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9/19/2017 2:28:20 PM

Chatham

Overview - Beaches - Points of Interest - Schools - Chamber of Commerce - Chatham Lodging

Cape Cod Towns: 

Overview

Chatham is famous for the original Cape Cod Railroad line. This history is preserved in the Railroad Museum, housed in a restored 1887 depot on Depot Road. The railroad, first exporting fish and salt to the mainland, eventually imported summer visitors, marking the roots of a now tourism-based local economy.

A scenic spot for local color is the Chatham Fish Pier. This pier is town-operated for small craft fishermen. Most of the catch is shipped directly to local restaurants, but fish can still be purchased right from the docks. To get to the pier, drive east on Main Street to Shore St. and then turn left. The fishing fleet returns between 3 and 6 PM.

Chatham Light offers the town’s best ocean views. Built originally in 1808 and then rebuilt in 1878, it stands next to the Coast Guard Station at North Beach. From here you can survey the break along the barrier beach just offshore that occurred in 1987. You can also observe Monomoy Island, a national wildlife refuge and birdwatcher's paradise separated from the mainland by erosion in 1957.

Every Friday evening in July and August, the town holds band concerts at Kate Gould Park on Main Street. Hundreds attend regularly to hear this famous band play.

Other points of interest in Chatham include the Atwood House Museum, operated by the Chatham Historical Society, and the wind-powered 1797 Godfrey grist mill.

Beaches

Points of Interest

  • Monomoy Wilderness Area - Fragile and breathtaking, this 9-mile strip of land is slowly shrinking from coastal erosion and is protected as a National Wildlife Refuge. Accessible only by boat, it teems with wildlife including dozens of endangered birds. The area is designated primarily for observation and research. However, the Massachusetts Audubon Society does give limited tours. Located offshore at Shore Road.
  • Chatham Light - This lighthouse guides vessels through the notorious "Chatham fog" that rolls onto the town's shoreline some mornings. Built in 1808, it originally had a full-time keeper. Now the light operates automatically, flashing eight times per minute. Located off Shore Road.
  • Chatham Break - Created by pounding storm swells and hurricanes over the past decade, the Chatham Break is a growing ocean channel between Nauset Beach and Monomoy Island. Onlookers can see the channel from telescopes mounted at the foot of Chatham Light.
  • Atwood House Museum and Murals Barn - The Atwood House is one of the oldest homes in Chatham. It holds more than 2,000 artifacts, including colonial antiques and a seacoast shell collection from around the world. A section is also dedicated to local author Joseph C. Lincoln. Located on Stage Harbor Road.
  • Godfrey Grist Mill - This structure in Chase Park off Grist Mill Dr. still grinds maize into cornmeal on summer days. Built in 1797, the mill is fragile and can only grind corn at certain wind velocities. Wind speed must be at least 20 mph in order to create proper kinetic energy. However, damage can occur if gusts exceed 25 mph.
  • Monomoy Theatre – This building was leased to Ohio University in 1958 as an educational training site for the Ohio University Players, a college theater troupe who have performed eight shows during the summer annually for 41 years. Located on Main Street.
  • Railroad Museum - Built in 1887 as the town’s rail depot, this well preserved building still houses its original ticket and dispatching offices. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the museum holds outstanding memorabilia of the first commercial U.S. railroad (est. 1826) plus models, photos and engineer equipment. Located on Depot Road off Route 28.
  • Forest Beach - Gentle waters break ashore as a pine and oak-filled tree line shades beachgoers on top of a wide cliff. A great spot for a family beach day. Limited parking. Located at the end of Forest Beach Road off Route 28.

Schools

  • Chatham Elementary School
    147 Depot Road, Chatham
  • Chatham High School 
    425 Crowell Road, Chatham
  • Chatham Middle School
    425 Crowell Road, Chatham
  • Rocking Unicorn 
    1762 Main Street, W. Chatham

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