The Beach Times

The Past and Present of Four Seas Ice Cream in Centerville
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, January 27, 2020

four seas ice cream

Have you ever wondered why Cape Cod has such a massive ice cream scene?

It seems as though you can't walk more than a couple of blocks on some parts of the Cape without coming across an ice cream shop, as locals and visitors alike expect to find these sweet treats everywhere in the summer.

While we don't know why Cape Cod ice cream is so popular, Four Seas Ice Cream might have something to do with it.

You see, there was a time when Four Seas Ice Cream was a known hangout for members of the Kennedy family, and their love of this particular shop is well documented.

National publications would show pictures of the Kennedy family enjoying some ice cream from Four Seas, making people around the country aware of these desserts on the Cape.

We can't say for sure that the Kennedys are responsible for the popularity of ice cream here, but we do know that people return to places like Four Seas year after year because of the quality flavors they produce.

The History of the Shop

Four Seas Ice Cream is Cape Cod's oldest ice cream shop, having opened its doors in 1934. The store comes from humble beginnings, as W. Wells Watson, an insurance salesperson from Boston, purchased an old blacksmith's shop, converting it into its current form.

Watson, along with a partner, lost a lot of money in the first few years, but after buying out the partner, the shop exploded in popularity, becoming an integral part of summers on Cape Cod.

In 1960, Watson sold the shop to Richard Warren, a new college graduate who had worked at the shop in the summers. Warren operated the shop with wife, Georgia, and later his second wife, Linda, until 1999 when he transitioned ownership to his son, Douglas.

Today, Douglas and his wife, Peggy, still own and operate the shop, making every batch of ice cream by hand in the backroom, just as it has been done since 1934.

The shop looks just as it did in 1934, as well, except for some new coats of paint and a few modern upgrades.

Four Seas Ice Cream is an institution in Centerville, and if all goes according to plan, it will remain as such for generations to come.

What's on the Menu?

As you might expect, the main item on the menu at Four Seas Ice Cream is ice cream, as they have dozens of flavors available at any given time.

Some flavors are seasonal, such as fresh strawberry, which is made with strawberries picked on Cape Cod. In addition, the store's peach flavored ice cream is only available when southern peaches are ripe because Doug Warren believes they're far superior to California peaches.

Other seasonal flavors include gingerbread, creme brulee, egg nog, pumpkin spice, and cranberry bog, and there is a selection of sherbets and non-dairy options, as well.

In addition to ice cream, you can also get a light lunch at Four Seas Ice Cream, with the headliner being the shop's famous lobster rolls. Other options include hot dogs, mac and cheese, soup, chili, lobster salad, and a variety of sandwiches.

The menu at Four Seas Ice Cream might be small, but you're sure to find anything you could ever want at an ice cream shop here.

The Ice Cream Making Process

Everything available at Four Seas Ice Cream is made in the backroom of the building by hand. As a result, during the peak season, Doug and Peggy Warren will make as much as 680 gallons of ice cream per day, all using one machine.

The process begins by pouring an ice cream base mix into a hand-powered churn, which is what creates the ice cream. After everything is mixed, the flavors are added, and the final product is stored in containers.

The containers of ice cream are kept in freezers, with the main freezer being about the same size as the entire front room of the shop. The large size is because the store needs to keep an incredible amount of product on hand in the summer since it's so busy.

Visiting Four Seas Ice Cream

Take the time to visit Four Seas Ice Cream in Centerville during your Cape Cod vacation, and you won't be disappointed. While it's likely that you'll encounter a line during the peak season, it moves quickly because most people are only ordering ice cream.

The shop is located on South Main Street in Centerville, 0.6 miles from Craigville Beach. As a result, you can walk to the shop from the beach in about 10 minutes, or drive in two minutes, if you're not worried about giving up your parking spot.

Four Seas Ice Cream is a significant part of the past, present, and future of Centerville. If your vacation rental is in this area, make sure you stop by for a cone.

Centerville Craigville Beach Four Seas Ice Cream Ice Cream The Kennedys

A Self-Guided Tour of the Kennedy Legacy Trail
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, October 28, 2019

Kennedys on Cape Cod

The Kennedy family famously spent a lot of time in Hyannis, thanks in large part to their oceanfront property in Hyannis Port. The massive compound acted as a base for the family, resulting in many members spending their summers there. The houses remain in the family to this day and hold a special place in Cape Cod's history.

During your time in Hyannis, you'll be able to take a self-guided walking tour of some of the locations where the Kennedys spent their time while reading about their influence on Hyannis and Cape Cod as a whole. When following the Kennedy Legacy Trail, there are blue dots on the sidewalks throughout town that will lead you through some sites that are associated with the Kennedy family.

The walk is about 1.6 miles and will take you about 90 minutes to complete, but it's well worth the time because of how much you'll learn about this influential American family.

JFK Museum

The tour begins at 397 Main Street, home of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. The museum features numerous multimedia displays and a series of exhibits that provide insight into the time that JFK spent on Cape Cod.

If you plan to go inside the museum, the cost is $13 for adults, $7 for children between the ages of six and 17, and free for younger kids. There is a discounted seniors' rate available, as well.

Main Street Hyannis

The second stop on the tour is Hyannis' Main Street, particularly the corner of Main and Pearl. John F. Kennedy ran his presidential campaign out of Hyannis, which turned the small, quiet town into a bustling media center in 1960. Today, there's a plaque outside of Torino restaurant and pictures of the Kennedys in Hyannis along the side of the Sturgis Charter Public School that commemorate this period in history.

Roses for Rose Kennedy

You might notice an abundance of roses throughout downtown Hyannis, and those are because of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, mother of JFK and the Kennedy family's matriarch. Rose lived in Hyannis year-round for much of her later life, and there is a plaque outside of an art studio on Pearl Street that honors her contributions.

St. Francis Xavier Church

At the end of Pearl Street, you'll take a right on South Street, which brings you to Saint Francis Xavier Parish, known colloquially as The Kennedy Church. When Rose and Joe Kennedy bought their home in Hyannis in the 1920s, they chose to attend this church, and over the years, many important family events took place here. When John F. Kennedy was president, he would sit in the second row with his family, while members of the Secret Service would surround him in rows one and three. This church is also where Arnold Schwarzenegger married Maria Shriver, Rose and Joe Kennedy's granddaughter.

Hyannis Armory

When John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States, he was at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis. Once Richard Nixon conceded, JFK drove to the Hyannis Armory, the next stop on this tour, to deliver his acceptance speech. You'll have to double back to reach the armory, as it's about two blocks east of the church, across the street from Barnstable Town Hall.

Aselton Park

You'll find three different parts of the tour at Aselton Park: information on the Cape Cod National Seashore, the Peace Corp Memorial, and the Cape Cod Maritime Museum.

John F. Kennedy had a great deal of love for Cape Cod and wanted to see its beauty retained for generations to come. One of the first things he did after being elected was to establish the Cape Cod National Seashore, which protected more than 43,500 acres of oceanfront land and prevented development on its shores. There is a plaque with information on this National Park at Aselton.

In 1961, Kennedy established the Peace Corps, which aimed at sending volunteers from the United States to help out in less developed nations. The memorial at Aselton Park commemorates the 50th anniversary of this organization.

Ted Kennedy is responsible for securing the funding for the Cape Cod Maritime Museum, which is dedicated to remembering, celebrating, and preserving Cape Cod's maritime heritage. Visiting the museum costs $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and $5 for kids five and under. Active military members are free.

Hyannis Harbor

It's a well-known fact that the Kennedys loved sailing, and many of their trips left from Hyannis Harbor. Tours into Nantucket Sound leave from Bismore Park, and will even take you to see the Kennedy Compound from the water if you wish. In fact, Ted Kennedy's sailboat, The Maya, is still moored at the Hyannisport Yacht Club, and some tours will show you exactly where it is located.

JFK Memorial

This self-guided tour wraps up at perhaps its most rewarding site, as the JFK Memorial is at Veterans Memorial Park, which features a scenic beach overlooking the harbor. The memorial itself features a fountain and a stone wall with a plaque and is a great way to finish your walk of Hyannis.

Celebrating the Kennedy Family

The Kennedy Legacy Trail is an outstanding reminder of what the Kennedy family has meant not only to the people of Cape Cod but to the country as a whole through its contributions. If you're looking to get to know some of the Cape's rich history during your vacation, walking this trail is an excellent way to learn about Cape Cod while seeing much of Hyannis.

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