Oct 12, 2011

Cape Cod and Plymouth

Scenes from the View-Master packet Cape Cod and Plymouth (A727).


View-Master Cape Cod and Plymouth (A727), Packet Cover

Packet Cover


View-Master Cape Cod and Plymouth (A727), Booklet Cover

Booklet Cover



Cape Cod was the first glimpse the Pilgrims had of their new land, and here they signed that democratic document, the Mayflower Compact. But they were dismayed at the bleak sandy shores, and moved on. It is supposed that the more “unholy” members were the first to be interested in the Cape.

The Cape looks like a giant arm flexing its muscles into the Atlantic, and its geography has shaped its history and its inhabitants. The Cape’s conversation has been as salty as the sea that surrounds it. The elaborate homes the sea captains built are still standing. Fishermen and whalers added colorful years to its history. Codfishing enticed Portuguese immigrants; and cranberries, the Finnish.

Because the Cape’s scenery, people, and atmosphere can match any mood, it draws a variety of people. “Summer people” the natives call its flood of vacationers, writers, and artists, and they keep themselves apart from them.

The beaches offer quietude for strolls. Sea birds chase the waves, and the wind sways the tall march grass. The artists paint the quaint waterfronts, the drying fish nets, the Portuguese fishermen, the weathered old sea captains, and old boats bleaching in the beach sand.


Scene 1-5

Old Gristmill, Brewster

View-Master Cape Cod and Plymouth (A727), Scene 15: Stony Brook gristmill, Brewster

Stony Brook gristmill, (1660) Brewster, still operable


From the 16-page booklet:


This water-powered gristmill, built in 1660, claims to be the oldest in the United States. Operable still, it grinds corn on occasions.

Brewster was settled in 1856 during the whaling period, and is famed for the lovely homes the sea captains built. the town claims to have sent out more ships than any other its size. The home of Capt. John Cobb, who wrote Memoirs of a Cape Cod Skipper, is preserved.

Joseph C. Lincoln, widely-read writer, was born here; and the setting of his books were on the Cape. He portrayed the Cape Codder as “salty, eccentric, and highly provincial.” Cape Codders, who loved the man, did not mind his characterization. Jokingly, they said, “He knows more about Cape Codders than we do about ourselves. We have to read his books to find out how his readers, and the tourists, expect us to act.” They are truly Yankees.


Scene 2-3

Congregational Church, Falmouth

View-Master Cape Cod and Plymouth (A727), Scene 2-3:Congregational Church, Falmouth

Falmouth Church, example of Colonial architecture


From the 16-page booklet:


In this Congregational Church, built in 1796, is a bell cast by Paul Revere with the usual inscription: “The living to the church I call: Unto the grave I summon all.”

The Quakers invaded the Congregational world on the Cape in 1650, settling Falmouth in 1660. Beaten, tarred, and feathered by Puritans, and ill-treated by Pilgrims, the Quakers persevered until they were not only tolerated, but admired.

First to walk ashore at this site was Bartholomew Gosnold, in 1602. He gave the Cape its name after a bountiful catch of codfish. Falmouth gained importance during shipbuilding and whaling days. The old village green is surrounded by lavish homes of old sea captains. Today it is a resort town and agricultural center. A Portuguese-developed strawberry grows here.


Scene 3-4

Winslow House, Plimoth Plantation

View-Master Cape Cod and Plymouth (A727), Scene 3-4: Winslow House, Plimoth Plantation

Refinements shown in Winslow House came later


From the 16-page booklet:


This house with its “herb” garden, was built in 1754 by the great-grandson of Edward Winslow, Mayflower Pilgrim, and is presently headquarters for the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.

Edward Winslow, the “First Comer,” had lost his wife, and Susanna White, her husband, with the General Sickness, and theirs was the colony’s first wedding. Susanna had given birth to New England’s first white child, Peregrine White, while the Mayflower was anchored at Cape Cod.

Edward Winslow was to become liaison agent for the colony with officials in England. The Winslow’s “first house” was first on the east row near the fort. The fort and the village were enclosed by a pallisade.

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