Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the once again sunny, less humid, breezy, still warm island of Nantucket! Great to be with you on this muggy Thursday morning–the thirtieth day of July, 2015–hopefully having you take in the view above from this far away land via a fine sailing vessel, Hyannis Port’s favorite mode of transportation; or it was many many moons ago…
That right, it’s time for the sixth installment of ‘Better Know Your District’ (credit Stephen Colbert of “The Late Show”), I mean “Better know your Cape town or Island”! What fun! Today we will take a look at Hyannis Port, a neighborhood of Hyannis, but worth a chapter none the less. By the end of the 19th century, Hyannis Port was dotted with handsome second homes and was already the swankiest of summer resorts for wealthy families from throughout the northeast. Many came from the Pittsburgh area, where steel had made millionaires. Looking out on any given day in this ‘time’ period, one would witness much in the way of sail, such as the famous “Catboat”; whose broad, flat design were once the sailboat of choice for both recreational boaters and fisherman alike. History is unsure when catboats first appeared, but by the mid-19th century, they were ubiquitous on the waters and shores of Cape Cod and elsewhere. Their stability and versatility made them a favorite among fisherman, scallopers, and the clam diggers. They were used as racing boats, and some of the fastest cats were built by Henry Lumbert of Hyannis Port. Many were built by the Crosby family from Osterville as well. Their popularity peaked in the late 19th century, but before fading, they were everywhere, even in Currier and Ives prints and in the pages of Cape Cod author Joseph Lincoln’s books. By the mid-20th century, they were not visible on the landscape, but their classic looks have endured and they continued to have many admirers in the sailing community. One memorable catboat was the Lillian. A huge and handsome vessel that was built in Hyannis in 1888 but spent most of its long life on Nantucket.
Of course, what makes Hyannis Port so popular and mystic, is, of course, the Kennedy Family. The Kennedy family began renting the former “Malcolm Cottage” at the end of Marchant Street in 1925 and then bought the place in 1928. Joseph P. Kennedy, the patriarch of the family, and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.K., was married to Rose Kennedy and together they had many children– Joseph Jr., the oldest son who was killed in action during World War II c. 1944, Kathleen, Rosemary, Jean, Patricia, John, Robert, Eunice and of course, Edward (Teddy), the youngest. Said Rose Kennedy one day in 1952 during her son John’s campaign for the U.S. Senate, at Barnstable Town Hall, “…Our family would rather be in Hyannis Port in the summer than any place else in the world.”
Sums it all up, does it not?
Have a wonderful Thursday everybody!
PRESERVE THE WILDERNESS! Peace~M