Summer Guide Cape Cod

Summer Guide Cape Cod 2021

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Page 123 of 131 122 The Mashpee River Reservation, a five- mile body of water that begins at Mashpee Pond and empties into Popponesset Bay, is home to rare brook trout that once held sig- nificant value to the Wampanoags, and made up most of their daily diet. Many tourists hike this River Reservation, which features two miles of connecting trails and sightings of birds and fish galore. Mashpee's One-room Schoolhouse Formal education was not of great impor- tance to the Native Americans of Mashpee until the late 18th century. In 1831, Massa- chusetts legislature granted the coastal town $400 towards the construction of two school buildings. The larger schoolhouse, located in North Mashpee, received most of the funding while the smaller one was comprised of a single classroom, located in the southern por- tion of the town. Originally built on the corner of today's Great Oak and Red Brook roads, this smaller education building is known as the historic One-room Schoolhouse. By 1855, there were 105 Mashpee-based students enrolled in the two schools. In the late 1800s, schoolmasters were known to be extremely strict. Students were expected to sit in their seats holding good posture, with hands folded on the desk, eyes and ears open, and mouths closed. A teacher's salary at the time was an estimated $7 each week, with funds coming from the annual $100 the state would give, along with donations from local income. In 1901, the Baptist Youth Society pur- chased the One-room Schoolhouse for $22. After renovations including the addition of an extended front entry way, the building became known as the Ockway Chapel and School- house, where many religious gatherings were held until 1953 when it was sold to a manu- facturing company. Eventually in 1975, the schoolhouse was donated back to the town of Mashpee as part of the town's bi-centennial celebration. After the donation, the building was moved to Meeting House Road near the Indian Meeting House and sat neglected. Fi- nally, after $50,000 worth of funding from the Mashpee Women's Club, the historic school- house was restored from 1999-2003. In 2005, the town agreed to restore the interior of the educational edifice, in a grant worth $16,500; and three years later in 2008, the One-room Schoolhouse was again moved to Community Park with help from a $35,000 Community Preservation grant. Today, it stands behind the Mashpee Archives in Veterans Park, on 13 Great Neck Road, and is used for public and school-based tours from June through Oc- tober. Frank J. Lord, president of the Mashpee One-room Schoolhouse Preservation Council, strives to make the most of the building that once educated groups of Wampanoags, by using it as both a tourist attraction and an educational tool for school children across the country. To attend a free tour of the historic One-room Schoolhouse contact Mashpee One Room Schoolhouse via email: The tours are free, however donations are graciously accepted. Mashpee Today In 1870, the state approved the incor- poration of Mashpee as its own town, and growth was a direct result. Between 1960 and 1971, an estimated one hundred homes were constructed each year in the town, as more immigrants discovered and settled the area. But despite the decline in the Wampanoag population, the tribe's history is deeply rooted in the coastal town that is frequented by visi- tors today. This is proven through Mashpee's annual pow-wows, the town's largest event celebrating the gathering and traditions of the Native American people. Nestled between Falmouth, Sandwich and Barnstable, the quaint coastal town is now home to over 14,000 year-round residents, and hosts a noticeable boom in tourists during the summer months. Clear sand, scrumptious seafood and blue ocean waves are some of the many reasons why Mashpee is one of the Cape's must-see spots, but perhaps its greatest asset lies in the town's rich Wampanoag culture long after the time of their original ancestors.• A young Wampanoag woman dances to the rhythmic drumming of the tribal music during the annual Wampanoag Powwow.

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