Summer Guide Cape Cod

Summer Guide Cape Cod 2021

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Page 122 of 131 121 donated the 10,500 acres to the Wampanoags. The purchase also set a permanent boundary line between the settlers of Barnstable and the Native Americans. Bourne's intention was to create an Indian refuge, where tribes could come together and take shelter from the colo- nists. The territory was named the Mashpee Plantation, which became the first reservation in the history of the United States. Bourne went on to become an Indian preacher and respected evangelist until his death in 1685. His legacy was carried on through his son, Jonathan Bourne, for whom the neighboring town of Bourne is named. Adjustments and the Post-War Period The tribes in Mashpee were under the oversight of the English settlers for nearly 200 years, from 1677 until 1868. During those years and beyond, the indigenous inhabit- ants continued to flourish and adapt to the changing culture and industries. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Wampanoags were heavily involved in the trading of fur, rope, timber and sassafras. Majority of tribal men were hunters, while the women remained home farming and collecting wild fruit, nuts and berries. Wampanoag women were responsible for up to 75 percent of food production within family communities during this time. Later, Native Americans mixed with the English settlers and began whaling, a natural progression with Mashpee's strategic location near the Atlantic. Small groups of Wampa- noag men would set sail together for some ten months or more on a whaling expedition throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic and Indian Oceans. Historic documents suggest the Mashpee whalers' most popular discus- sion topics while out at sea included the abuse of tribal resources and the strong desire for a self-ruled governance system, along with the skills learned from observing foreign communi- ties. The Wampanoag presence in whaling is so much so, that in Herman Melville's Moby Dick, the author acknowledges the presence of the indigenous whalers through his character Tashtego, the Indian harpooner. Along with whaling, fishing was also a profitable industry, and continues to be a part of Mashpee today. In the 20th century herring were sent from Europe and placed in Mashpee's bodies of water. The Mashpee and Quashnet Rivers continue to be loaded with herring during the spring time, a popular sight for many fishermen, locals and tourists alike. Along with herring, other popular spe- cies of fish in the coastal town include trout, pickerel, eels, bass, bluefish, flounder, scup, clams and much more. Popponesset Bay, located between Mashpee and Barnstable, is also home to a rich oyster ground. The One-Room Schoolhouse before renovations. The schoolhouse building after renovations. Photos courtesy of Frank Lord and the Mashpee One-Room Schoolhouse Preservation Council

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