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Sandwich Photo Essay: A slice of life in one of Cape Cod’s prettiest towns

Online only: Expanded story plus more photos of Sandwich!

A slice of life in Sandwich, May 2017 Cape Cod LIFE |

The historic Sandwich Boardwalk – Photo by Charles Sternaimolo

The town of Sandwich is a special place. From its picturesque homes and historic downtown to its incredible cultural venues and natural landscapes, Sandwich has much to offer. For two days in September of 2016, photographer Charles Sternaimolo and I set out to explore and experience as much of the town as we could take in. From daybreak to sunset, we explored the Sandwich Boardwalk and the Cape Cod Canal, perused the offerings at the Sandwich Glass Museum and Heritage Museums & Gardens, and visited fine restaurants and historic sites all over town. We shot more than 1,000 photos, interviewed 40 business owners, locals, and visitors, and learned a little bit about this unique Cape Cod community. Folks we met along the way described the town as “wonderful,” “friendly,” and “historic,” and Sandwich resident Colin Crane went a little further, saying the town “makes Mayberry look like a metropolis.” You be the judge. We hope you enjoy this photo essay on the town of Sandwich.

Our first stop was at the Sandwich Glass Museum, where Katharine Campbell, the museum’s director, gave us a tour. “Glass is one of those unique art forms that is both functional and beautiful,” Campbell says. “The glassblowing is probably the most popular part of our experience. You get to interact with the glassblower, ask him or her questions. It’s akin to watching a painter painting in an art museum.”

Alongside a bus group tour from Illinois, we learned that sand is the most important ingredient in glassmaking, and that the color of the finished glass is determined by the addition of metals, such as silver or copper, to the mix. Iron is used to make green or emerald-colored glass, which is rare and rather valuable, and Campbell adds that many people associate cranberry colored glass, which is made with a small amount of metallic gold, with Cape Cod.

Campbell says visitors are often surprised by how large the museum is, and that it’s accessible to children. “Kids,” she says, “find fire and molten glass just endlessly fascinating.” In 2016, the museum hosted “Glass Impressions,” an exhibit of glasswork created by local artisans with the goal of interpreting different paintings.

Just around the corner, we met Richard and Jody Horner exploring Main Street. The retired couple from Salem, Oregon was visiting the Cape for the first time as part of a lengthy road trip. “This is how we envisioned New England to look like,” Jody says of Sandwich. “And we’re pleasantly surprised.”

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