The Beach Times

Haunted Cape Cod: The Story of the Sagamore Cemetery
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 26, 2020

cigar of Issac Keith

There's a ton of history on Cape Cod, and any time you visit, you can't help but immerse yourself in it.

Some history is very easy to find, as the region has a plethora of historic homes and buildings that line the main streets in most towns.

Other history is somewhat hidden but readily available if you're willing to search around for it.

In some cases, you might even have the opportunity to experience some living history, to put it one way, through Cape Cod's supposedly haunted locations.

The Sagamore Cemetery is one such haunted destination that captures the imagination of locals and visitors alike. The cemetery sits where Sandwich Road and Ben Abbey Road meet, in a small residential area near the Sagamore Bridge.

This cemetery isn't sinister in any way, but visitors have reported countless personal experiences with ghosts when wandering through it. If you're into that sort of thing, the Sagamore Cemetery is a must-visit location during your Cape Cod vacation.

Some Background on the Sagamore Cemetery

Although the Sagamore Cemetery wasn't incorporated until 1889, its first recorded burial took place in 1803. The plot is the final resting place for numerous Civil War soldiers and at least 29 former sea captains, making it a historically significant facility, even without the ghost stories.

As you look through the cemetery, you might recognize some of the names, including members of the Bourne family, for whom the town of Bourne is named, the Keith family, and the Ellis family.

However, there is an issue at Sagamore Cemetery that some locals believe is the reason behind the ghost experiences: some of the headstones are in the wrong spots.

In 1909, when the Cape Cod Canal was still under construction, 17 bodies from the Collins Farm Cemetery and 45 bodies from the Ellis Cemetery were moved to Sagamore to make room for the project. Officials marked the caskets with chalk, but a storm washed the names away before a reburial could proceed.

As a result, officials had to guess at some identities, and there's a non-trivial chance that some caskets are under the wrong headstones.

The thought is that the spirits that continue to roam the cemetery can't rest until the proper names are attached to the gravesites. Their restlessness is driving the ghost sightings.

Personal Experiences at the Cemetery

So, the question remains: Who is haunting the Sagamore Cemetery?

The property's caretaker, Donald Ellis, believes much of the supernatural activity is actually Isaac Keith

In fact, Ellis believes he has personally interacted with Keith and has a story to back it up.

Isaac Keith was the founder of the Keith Car Company, a business that once employed 1,400 people in the Bourne area. The company is no longer in operation but lasted until 1928. 

When Keith died in 1900, he was buried at the Sagamore Cemetery but has never truly rested because of the misplaced headstones on some of the facility's graves. 

In 1998, Ellis was working at the cemetery when he felt someone push on his chest. This feeling was followed by the smell of cigar smoke and the presence of goosebumps on his arms, despite this situation taking place on a hot July afternoon.

Ellis, not knowing what was happening, ran to his truck, and the feeling immediately went away.

It has since been learned that Keith was a heavy cigar smoker, leading Ellis to believe that the activity was Keith trying to send a message from the afterlife. 

At least 11 other people have reported feeling an intense cold or smelling cigar smoke in the cemetery. Psychics have also noted that Keith is the messenger for those whose headstones have been displaced and that he can't rest in peace until the situation has been rectified. 

What the Future Holds

Assuming that Issac Keith is, in fact, haunting the Sagamore Cemetery, can anything be done to assist him and return the headstones to their proper graves?

Unfortunately, short of digging up every grave in the Bournedale section of the cemetery and conducting DNA tests, it's unlikely that officials can rectify this issue in the years to come. Not only does the town not have the resources to complete such a significant job, but there's also no guarantee of its accuracy because so many people in the graveyard are from the same family.

However, the Bourne Historical Commission has provided the Sagamore Cemetery Association with a $30,400 grant to rehabilitate and restore 41 of the facility's most important headstones.

Many markers have been in place for more than 150 years and are deteriorating, so the Cemetery Association will complete some much-needed work in the coming years.

Maybe this restoration will help Issac Keith finally get some rest after haunting the Sagamore Cemetery for the past 120 years.

Visiting the Cemetery

Suppose you'd like to check out one of Sagamore's most historic sites or, potentially, experience some paranormal activity. In that case, you can head to the Sagamore Cemetery at any time on your Cape Cod vacation.

There's no guarantee that you'll witness a haunting while at the cemetery, but it's worth a visit as the final resting place for so many of the Cape's most prominent historical figures.

Haunted Cape Cod Sagamore

The Top Five Places to Get a Lobster Roll in Harwich, Massachusetts
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 19, 2020

harwich lobster roll

If you're going out for lunch while vacationing on the Cape, there's a good chance you'll end up somewhere with a lobster roll on the menu. After all, very few dishes encompass all that is Cape Cod like lobster mixed with mayonnaise on a bun.

Those with a vacation rental in Harwich are in luck when searching for lobster rolls because numerous restaurants in town serve their own take on this regional delicacy.

Here's a look at the top five places to pick up a lobster roll in Harwich, Massachusetts.

1) George's Place Fish Market

Although George's Place Fish Market isn't necessarily a restaurant, you can grab some pre-made menu items like clam chowder, lobster bisque, fried clams, and, of course, lobster rolls.

George's lobster roll comes with a generous serving of locally-caught lobster meat and mayo served on a croissant. You can also make it a meal by adding potato chips, coleslaw, and a drink.

You can even pick up some fresh lobster, shrimp, scallops, swordfish, and many other seafood items to take back to your vacation rental with you. All of this comes together to make George's Place a must-stop location on Harwich's Main Street.

2) Brax Landing Restaurant

Right on the water in Harwich Port is Brax Landing, a popular local eatery with a diverse menu featuring soups, salads, appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, chicken, steak, and seafood. There's a kid's menu, too, should you show up with the whole family.

The lobster roll at Brax Landing features a large helping of lobster meat mixed with mayo and celery on a sizable bun. It also comes with your choice of fries or potato chips, although you can substitute sweet potato fries or onion rings for an additional fee.

As a bonus, you can enjoy your lobster roll on the restaurant's patio, which overlooks the water and creates a quintessential Cape Cod dining environment.

3) Hot Stove Saloon

From the outside, the Hot Stove Saloon doesn't look like a place to grab a lobster roll. After all, it's a baseball-themed pub that, from outward appearances, doesn't seem like it would have a diverse menu.

However, writing the Hot Stove Saloon off would be a mistake, as this bar offers burgers, sandwiches, pizza, ribs, seafood plates, wings, soup, and salads from its Main Street location in Harwich Port.

The eatery's lobster roll is one of the more popular items on the menu. The reason? It comes with over a half-pound of lobster claw and knuckle meat that's served with shredded lettuce on a croissant. The sandwich is delicious and reason enough to visit this small Harwich pub.

4) Jake Rooney's Family Restaurant

Another lobster roll spot in Harwich Port is Jake Rooney's, a family restaurant with a welcoming atmosphere and a cozy fireplace known as a live music venue. The restaurant sits on Brooks Road, just off Main Street, so it's easily accessible from most Harwich neighborhoods.

The menu at Jake Rooney's has a little bit of everything, as you can get steak, chicken, ribs, seafood, soups, salads, tacos, pizza, and sandwiches. You'll find prime rib specials every weekend and weekly dinner specials, as well. 

As for the lobster roll, it arrives with a massive helping of claw and knuckle meat on a toasted bun with a bed of shredded lettuce. It comes with rice, coleslaw, or fries, and you can substitute onions rings or sweet potato fries at an additional cost.
5) The Weatherdeck

Finally, there's a great lobster roll at The Weatherdeck, a family restaurant that's a full-on destination to visit during the summer. That's because, in addition to its great menu featuring burgers, chicken, soups, salads, seafood, and kid's meals, the restaurant has a mini-golf course and an ice cream shop.

If you're visiting the Cape with kids, stopping for a meal at The Weatherdeck can provide you with hours of entertainment, and as a bonus, you'll get to try their famous lobster roll for lunch or dinner.

The lobster roll here comes on a bun with lettuce. Keep in mind that the sandwich costs a bit less than other places on this list, but it doesn't come with any sides. However, you can add fries, onions rings, coleslaw, clam chowder, jalapeno poppers, crab cakes, or chicken wings to your order for a small fee.

Some of the Best Lobster Rolls on Cape Cod

Harwich is a great place to make your home base on your Cape Cod vacation because you'll have access to beaches, biking and hiking trails, marinas, and family-friendly activities. Other parts of the Cape are also easily accessible from Harwich because Route 28 runs through the heart of town and the Mid-Cape Highway is simple to reach from North Harwich.

The dining scene in Harwich is also notable because there is a high saturation of wonderful restaurants within minutes of each other, including some great places to sample Cape Cod's famous lobster rolls.

You really can't go wrong selecting a vacation rental in Harwich because there's something for everyone in this town with about 12,000 residents on the Lower Cape.

Harwich Lobster Lobster Rolls

Stopping By Butterflies of Cape Cod in Bourne, Massachusetts
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 12, 2020

butterfly at butterflies of cape cod

While you might spend much of your time on Cape Cod exploring the beaches, hiking trails, bike paths, and historic town centers, the region has countless other activities, as well.

For example, crossing over the Cape Cod Canal via the Sagamore Bridge to the off-Cape section of Bourne takes you to a scenic area where you'll find plenty of things to do.

One venue that is worth your while to visit during your Cape vacation is Butterflies of Cape Cod, a zoo dedicated entirely to species that inhabit New England.

Having the opportunity to experience many of the region's butterfly species in a single location is an outstanding option for anyone who appreciates their intricate patterns and inherent beauty. Make sure to visit this one of a kind facility while spending time on Cape Cod.

What You'll Find at the Zoo

The great thing about Butterflies of Cape Cod is that you never know what you'll come across during your visit.

That's because the weather, season, and breeding habits will determine what's around on any given day.

In fact, the butterflies that you see can even change day-to-day, so it might even be worth it to visit a couple of times if you're spending more than a week on the Cape.

The zoo is relatively small, as it sits in a greenhouse, so it won't take you long to walk through. However, some exhibits provide additional insight into New England's native butterfly species and show you what to look for when checking out the zoo.

You'll even learn how you can encourage butterflies to visit your yard at home. Even if you don't live in New England, your neck of the woods likely has some beautiful butterflies, and the same strategies will work for you.

Keep in mind that you'll want to head to the zoo on a warm, sunny day because the butterflies will be more active. You can still view them when it's rainy, but you're more likely to see them hiding near some plants than flying through the air.

How to Get There

Getting to Butterflies of Cape Cod is simple, as the facility is just off Route 6 on the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal.

When arriving from the Cape, you'll cross the Sagamore Bridge and follow the signs directing you west toward Buzzards Bay. That'll allow you to continue on Route 6, which you'll follow until you reach Bournedale Road. The zoo is technically on Herring Pond Road, which intersects with Bournedale Road, but you don't have to turn again to get there.

It's also possible to get to the zoo via the Bourne Bridge, albeit a little more complicated. Once you're over the bridge, you'll take Exit 3, which will loop you over the highway and take you to the Bourne Rotary in Buzzards Bay.

In Buzzards Bay, you'll follow the signs directing you to Route 6 East toward Falmouth and Hyannis. These signs will eventually lead you to Main Street, which is Route 6. Make sure you're heading east on Route 6 and turn left on Herring Pond Road to reach the zoo.

Admission and Parking

As you arrive at the zoo, you'll see a small parking lot out front. This area only has four spaces, but the good news is that Butterflies of Cape Cod rarely gets overcrowded. There's also overflow parking out back if you happen to arrive on an incredibly busy day.

You'll head into the gift shop to pay. The cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children 12 and under, and $5 for seniors 65 and older.

You can also grab butterfly-inspired souvenirs in the gift shop, including earrings, necklaces, scarves, watches, clothing, purses, and games. Purchasing a few items helps the zoo keep its doors open for the next generation of butterfly lovers.

Things to Do Nearby

Since the zoo is relatively small, you might want to find a few other things to do in the surrounding area. Luckily, this little section of Bourne has other activities, too.

For starters, on the other side of Route 6 is the Herring Run Recreation Area. This scenic park offers outstanding views of the Cape Cod Canal and even provides access to the paved path that runs from Cape Cod Bay to Buzzards Bay Park.

You can also go fishing, have a picnic, or check out the park's war memorial.

Across the highway from the Herring Run Recreation Area is Barlow's Clam Shack, a small restaurant serving lobster rolls, fried clams, clam chowder, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and fish and chips. There's a kid's menu and an on-site ice cream shop, too. Barlow's has picnic tables for outdoor seating and a limited number of indoor tables, giving you options if you're ready for a meal.

Just north of Butterflies of Cape Cod is the Carter Beal Conservation Area. This park is 29.7 acres in size and has a mile and a half of hiking trails. There are also unmarked areas that you can explore, leading you to a hill with scenic views of the Canal, and a service road that takes you to a pond.  

You'll find the remains of a grist mill built in 1695, a fish ladder, a boat launch into Great Herring Pond, and all kinds of wildlife in the conservation area, too. You can put a canoe or kayak in the Herring River, as well.

All of these venues are within minutes of Butterflies of Cape Cod, so you won't have to travel far to make a day of it in this area.

Your Visit to Butterflies of Cape Cod

Whether you're interested in butterflies or just want to do something a little different while on the Cape, Butterflies of Cape Cod worth your time.

And with so many other things to do on this side of the bridge, it's no wonder that many vacationers cross the Cape Cod Canal at least once during their time here.

Bourne Butterflies Zoo

Places to Grab Food for Your Vacation Rental in Osterville, MA
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 5, 2020

produce at a farmer's market in osterville

Spending your vacation in Osterville, Massachusetts, gives you unparalleled access to incredible beaches, beautiful marinas, and secluded hiking trails without ever drifting too far from the village's center.

You'll also have easy access to the rest of Barnstable's villages thanks to the major roads that connect Osterville to the rest of the Cape.

Once you arrive at your vacation rental, you might find yourself looking for something to eat. The good news is that Osterville has a few places to pick up some groceries, so you can stock your rental for the week to come.

Here's a look at some of the top grocery options available in Osterville, MA.

Osterville Fish Market

It goes without saying that you'll want to try some seafood during your time on Cape Cod, and nowhere has fresher fish than the Osterville Fish Market. This shop sits on the corner where Route 28 and Osterville – West Barnstable Road meet, making it easily accessible from any direction.

Once inside, you'll find a wide selection of ready-to-cook seafood options like lobster, scallops, shrimp, and clams. All you have to do with these prepared items is put them in the oven, and they're ready to eat. The shop also has ready-to-serve dishes like oysters, sandwiches, and their famous clam chowder. 

The market has a full selection of freshly-caught fish, too, including salmon, swordfish, tuna, flounder, haddock, and many other favorites. And if you're too hungry to cook, you can also pick up fully-cooked meals to take to your vacation rental.

The Osterville Fish Market is incredibly popular with locals, and you'll see why once you check them out.

Fancy's Market

There's a little bit of everything at Fancy's Market, so it might end up being the only place to visit for food while staying in Osterville. Once you walk through its doors, you'll immediately see that Fancy's is a butcher shop, deli, bakery, liquor store, and grocery store in one. You can grab meat, vegetables, drinks, and anything else you need to stock your vacation rental in this single, convenient location.

The shop also has homemade, pre-cooked dinners, so you're even covered if you don't have time to cook on your first night on the Cape. Or, if you're searching for a quick lunch, they have pre-made, grab-and-go sandwiches for sale.

Fancy's Market enjoys a convenient location on Osterville's Main Street and occupies a historic building that's close to 200 years old. For many, that's reason enough to stop by.

Osterville Farmer's Market

Between mid-June and mid-September, there's no better place to grab some fresh produce in Osterville than the Osterville Farmer's Market. Organizers hold the market every Friday at the Osterville Historical Society Museum on the corner of Parker and West Bay roads. 

In addition to veggies, you can grab fish, meat, baked goods, and drinks from many of the other retailers on this list. There are also producers from different parts of the Cape. As a result, the Osterville Farmer's Market could be a one-stop-shop for your time on Cape Cod if the days align correctly.

Amie Bakery

One vendor you're likely to see at the farmer's market is Amie Bakery, a small shop with retail space on Main Street. This bakery is a wonderful place to grab some breakfast or dessert items for your vacation rental, as they make cakes, muffins, scones, croissants, cookies, pies, and tarts that are sure to leave your family wanting more.

There's more than a bakery at this location, too, as the shop serves breakfast sandwiches and quiche all day long, and soup, salad, and other sandwiches at lunchtime. You can also grab a coffee with your meal in the morning or a specialty cocktail, glass of wine, or pint of beer if you arrive later on in the day.

Gone Chocolate

Osterville's other well-known dessert option is Gone Chocolate, a famous little shop on Main Street specializing in truffles, chocolates, and fudge. You can grab a hand-packed pint or quart of their delicious ice cream for your vacation rental or enjoy a cone or cup right in the store, as well.

Other popular items at Gone Chocolate include their ice cream cakes, pies, sundaes, and brownies. When you're searching for a great dessert to keep around at your vacation rental, Gone Chocolate is your best bet in Osterville, Massachusetts.

Enjoy Great Food on the Cape

Although you'll surely want to try some of Cape Cod's renowned restaurants, there's something to be said for the convenience and cost-efficiency of dining at your vacation rental. After all, you have a kitchen at your disposal, so you might as well use it.

In Osterville, you'll find numerous ways to keep your fridge and cupboards stocked, so there's always food ready to go for the entire family. These shops offer high-quality, fresh food often produced right on the Cape, so give them a try during your Cape Cod vacation.

Osterville Where To Eat In Osterville

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