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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Heritage Museums & Gardens 2015 Season

I never tire of visiting the lovely gardens and museums at Heritage or writing about my visits there. Each year brings new and exciting exhibits in the museums and, as always, the verdant gardens offer vibrant and fragrant blooms for each season of the year. We are fortunate to be able to walk there from our historic bed and breakfast.

green grass and red brick sidewalk leading to car barn
Heritage Museums & Gardens will be opening for the 2015 season on April 18th. This season brings several particularly exciting exhibits and events that you will not want to miss. Among them, an international conference, an exhibit featuring one of America's most well-known family of artists, an outdoor nature exhibit, and an "aerial" adventure.

The much anticipated show, The Wyeths: America Reflected, will open on June 6th and will include paintings from three generations of this famous American family of artists. You will have the opportunity to view the works of N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth.

Each year Heritage features an outdoor exhibit that combines the work of artists with the natural beauty of the gardens. This year, also opening in early June, will be Secret Shelters. These structures were designed by artists and architect for the purpose of meditation, contemplation, and creation in a natural setting. They will be tucked in among the flora and fauna in hidden places throughout the gardens. Half the fun will be finding them all.
pink and white flowers

Most folks are very familiar with the Heritage rhododendrons that are truly resplendent in the early summer months. In recent years, working in concert with the Cape Cod Hydrangea Society, the hydrangea collection is expanding and has become increasingly popular with visitors to the gardens. This seems a befitting trend as the climate on Cape Cod is particularly suitable for growing hydrangeas. As the peak blooming season is in July, Heritage will host an international conference on July 14, 15, and 16 featuring this magnificent bloom. There will be lectures, tours, and displays by major hydrangea suppliers. Local nurseries will have hundreds of hydrangeas available for you to see and to purchase. Contact Heritage for details and to register for the 3-day conference.

A new outdoor exhibit with an aerial feature will open this spring on four acres in the area where Charles Dexter created hundreds of varieties of rhododendrons. It will surly offer a new perspective of the famous Dexter Rhododendrons. While wearing safety harnesses, visitors will explore five aerial trails with various degrees of difficulty, and a truly spectacular view of the gardens that has not been previously available. I hope to be one of the early explorers and will post a blog with video at a later date.
black iron gate shaped like antique auto grille
In the always popular auto museum you will find "Driven to Collect", an exhibit of some of the finest antique automobiles in the Heritage collection.

We are looking forward to many trips to Heritage Museums & Gardens this year and hope to meet you above the treetops. Come stay at our bed and breakfast and spend a day at the gardens.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sandwich Giants Aglow for the Holidays

 As the holidays approach, our thoughts begin to lean towards readying our bed and breakfast inn for the season. It is a time when folks reminisce about seasons past and give thought to building traditions for the future.

We all have fond memories of holiday traditions from our childhoods. I used to look forward to watching old Christmas themed movies that ran only during the Holidays. One of my favorites was a vintage Laurel and Hardy film called "Babes in Toyland". In this movie, the comic duo mistakenly made windup wooden toy soldiers in giant proportions. At first considered a disaster, the giant soldiers saved the town and the Christmas holidays for the villagers. And they all lived happily thereafter.

lighted giant glassblower sculpture
The Glassblower
We villagers in Sandwich are also now graced by giants that have become a tradition in the town center and along Route 6A. The Sandwich "GIANTS" are larger than life light sculptures that rise up during the holidays to add a festive glow on the long winter nights. The steel rebar frames are created by the local, renowned glassblower and artisan, Michael Magyar, at his Glass Studio on Cape Cod. He forged his first GIANT, the Glassblower, as a Holiday celebration to brighten the night with hundreds of colored lights that accentuate the sculpture and make it come alive.

Giant lighted Crow sculpture
The Crow at Crow Farm
Since this first GIANT in 1998, the family has grown both numerically and structurally. Individuals and businesses approached Michael to design and build GIANTs that highlighted their interests or identified their business. The unique creations range from the almost literal representations, like the CROW at Crow Farms and HONEY BEES at the Bee-Hive Tavern on Route 6A, to the whimsical OLD MAN WINTER attached to the top of The Weather Store on Main Street.

Lighted giant sculptre of a Chef
The Waiter at Momo's Food Emporium
Today, throughout the holiday season, over 40 GIANTs, all larger and brighter than the first GLASSBLOWER, will twinkle after sunset
along Route 6A and on the streets of the village. 

Come stay with us at our Sandwich bed and breakfast and you can look out the window to see the beautiful DOLPHIN CANDLESTICK in front of our neighbor, the Sandwich Glass Museum. We’ll give you a map locating all the GIANTs, many of which are just a stroll away in the village.

Sandwich Village has always been a special place at the holidays and the GIANTs are a great new tradition. If you decide to escape to Cape Cod for the holidays, we hope to see you.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Visit Living History in Sandwich Village

Sandwich Village is brimming with history. The house that is now our bed and breakfast, built in 1750, is now 264 years old. It is a little younger than the Town, but has stood watch over much of the history we have celebrated during this 375 Anniversary year.

Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod and we tell our guest that it took the Pilgrims, who settled Plymouth in 1620, only 19 years to travel the 20 or so miles between the two towns. I know tourist crossing the Sagamore Bridge on a Friday night in the summer complain about how slow it can be on Route 3, but it is obviously much faster than the 1630’s modes of transportation. 

Put and Peggy Brodsky

Sandwich proudly wears its history. A stroll around the Village gives a flowing documentation of the history of the growth of the town over the centuries. Our house and many of our neighbors have a white oval Historical Marker created by the Sandwich Historical Commission. The Marker identifies the original owner or builder of the house and the year built. All historic homes in Sandwich Village were invited to participate in the Marker program and most have. In our case, the Marker shows  Jonathon Bassett as the builder and original owner, and  the year 1750. Put and Peggy Brodsky are shown in this photo holding our historic marker. Peggy is the daughter of Robert and Margaret Morse who were the second family to own 118 Tupper Road which they purchased in 1929. We have been blessed to have them as quests at our inn many times. They have been the source of much of the historic information we have about the house.

A short walk up Grove Street, you will find the Sturgis House 1639, the oldest house still standing. Our other immediate neighbors include John Pope 1699 and the Newcome Tavern 1703. A keen eye will note common family names of the builders/owners, including many markers around town bearing the names of different members of the Bassett and Pope Families.

Our Inn was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places by the US Department of the Interior in 1975, as were the historic houses and buildings around the original center of the village at the bottom of Shawme Pond. This area was defined as the Town Hall Historic District.

White oval historic marker for Town Hall Square

Recently, other subsections of Sandwich have gained similar recognition of their historical significance and have also been defined as separate historic districts. The new Jarvesville Historic District is a mainly residents built for workers at the Boston and Sandwich Glass Factory between 1825 and 1860 when Sandwich was considered the center of pressed glass production. Also, the new Spring Hill Historic District down Route 6A is a rural and residential area reflecting the area's long farming history and includes the Wing Fort House, one of the oldest wood frame houses in North America and the site of the first Quaker meeting in the New World. It is also notable for its cranberry bogs, some of which have been actively cultivated since the 19th century. New signs around town designate the boundaries of these contiguous designated national historic districts.  

Come stay with us and we’ll share with you all the wonderful history of Sandwich.  Even if you missed the celebrate of the first 375 years of this great history, Sandwich will be showing off its historic past for many years to come. We are looking forward to the celebration of the next milestone, the big 4-0-0.