Falmouth is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts and is the south-westernmost town on Cape Cod. It is to the east of Buzzards Bay and to the north of Nantucket Sound with the Elizabeth Islands extending from it to the southwest. The original Indian name for the area was Suckanessett but it was first settled by a group of Quaker sympathizers in 1660. The settlement was incorporated as the town of Falmouth in 1686.
Eastham is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. Originally called the Nawsett (or Nauset) Indian Territory, Eastham once encompassed much of the western cape including territory now held by Brewster, Chatham, Harwich, Orleans, Provincetown, Truro, and Wellfleet.
Dennis 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”.
Brewster is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. The original Indian name for the area was Sawkattuckett (later Anglicized as Sawtucket) and the current town was settled in 1656 as the north parish of Harwich. The town split off from Harwich in 1811 and was renamed Brewster, in honor of the Pilgrim elder and Mayflower-passenger William Brewster (1567 – 1644).
Bourne is a town in Barnstable County, on Cape Cod. Initially settled in 1640, it was a part of Sandwich until 1884 when it ceded and incorporated, taking the villages of Sagamore, Buzzards Bay, Cataumet, Pocasset, and Monument Beach with it. Prior to being settled, in 1627, the Pilgrims had set up a trading post called Aptuxet Trading Post (meaning “little trap by the river”) in what would eventually become the village to facilitate trade between Plymouth Colony, New Amsterdam, and the local Wampanoag Indians.
Barnstable is both the name of a county in Massachusetts, as well as the town that is its county seat. It was founded by the Reverend John Lothrop and a group of Congregationalists who settled there and incorporated it in 1639. Lothrop had been exiled from England as punishment for preaching against the established Church of England. He and his congregation had settled first in Scituate, before experiencing friction over land allotments and moving to Barnstable. The area had very recently also been settled by another religious group, led by Parson Joseph Hull, who had been recently kicked out of Weymouth. (He is not the namesake of Hull, MA.) He had also departed for New England after having been expelled from the Church of England (but not exiled) in 1635. The town of Barnstable was primarily an agricultural community with the commercial center of the county to be in nearby Hyannis. The original Indian name of the area that would be Barnstable was “Mattakeese”, meaning “plowed fields”.