Name Origin: Dennis, Massachusetts

800px-Dennis_MA_highlight_largeDennis is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. Prior to the arrival of the English, the area was known by its Indian name of Nobscusset. The first European settlers, John Crow, Thomas Howes, and William Lumpkin, arrived in 1639 when the area was part of  Yarmouth. In 1721, a church was built and the area was organized as the East Parish of Yarmouth. In 1793, the local villagers broke away from Yarmouth and incorporated separately as the town of “Dennis”.

The Josiah Dennis house, now on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Josiah Dennis house, now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dennis was named in honor of the Reverend Josiah Dennis, the first long-term pastor of the Yarmouth East Parish where he lived and served from 1725 until his death in 1763. At the time of the town’s incorporation, his direct successor Nathan Stone was still pastor in the parish. The name Dennis comes from the Greek name Dionysus, and indirectly from the god of the same name. Perhaps better known as Bacchus, he was the god of winemaking and the grape harvest, among other roles.

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