Chatham is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States, Barnstable County being coextensive with Cape Cod. First settled by the English in 1664, the township was originally called Monomoit based on the indigenous population’s term for the region. The population was 6,125 at the 2010 census. Chatham is home to the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, located on Monomov Island.
Known as “the first stop of the East Wind,” Chatham’s past and present are intertwined with the sea.
Chatham (pop. 6,125) was settled in 1656 when William Nickerson from Yarmouth “purchased” a large parcel of land from the Sachem Mattaquason for the price of a boat. However, it wouldn’t be until 1712, after years of legal maneuvering, that the land was incorporated as a town separate from Eastham.
Chatham is a base of the US Weather Service.
Chatham has some wonderful places to walk and bike ride including the Old Colony Rail Trail, a side trip off the Cape Cod Rail Trail. The Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge and Morris Island have some wonderful trails through coastal habitats.
If you are interested in maritime history, you are in luck. The Chatham Historical Society operates the Atwood House Museum and offers several exhibits, workshops and lectures all year. The Chatham Marconi Maritime Center houses some fascinating artifacts and exhibits relating to Guglielmo Marconi, wireless communication and the Titanic. Be sure to take a tour of the Chatham Lighthouse and get a fantastic view from the top.
If you are more of a shopper, Chatham’s Main Street is home to an impressive assortment of retail stores, and there are plenty of restaurants and watering holes to help keep your strength up.
If the arts are your thing, why not take in a show at the Chatham Drama Guild (year-round) or the Monomoy Theatre (summer). The Creative Arts Center offers workshops and classes and hosts several sales, exhibits and shows throughout the year. Like several of the Cape’s other towns, Chatham is home to a Cape Cod Baseball League team—the Chatham Anglers.
Most importantly, the people of Chatham like to have fun and host several festivals and events throughout the year including their giant 4th of July parade.