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

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

A canal-side ride. The canal is a popular spot for cycling, walking, rollerblading and watching the sunset. Photo by Charles Sternaimolo

Located on Route 6A, Titcomb’s Book Shop celebrates its silver anniversary in 2017. Ralph and Nancy Titcomb founded the company in Connecticut in 1967, before moving the business to the Cape in 1969. “I think Sandwich is a wonderful community,” Nancy Titcomb says, “and we’ve been very much a part of it.” Originally, the business sold mainly rare and out-of-print books, but over the years the retail offerings have been expanded, and visitors today will find new releases alongside Cape Cod classics such as The Outermost House by Henry Beston.

Today, Ralph and Nancy’s daughter Vicky Titcomb runs the store, and granddaughter Rae Titcomb is on the staff. Vicky’s brother (and Rae’s father) Ted Titcomb sculpted the recognizable “Colonial Man” (check name of this) that stands on the front lawn when he was a student at Sandwich High years ago. The sculpture is one of the icons of Route 6A.

Traveling further east, we stopped at The Bird Barn Gallery, artist Alfred Glover’s studio and shop overlooking the marsh. The artist was not on hand, but his work was everywhere: on the roof we spied a colorful lineup of carved chickens with an alligator chasing them, and around the property we saw a carved blue snake climbing up a bird bath. There’s also a comfortable seating area for visitors to take in both the artwork and the marsh.

Searching for East Sandwich Beach, we found a row of cottages on North Shore Boulevard that stood out for two reasons: their appearance (attractive) and their size (miniscule). All sided in grey, the cottages each feature a different color for their shutters and trim, whether light blue, blue, lavender, yellow, white, mint green, and more.

Heritage Museums & Gardens is a colorful spot to visit any time from April through October, but we just happened to be visiting in summer, when everything was in full bloom. “We call ourselves a place where families can come,” says Amy Dean, Heritage’s director of marketing and communications. “It’s a way for families to make connections. There’s something here for everyone.”

We strolled around the property, which boasts 100 acres of gardens, trees and flowers, an extreme ropes course, and a magical flume fountain—which Dean says is a great spot to enjoy lunch. “This,” she says, “is a gardener’s paradise.” The various layouts are meant to inspire gardeners, and Dean says Josiah K. Lilly, III, the man who donated the land to establish Heritage in the first place, “wanted this to be an outreach museum for education.”

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