Native American population. Located on Bournedale Road off
- Bourne Scenic Park - This is one of the largest camping
the region. Located on the Route 6 scenic drive, this park is nestled
between the Cape Cod Canal and local forest lands. It consists of
422 campsites and picnic facilities. It hosts many seasonal
activities, as well.
- Aptucxet Trading Post and Village - Villagers traveled to this
rustic homestead to trade goods and supplies as early as the 17th
century. The building, completely reconstructed in the 1920s, still
operates as it originally did some 250 years ago. It also features a
relic salt operation, Indian artifacts and other exhibits.
- Bourne Railroad Bridge - Before this bridge was built in 1934,
goods traveling off-Cape were unloaded and stacked on small rafts to
cross the canal. The bridge is a single train track and runs 545
feet across the waterway. When raised for boats traveling through
the canal, it stands 135 feet high.
- Herring Run - This brook fills every spring with alewives
splashing their way upstream to spawn in inland fresh water. Years
ago, town residents would catch their cache of fish here. The site
is now a recreation area with picnic facilities. Located on the
scenic drive off Route 6 on Bournes mainland side.
- Bourne High School
75 Waterhouse Drive, Bourne
- Ella F. Hoxie Elementary
30 Williston Rd., Bourne
- James F. Peebles Elementary
70 Trowbridge Road, Bourne
- Massachusetts Maritime Academy
101 Academy Drive, Bourne
- Upper Cape Regional Vocational Technical
220 Sandwich Road, Bourne
- Waldorf School of Cape
85 Cotuit Road, Bourne
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