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Brewster

Fun facts about the town of Brewster…

Brewster
  • According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Brewster is 9,820.
  • Among many water bodies of the same name in the state, Long Pond in Brewster and Harwich is the largest natural pond on Cape Cod at 716 acres.
  • According to a 1990s study, Long Pond contains yellow perch, small and large-mouth bass, American eel, and the tessellated darter.
  • In 1803, the North Parish of Harwich voted to break off from the town and incorporate as an independent community—Brewster.
  • The town gets its name from Elder William Brewster (1564-1644), a passenger on the Mayflower who served as the first religious leader of Plymouth Colony.
  • Originally built as a church in 1852, the Brewster General Store was made into a store a few years later and has remained one ever since. For a time in the early 1900s, the store also served as a post office, and today, it is a well-known tourist attraction.
  • In 1853, The Brewster Ladies’ Library was established with a collection of 200 volumes in a sea captain’s home. Today, the community lending library on Main Street features more than 50,000 books.
  • The railroad first arrived in Brewster in 1865 with the completion of the 19-mile Yarmouth to Orleans extension.
  • An 1888 Cornelius Chenery photo of Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan in Brewster is believed to be the earliest photo of the pair together.
  • In the late 1880s, school in town was delayed until October so children could join their families to help in the annual cranberry harvest.
  • Founded in 1907, The Sea Pines School of Charm and Personality for Young Women began as a summer camp and was later expanded into a school. The facility, which operated until the 1970s, is now home to the Old Sea Pines Inn on Main Street.
  • Today, Brewster students who have completed elementary school attend the Nauset Middle School in Orleans or the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Harwich (grades 6-8), and Nauset Regional High School in Eastham.
  • Serving the Cape since 1921, The Animal Rescue League of Boston has a shelter in Brewster; in addition to veterinary care and aiding with pet adoptions, the staff are trained in disaster response as well as ice, swift water, and marine mammal rescue.
  • Founded in 1964, the Brewster Historical Society celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014; upcoming events include the annual Brewster in Bloom festivities on April 26 featuring windmill tours, blacksmith demonstrations, and more.
  • At 1,900 acres, Nickerson State Park in Brewster is the Cape’s largest campground featuring more than 400 campsites with cabins and yurts, hiking and biking trails, ponds, and beaches.
  • Cyclists can also travel through Brewster via the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which connects the town to Dennis, Harwich, and Orleans.
  • Cape Cod Sea Camps in Brewster offers summer camp activities for boys and girls, including archery, drama, woodworking, windsurfing, sailing, dance, snorkeling, and more.
  • The camp has a long history of providing recreational activities for young people. In 1922, Camp Monomoy for Boys was opened in West Harwich, and later moved to Brewster. Camp Wono for girls was founded in East Brewster in 1939.
  • In 1822, Warren Lincoln (1810-1900) of Brewster was 12 years old and working as a cabin boy aboard the Iris, when the ship was attacked by pirates in waters off Cuba, and he was captured. Lincoln later commanded the Draco and the Mary.
  • In 1859, Captain William Freeman of Brewster was badly injured during an attempted mutiny of his ship, the Undaunted, by crewmembers; Freeman survived and the mutineers were turned over to the U.S. Consul in Nova Scotia.
  • The original Stony Brook Grist Mill in Brewster was constructed in 1663 to attract homesteaders to the region. The present mill was built in 1873.
  • Including water, Brewster is approximately 25.4 square miles, making it comparable in size to the city of Pilot Point, Alaska.
  • Names of vessels captained by Brewster men include: the Kingfisher, Mogul, Malabar, Gold Hunter, and—Captain Bailey Foster’s—Santa Claus.
  • In 1906, Captain J. Henry Sears published Brewster Shipmasters, in which he told tales of the town’s seafaring adventurers.
  • Brewster celebrated its bicentennial in 2003 with a party at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History on Main Street. Festivities included tours of the museum, readings, history lectures including a feature on the town’s salt works, a birthday cake, and a presentation of the Brewster Bicentennial Quilt.
  • In 2014, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History celebrates its 60th anniversary; current exhibits focus on honeybees, bird and owl woodcarvings, and more.
  • Since 2005, the museum has observed the daily activities—hatching, eating, flying, and leaving—of ospreys living in a marsh by the museum via a camera setup overlooking the nest.
  • From its observations, the museum has found that the osprey usually arrive in March, lay three eggs in April, and head south in September. Hatching around Memorial Day, two of the hatchlings generally survive, while the third is often weaker and struggles to get enough food. The young that survive grow steadily and are flying and fishing on their own by mid-August.
  • Born in Brewster, writer Joseph Crosby Lincoln (1870-1944) published magazine articles as well as 47 books and plays, many about Cape Cod. Some of his titles include: The Rise of Roscoe Paine, The Portygee, and Thankful’s Inheritance.
  • Best known for her song “Loving You,” singer-songwriter Minnie Riperton also wrote “Alone in Brewster Bay,” following a visit she made to the Cape with her husband, producer Dick Rudolph, in the early 1970s.
  • Cape Rep Theatre in Brewster hosts plays and musicals from May to December; popular 2013 shows included 9-Ball and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
  • The Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape league won their only championship in 2000 with a sweep of the Hyannis Mets.
  • Whitecaps alumni include Ryan Braun, Sean Casey, Chase Utley, Troy Tulowitzki, and hall of famer, Tony Gwynn.
  • Some Bruces of Brewster include: J. Bruce MacGregor, who owns Cartwheels II Go Karts in Bourne; Bruce Christopher, who won a prize in the Cape Cod Viewfinders Camera Club’s juried photo contest in 2014; and Bruce Abbott, who performed recently for the Brewster Ladies’ Library.
  • The 1985 Richard Pryor and John Candy film, Brewster’s Millions, does not have an apparent connection to the town of Brewster.
Brewster

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