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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Barnstable Oysterfest 2013

One of the nature habitats we love on Cape Cod, and one of the places we encourage guests staying at our inn to visit, is the Massachusetts Audubon's Long Pasture in  Cummaquid. It is one of those little hidden treasures on the Cape and is such a beautiful place to visit for hiking, kayaking, and exploring the beauty of the marshes of Cape Cod Bay.

logo for Barnstable Oysterfest with lighthouse and oyster drawing
In addition to the many wonderful things to do there, On September 21st, 2013, that will be the location for the First Annual Barnstable Harbor Oysterfest. It is an opportunity to learn about the oyster farms of Barnstable and to enjoy a wonderful late afternoon event featuring tastings from some of Barnstable's great restaurants.

The event will feature oysters from Cape Cod Oysters, Wianno Oysters, and Barnstable Sea Farms. Some of the participating restaurants are the Barnstable Tavern, the Dolphin, Mattakeese Wharf, Osterville Fish Too, and the Naked Oyster. Along with the food will be Cape Cod Beer, wine, and chamber music to enjoy. The musicians are members of the Cape Cod Symphony.

Even though you may not live on Cape Cod, this is a wonderful event to enjoy while visiting and you will be supporting the efforts of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the Barnstable Land Trust, and the Barnstable Village Civic Association. The mission of these nonprofit organizations is to protect the environment we call home for future generations of residents and visitors to this beautiful area.

The event will be held under a tent on the grounds of  Long Pasture located at 345 Bone Hill Road in Cummaquid from 3 pm to 6 pm. Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased on line from the Barnstable Oyster Fest website.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Visit Historic Sandwich's Dexter Grist Mill

One of the first grist mills on Cape Cod is located right here in Sandwich Village and just across the street from our bed and breakfast. You can visit the mill during the summer months to learn about a little piece of Sandwich history and watch as they grind corn just as it was done in the 1640's.

Gray grist mill with pond and trees.
The mill got its' name from the Dexter family, which was one of the original ten families to settle in what is now Sandwich in the year 1637. They built the mill as a community resource to grind corn for making bread. During this time in history, corn was a main staple for families trying to survive in the harsh new world of New England.

In 1640, the mill was located at the bottom of lower Shawme Pond so that the water power could be harnessed  to drive the paddle wheel. After being idle for decades, an historically accurate restoration began in the 1960's. The process returned the mill's machinery to the earliest type used in this country. It is once again driven by water power from the adjacent pond.

As you tour the mill and watch as its' work is performed, it is difficult to imagine the effort and skill required during the 1600's to create the massive, grooved, grinding stone and mechanical leveraging necessary for the grinding process.

The Dexter Grist Mill stands proudly today as a memorial to the early inhabitants of Cape Cod and their creativity and determination to survive. It is one of the most photographed sites on the Cape making it the Cape's own Motif #1.

The mill is located adjacent to the Sandwich Town Hall in the heart of historic Town Hall Square and is surrounded by 17th and 18th century homes. One of these restored homes is the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center where we proudly welcome guests and even on occasion serve Rosemary Roasted Corn Muffins made from cornmeal ground at the Dexter Grist Mill.