- Beaches - Points
of Interest - Schools - Chamber
of Commerce - Lodging
Onset is a neighborhood in Wareham that has evolved into a beautiful Victorian
Village. Initially, the development of Onset was in the form of camp meetings
in the 1870s. The next wave of people constructed Gingerbread summer cottages
which created the mostly densely populated village in Wareham. Onset was and is
known for its natural beauty. The beaches, bluffs, and parks are all for public
use which can never be privatized due the Degree of 1916. It is one of the few
areas where the visitor and resident alike have an unobstructed view of the Onset
Bay, Wickets and Onset Island and the east entrance of the Cape Cod Canal.
The unique way in which the streets were laid out by the Onset Grove Association
(principal developers) still prevails today. As a result locating historical
landmarks is easy. Streets run east and west while avenues run north and south
and circumvent the entire village.
Onset offers many of the same features for one to enjoy without having to
travel over the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges. Onset is home to numerous
Victorian style restaurants, inns and B& Bs. Many former visitors who
summered here as children, have returned to make Onset their summer retreat
or year round residence. Onsets captivating beauty and old Victorian charm
has encouraged many visitors to become residents. Boating and Cape Cod Canal
excursions are also available from the Onset Pier.
- Onset Beach
- Shell Point Beach
- East River Beach
- Point Independence Beach
Points of Interest
- The On-i-set Wigwam - 1894 The only building of its kind in the world
and one of the oldest National Spiritualist Summer Camps in the country.
- RLDS Camp Ground - 1911 The Latter Day Saints conducted their first
camp meetings, pitching white tents throughout the treed acreage. These
camp sites have since been replaced by 80 residential cottages, a Tabernacle
and a chapel.
- Old Onset Fire Station - 1880 This firehouse the very first piece of
fire fighting equipment for all of Wareham.
- The Spinney Memorial Building - 1894 Purchased by the ladies of the
Harvest Moon Society for Onsets library, the Spinney building is an excellent
example of Victorian architecture.
- Onset Bay Grove Association Administration Building - 1877 The
hexagonal sided, peaked roofed structure is an architectural focal point
along the waterfront. Once a U.S.O. building during World War II, the
building is now home to several businesses including a donut shop!
- Shell Point - comprised of South Blvd., West Central Ave., Longwood
Ave., and West Blvd. This section of Onset features many fine Victorian Homes,
the Onset Bluffs, and wonderful views of Onset Bay and its various estuaries.
- Onset Pier - The town pier provides parking, access to the public beach
- Union and Highland Ave - have excellent example of cottages that at
one time belonged to the Spiritualist Church.
- Classic 19th Century Hotels - located along Onset Ave these hotels
overlook Onset Bluffs and Onset Bay. These buildings are preserved resort
hotels which offer modern day amenities.
- Wickets Island - Summer home of the Wampanoag Indian tribe in the
- Onset Island - Early history recalls the Squaw Sachem Awashonks
(1600s) picnicking her with her people. Onset Island is now home to
approximately 50 year round residents.
- Prospect Park - situated on a gently sloping bluff, this park was once
home to many outdoor spiritualist meetings. One can sit under the numerous
shade trees and soak in the spectacular view Onset Harbor and Wickets Island.
- Ethel B. Hammond Elementary School
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