History of Mashpee
Cape Cod, a rural community in Massachusetts, was occupied by indigenous groups for centuries. One of them was the Wampanoag who settled in the town in 1658 after losing battle against the English colonists. The settlement was ordered by American missionary Richard Bourne.
Following their second battle in 1674 – 1676 (King Philip’s War), the mainland Wampanoag group resettled in Rhode Island with the Nauset and Sakonnet. Since then, the place was designated by Bourne as the main reservation for Native Americans in Massachusetts.
In 1763, the first plantation in Massachusetts was built here. The American colony gave the natives a prerogative to choose their own officials of the plantation. However, the number of people working in the plantation declined due to some austere conditions imposed by the government.
After the historic American Revolutionary War, the government changed the town’s political and economic system by appointing a committee consisting of five Europeans. In 1834, America ordered the Wampanoag to revoke its self-governing ways for autonomy. This move became a threat to the European-American farming system.
In the early 1900s, the Wampanoag lost their self-government and land. But many of their descendants decided to stay in the town. This happened after the US government approved the town as part of the Barnstable County.
Education in Mashpee
Aside from its rich culture and must-see attractions, the town is also known for being the center of public education in Massachusetts. It has only two private institutions – one middle school and one junior high. Both institutions are located in one street.
Unlike other communities, Mashpee administers its own educational system. The Kenneth C. Coombs School for example, only admits 2,000 students every year. Other schools meanwhile such as Falmouth High School and Quashnet School offers specific year levels.
The town is represented in the US Congress as part of the 3rd and 5th Barnstable districts, while it is represented in the Senate as part of the Cape District. On the national level, it is the 10th congressional district of Massachusetts, with Bill Delahunt as its current representative.
At present, the town follows an “open meeting” type of government. Meaning, it is led by an executive secretary and board of members. It operates its own fire and police departments. Both of its headquarters are located at the Pine Tree Corner beside the public library.
The county is the hometown of these renowned personalities:
- William Rosenburg – Chairman & CEO of Dunkin Donuts; died in 2002 in his ancestral home due to cancer
- Robert Kraft – Founder of the New England Patriots
- Erik Erikson – Developmental psychologist/psychoanalyst famous for his theories on human and social development
- Carlo D’Este – One of Massachusetts’s prominent historians
- Dana Mohler Faria – Founder of Bridgewater State University
- Rachel Ray – TV host and owner of The Carvery Restaurant in Mashpee