Chatham is one of the older townships on the Cape. It was
settled in 1656 by a few Pilgrims and incorporated in 1712. The
town covering about seventeen square miles, is a pleasant mixture
of past and present-an old fashioned picturesque setting which
offers the best in modern living.
Originally Chatham was a farming community, but inhabitants
found deep sea fishing a more lucrative livelihood. Today finfishing
and shellfishing remain important sources of revenue.
Chatham operated under the town meeting form of government.
At town meetings citizens meet to discuss articles in a Town
Warrant and either pass or reject them.
Explore a bit and you may see the gorgeous hydrangea walk
leading up to a Shore Road mansion. Across from a windmill in
a field of yellow wildflowers sparkling against a backdrop of
blue ocean, it's the essence of Cape Cod. Or you may follow Mooncusser's
Lane and find that the road ends abruptly at the water. Admire
the view from the drawbridge on Bridge Street as well as the
classic views of the Chatham Light.
"Because it's so residential, Chatham has escaped
the overt commercialism and tourism of much of the Cape. It does
not cater to transients; some inns and motels encourage long
stays, and many of the accommodations are in cottages or rented
The summer social scene revolves around parties and private
clubs. But almost everyone turns out for the Friday evening band
concerts in Kate Gould Park.
Although Main Street, which winds through the center of
town, seems filled with pedestrians and shoppers, chances are
they're residents or regulars. Perhaps its air of stability and
tradition is what makes Chatham so special.