Barnstable County is a county located in the southeastern corner of Massachusetts, and is part of the Cape Cod region. It is bordered by Plymouth County to the north, Nantucket County to the east, and Cape Cod Bay to the south. The county seat is Barnstable, which also serves as its largest town. See list of counties in Massachusetts.
Barnstable County covers an area of approximately 590 square miles and has a population of 215,888 people (as of 2020). It is home to several towns, cities and villages including Barnstable Town, Bourne Town, Brewster Town, Chatham Town, Dennis Town, Falmouth Town, Harwich Town and Yarmouth Town. The county also includes several islands such as Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island.
The economy of Barnstable County relies heavily on tourism and recreation due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Many visitors come to enjoy its miles of sandy beaches that line the shoreline or explore its numerous trails for hiking or biking. The area also offers a variety of activities such as whale watching tours from Provincetown or sailing trips from Hyannis Harbor. Additionally, many people come for its fishing opportunities with charters available from various ports throughout the county.
Education in Barnstable County is served by six school districts: Barnstable Public Schools (BPS), Bourne Public Schools (BPS), Chatham Public Schools (CPS), Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District (DYRRSD), Falmouth Public Schools (FPS) and Harwich Public Schools (HPS). Each district has multiple elementary schools along with one middle school per district except for BPS which has two middle schools. There are also four high schools in Barnstable County – Barnstable High School in BPS; Bourne High School in BPS; Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School in DYRRSD; and Monomoy Regional High School in Harwich/Chatham CPS – which serve students from all over the county. In addition to public schooling options there are also several private schools throughout Barnstable County offering varying levels of education from pre-K through 12th grade as well as post-secondary options such as Cape Cod Community College located in West Barnstable.
Transportation within Barnstable County consists primarily of roadways with some limited public transit services provided by Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA). However there are no rail systems running through or within the county so those wishing to travel by train must take a ferry across Cape Cod Bay or take an Amtrak train running between Boston and Hyannis Station on Main Street near downtown Hyannis. There are two airports located within the county – Martha’s Vineyard Airport located on Martha’s Vineyard Island just off shore near Woods Hole; and Provincetown Municipal Airport located east of downtown Provincetown near Herring Cove Beach – both offering air service for travelers wishing to fly into or out of either location domestically or internationally via connection flights from Logan International Airport in Boston or T F Green Airport near Providence Rhode Island.
The culture found throughout Barnstable County reflects that it was originally settled by Europeans during colonial times with many historic sites still standing today including Fort Hill Park in Eastham where British troops were stationed during King Philip’s War; Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum located at the tip of Cape Cod Bay commemorating Plymouth Colony’s first landfall; Sturgis Library & Museum established 1644 making it one of America’s oldest libraries still open today; along with numerous other museums & galleries showcasing local history & artistry found throughout this region known affectionately as “Cape Cod” by locals & visitors alike who come year round seeking out its unique charm & beauty found here like nowhere else.
History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts
Barnstable County, Massachusetts is located on the southern coast of Cape Cod and is the largest county in the state by area. It was first settled in 1620 by a group of English Puritans from Plymouth Colony. The original settlers named it Barnstable County, after Barnstaple, Devon, England.
The early settlers of Barnstable County were mainly farmers and fishermen who used the land to grow crops and catch fish for food and trade. The county was also home to many whaling ships during this time period. By 1685, Barnstable had become one of the most populous counties in all of New England.
In 1717, Barnstable County was established as a county by the Massachusetts General Court after being separated from Suffolk County. During the American Revolution, many battles were fought in the area between British troops and American forces led by George Washington. After independence was declared in 1776, Barnstable began to develop into an agricultural hub with many farms dotting the landscape.
The 19th century saw an influx of new immigrants to Barnstable County who brought with them their own culture and customs which helped shape the region into what it is today. This included Irish immigrants who worked on farms and whaling ships as well as Portuguese immigrants who fished off the coast for codfish, mackerel and other seafood staples.
In 1803, Barnstable became home to one of America’s first public libraries when a local resident donated his personal library collection to be shared with all citizens of Barnstable County. The same year also saw construction begin on what would become Cape Cod Canal which connected Buzzards Bay with Cape Cod Bay and opened up new opportunities for trade throughout New England and beyond.
During World War II, Camp Edwards at Joint Base Cape Cod served as a training center for soldiers preparing for battle overseas while Otis Air Force Base provided protection against potential German attacks from submarines or aircrafts along New England’s coastline .
Today, tourism is one of Barnstable’s main sources of income due to its stunning beaches and quaint seaside towns like Provincetown on Cape Cod’s tip or Hyannisport where President John F Kennedy spent much time during his childhood summers at his family compound there. In addition to tourism there are also many small businesses such as wineries or breweries that have opened up throughout the county offering delicious local products made right here in Massachusetts.