Sandwich Okays Plan To Turn ‘Restroom Park’ Into Something More Memorable


A gift of flowers, benches and greenery popped up among the political brambles when a volunteer group offered to beautify a scruffy grove across from Sandwich Town Hall.

The news that volunteers wanted to spruce up the unadorned clearing, which is home to the village’s only public restrooms, was little heralded, coming one week before Town Meeting and the town election. The plan came before three of the five selectmen as well as the Old King’s Highway Historic District Committee recently. Both boards passed the plan unanimously.

When it is finished the park will provide a shady rest area for visitors. It will feature small brick patios, benches, flowering hedges, greenery, and bronze signs describing the histories of nearby landmarks, including town hall, First Church of Christ, the Dexter Grist Mill, and Mill Creek, which runs through the property. A bicycle rack is also planned for the park.

The volunteers are members of the Sandwich 375 Committee, which formed to organize last year’s big 375th birthday bash for the town. So successful were their fundraising efforts for the year-long celebration, they had money left over. With the help of several town staff and a cross-section of volunteers from other town advisory boards, the group came up with a design and a name—Mill Creek Park.

“Many visitors walk through Town Hall Square and look at our beautiful buildings but other than seeing them, there is no signage telling them what they are and their significance to our history,” said Cynthia M. Russell, spokesman for the 375 Committee, in her presentation. “Hence, we would like to install two cast bronze plaques, placed near each sitting area at an angle, that tell of the buildings. These signs can only be read from inside the park.”

The design and planning were the work of many people.

The 375 committee asked Colonial Brass of Taunton to make the cast bronze signs. The coating will develop a green patina as it ages, Ms. Russell said. Two members of the Sandwich Historical Commission wrote the text for the signs.

The benches will look like old-style wooden benches, but will actually be composite material suggested by town engineer Paul Tilton and town planner Blair Haney. David J. DeConto, assistant director of natural resources, also consulted on the project.

BJ’s Lawncare & Landscaping of Forestdale will put the signs and the landscaping in place with the help of volunteers from the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce. Mary Bowker, president of the Sandwich Garden Club, will supervise the planting work. Ms. Bowker, along with Donna and Jeff Kutil of Scenic Roots Garden Center, chose the low-maintenance plants.

“They have selected hydrangeas, summer sweet and winterberry plants for their disease and pest resistance, heat tolerance, and ready adaptation to different soil types as well as their beauty spring through fall when Mill Creek Park is most used by visitors and the community,” Ms. Russell wrote in her presentation.

Tree warden Justin O’Connor suggested that two Norway maples be removed and replaced with Stewartia and two flowering trees.

“Stewartia trees are slow-growing, all-season performers that show off fresh green leaves in the spring, white flowers resembling single camellias in summer, colorful foliage in the autumn, and exfoliating bark in the winter that creates a beautiful spectacle after leaves fall,” Ms. Russell said.

The town will install a watering system that will be needed for only the first few years. After the low-maintenance plants have been established, nature will take over and the watering system will no longer be needed, Ms. Russell said.

“The challenge of planting in the park is significant due to the present lack of water, deep shade, the condition of the soil and long-term maintenance,” Ms. Russell said. “But we believe with the choices of plants, short-term irrigation, enriched plant soil and removal of trees, these plants have an excellent opportunity to thrive and be enjoyed.”

The three selectmen (Susan R. James, Peter M. Beauchemin and Ralph A. Vitacco), who attended the meeting at which the plan was approved, thanked Ms. Russell, the town staff and all the volunteers for their efforts.

“This is a great example of the town and the businesses coming together to leave a lasting monument,” Mr. Vitacco said.

The committee chose Mill Creek Park as the name because it “acknowledges the heritage and beauty of the area by recognizing the historic grist mill and the natural creek upon which the park is located,” Ms. Russell said. “The beautification of this park speaks to our mission statement as it embraces the town’s rich culture, proud heritage and pristine beauty,” Ms. Russell said. “We cannot thank these people and businesses enough because due to their guidance, expertise and spirit of community, the Sandwich 375 Committee legacy gift to the town will truly be a delightful place year-round for residents and visitors to use and enjoy for many years. “

Here’s a brief history of the park area that was included in Ms. Russell’s presentation:

“Mill Creek Park celebrates the historical fact that the Dexter Grist mill was able to operate because the water from the dammed up pond flowed into this creek.

“The mill was built in 1640, giving farmers in this agricultural community the means to turn their corn crop into flour, which provided sustenance for the population for more than 200 years.

“From spring-fed Shawme Pond and down the herring run, Mill Creek also brought economic prosperity to Sandwich by powering many businesses such as the Tag Factory and the Shoe Factory.

“Today, it brings visitors to see it wind through rich marshland and flow under the famous Sandwich boardwalk to the Old Harbor where the Boston & Sandwich Glass Factory was built by Deming Jarves in 1825.

“The name ‘Mill Creek’ recognizes the importance of both the mill and the creek to the Sandwich residents and visitors for the past 375 years.”

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What a BASH!

Sandwich organizes an unprecedented birthday jubilee

When other Cape towns begin planning special anniversary celebrations, they should steal a page from the playbook of the Cape’s oldest town.

Since January, the Sandwich 375th Anniversary Committee has organized a multitude of educational and entertaining activities, including historical re-enactments, lectures, festivals, concerts and art and museum exhibits.

Planning for the special celebration began nearly two years ago. The committee, headed by Cindy Russell, looked back at previous festivities, including the 350th and 300th anniversaries. There was a conscious effort to make this celebration one that involved a large number of townspeople. With various committees, subcommittees and volunteers, more than 100 people were directly involved in pulling it off.

The 375 Committee set a goal of focusing on the history of the Sandwich. Under the leadership of Bill Daley, who headed up the BASH program (Bringing Alive Sandwich History), a monthly lecture series was put together. Each of the last four centuries carried a theme through various activities.

The 375 Committee also connected with Sandwich, England, about its birthday plans, and Wendy King arranged for the town to “twin” with that British community.

Also important in the planning was a strong effort to include activities for children — face painting, scavenger hunts and parades. There is also a wide range of cultural offerings — art exhibits, concerts, and lectures to appeal to residents and visitors.

Descendants of the original 10 Sandwich families were invited to town in June to participate in Heritage Days. The town also invited the descendants of Dr. Samuel Beale for a commemoration of that physician’s half-century long contribution to the town.

The committee was assisted in its efforts by the generosity of many businesses in Sandwich, as well as from donations from townspeople. Sponsorship and fundraising allowed the 375 Committee to bring in top-notch talent, including Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, the SeaFest with its maritime exhibits, hot-air balloon rides, British grenadier and Civil War soldier re-enactors, the Budweiser Clydesdales, the incredible “Paintscaping” 3D digital light show at First Church and the upcoming Grand Parade on Sept. 13. The parade will feature 10 bands and a number of floats. It will be the biggest parade ever seen in Sandwich.

It would be difficult to name all the people who made this celebration what it has been. It was really a gift, by and from members of the community. Certainly, Chairwoman Cindy Russell deserves lots of credit. She worked tirelessly to make sure things all fell into place. Gail Ravetz was an incredible sponsorship chairwoman, raising thousands of dollars from sponsors. The Sandwich 375 website ( was developed by Don Bayley and has been of great assistance in letting people know about all of the 375 activities.

Each subcommittee had people who were indispensable — Joanne Westerhouse for the Daffodil Festival, Bill Diedering for the Grand Parade and, of course, Bill Daley for BASH.

In summary, Sandwich 375 is what a community celebration should be. Sandwich 375 will be long remembered as a memorable event commemorating a great Cape town and celebrated by great people.

Copyright © Cape Cod Media Group, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Bash 1700s is June 21 in Sandwich Village

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Daffodil Festival takes place April 26 in Sandwich

Sandwich 375 Committee announces that, as part of the yearlong Sandwich 375th celebration, the Daffodil Festival will take place April 26 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Oakcrest Cove Field on Quaker Meetinghouse Road.
The event is free to the public.




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February 16, 2014
Cape Cod Times

Cape Cod Times


Sandwich plans year-long 375th anniversary bash

By George Brennan
February 16, 2014 2:00 AM

SANDWICH — If you like a party, particularly one that will last most of the year and involves events for the very young, the old and everyone in between, Sandwich is the place to be in 2014.

A town rich in history for its ties to the Quaker religion, its significant glass industry and the venerable children’s author Thornton W. Burgess, will celebrate those things and much more in recognition of the 375th anniversary of the Cape’s oldest town.



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November 22, 2013

broadsider_logoSandwich 375th panel receives grant from Cape Cod Healthcare

Posted Nov 14, 2013 @ 10:57 AM


The Sandwich 375 Committee has received a sponsorship grant from Cape Cod Healthcare, which will support several 2014 Sandwich 375th Birthday celebratory events and initiatives.

The Cape Cod Healthcare Founders Level sponsorship will support, among other things, Heritage Day, a commemorative event on June 14, 2014. The grant will also allow the committee to publicize events and activities for the year-long 375th celebration, such as creating and posting signs for events around town; and helping with publicity efforts.

Heritage Day will focus on town history and those who founded Sandwich in 1639. Morning festivities will take place at Town Hall. It will all begin with the March of the Descendants, a parade of people descended from the town’s original residents; while church bells ring. Students will sing, read poems and play their own musical composition as part of the program.

In the afternoon, the celebration will shift to Sandwich High School on Quaker Meetinghouse Road. Events there will include an all-town picnic and photograph, as well as games, music, a cupcake competition and a Cape Cod Baseball League game.

The CCHC sponsorship of the Sandwich 375th celebration is the latest of several investments the healthcare organization has made in the town.

“Cape Cod Healthcare is committed to finding ways to make our community healthier, and to ensure that everyone in Sandwich and other Cape towns has access to quality, affordable care,” said Cape Cod Healthcare President and CEO Michael Lauf. “To that end, this year we completed a renovation project at the Stoneman Outpatient Center in Sandwich, a facility that offers primary and specialty care services, diagnostic testing services, and the only urgent care services on Cape Cod that are staffed by emergency room-trained doctors and nurses.

“We’re pleased to continue our investment in the town through the 375th celebration, so that residents and visitors can commemorate this historic occasion in style,” he noted.

In 2014, Sandwich will celebrate its 375th birthday with a year of activities and events, including a Daffodil Festival, Hot Air Balloons, BASH Days and a Grand Parade.

For a list of events, visit or

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broadsider_logoColor Sandwich yellow! Town prepares for 2014 Daffodil Festival

Posted Oct 26, 2013 @ 06:00 AM


The Sandwich 375 Committee is working on the town’s 375th birthday next year, pivoting on the work of  150 volunteers, including seniors, students and various groups; especially as that relates to the planting of 10,000 yellow tulip and daffodil bulbs.

Cindy Russell, 375 committee chairman, promises “Sandwich will be painted yellow” next April. She said the group plans a Sandwich Daffodil Festival April 26-27.

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The Sandwich 375th Anniversary Committee is continuing its planning into next year’s birthday celebrations.

Events to date include a February Youth Art Month, Daffodil Festival with flower and photography shows on April 26, BASH (Bringing Alive Sandwich History) on four summer days, Heritage Day on June 14, and a July 26th Sea Fest with an old-fashioned clambake, interesting ships, craft fair, shanty music and Coast Guard demonstration.

Also: a “Talk of the Town” 2014 Speakers Series involving eight programs on the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Canal, herb gardens, architecture, marine services, American folk art and Thornton W. Burgess.

Also: Water Street Wing Fling on Aug. 2, a Chalk & Arts Festival and a grand parade on Sept. 13.

Also in 2013: an historical home tour on Aug.4 and 375 Golf Tournament at the Brookside Club in Bourne on Oct. 7.

The distinctive logo for Sandwich’s 375th birthday celebration next year was on prominent display during the annual and special town meetings at Sandwich High School.

For details or to donate to the birthday program online, visit

Read more: Sandwich’s 375th birthday events are starting to take shape - - Sandwich Broadsider
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Make Memories by Celebrating the Town of Sandwich 375 Anniversary

Featured Stories & Articles from Cape Cod Travel Magazine: Make Memories by Celebrating the Town of Sandwich 375 Anniversary

April 02, 2014

This is the summer that you should visit Sandwich, Cape Cod! The 375 Anniversary of the town will provide you and your family with memories so great that you will wonder why you never visited before. If you have visited in the past, this is the time to re-visit the oldest town on Cape Cod!

Sandwich is adoring itself in an array of events that will celebrate its history, pride in achievement and the ability of the Town’s Father’s to preserve it history, while at the same time developing the land. Hence today Sandwich is a bustling dynamic town with an honored past and bright future!

To honor the antiquity of the town a group of over 200 volunteers began meeting in October 2012 to plan, fund and host the celebratory events, the Sandwich 375 Committee was formed and was unanimously endorsed by the Sandwich Board of Selectmen in February 2013. The group built a and gathered articles from townsfolk for a book Photos, Facts and Fables of Cape Cod’s Oldest Town.

The book is now in its second printing and can be purchased in and around town. Chairman of the Sandwich 375 committee Cindy Russell is delighted with the response to the book as well as to the wonderful support that she has received for the exciting year-long events schedule. “Currently we have 35 events planned to take place throughout 2014. There is something that will appeal for every age group, and best of all most of the events will be free,” Russell said.

Daffodil Days (April 26th, 10 to 4 pm) a weekend of celebrating 10,000 blooms with a great festival will feature artists, competitions, gardening, and special fun for kids. Then an outstanding concert with Ronan Tynan, the Irish Tenor, whose mesmerizing voice and Irish Humor will delight everyone. Tickets are $29/$49/$69 online at

Bathed by the sun, favored by the summertime warmth of the Gulf Stream, Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod. Founded in 1637 and recognized as a town in 1639, the location was appealing for its broad marshes boarding the sea and it resemblance to its namesake Sandwich, England.

The Sandwich Glass Museum is a salute to the industry that put the town on the map. Boston entrepreneur, Deming Jarves, began the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company in 1825 and it did not close its doors until 1881. During this time, the population of Sandwich nearly doubled, and by the 1850’s the factory was open 24 hours a day, employing 550 workers, and producing an astounding 5,200,000 pieces of glassware annually.  Visitors to the town can still purchase authentic Sandwich Glass in the museum that bears its name and also in the many antique stores that are located in the town and on Cape Cod as well.

To honor Sandwich history a “Talk of the Town” Speaker Series is being held monthly from February through November in the Hirschmann Theater of the glass museum. Subjects cover “Exploring Cape Cod’s History Through Architecture in April to “An Overview of American Folk Art” in November. Admission and parking are free.

In the first half of the 20th century, the most significant event for Sandwich was the construction of the Cape Cod Canal, which began in 1914. Remarkably, it was almost 300 years in coming. Miles Standish had the idea, George Washington surveyed it, 500 Italians first shoveled it, but August Belmont completed the canal on July 29, 1914. Sandwich borders the Canal on both sides of the canal’s entrance from Cape Cod Bay.  The Cape Cod Canal is the longest sea-level canal in the world and it is the center for sea faring navigation, scenic beauty and recreation. The whole story of the canal can be seen at the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center located near the Sandwich Marina. This year it will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and the 375 Sandwich Committee is throwing a giant Seafest, July 26 in honor of its anniversary.

The event honor’s Sandwich’s maritime history starting at 10 am by encouraging visitors and residents to board the many historic, heroic, and amazing ships from the 1600’s to now, shop the Cape Cod Artisans Guild juried craft fair, enjoy the shanty music and puppet theater, watch the Coast Guard demonstrations, see who wins the NAMA Seafood Throwdown with competing Celebrity Chefs, check out the Kids Tent featuring sea creatures, meet famous Captains of yesteryear, then end the day at the old-fashioned clambake along the banks of the Canal and stay for the party afterwards with a great dace band and the Cape Cod Canal Centennial’s Parade of Lights on the Canal.

Change came again in the 1950’s when national prosperity and improved roads brought tourists and an increasing number of summer and year-round residents to explode the population from 1,500 residents to almost 20,000. With additional residents came rapid land development. With the goal to grow the town but preserve the past, civic-minded citizens became committed to historic preservation and land conservation. They were reinforced by the knowledge that the protection of Sandwich’s historic sites and unspoiled lands are vital to Sandwich’s proud heritage, rich culture and pristine beauty.

To celebrate these past achievements enjoy the 3rd Water Street Wing Fling, on August 2 to 3rd. Take a bird’s eye view of this wonderful town, by hoping into the basket of one of four tethered hot air balloons to see the town spread out beneath you in all its glory. This wonderful family event also features a kids zone with lots of inflatables, kids games and crafts, kayak tours on Shawme Pond, a two day car show featuring different classic, antique and new cars each day, pony rides, a hayride on an antique fire truck, a variety of food trucks, live performances on Wing School and Shawme Pond Bandstands, a Police K-9 Unit Performance Show, and so much more.

History abounds in Sandwich, from Town Hall Square with its National Historic designation encompassing over 200 buildings including the 1847 recently restored Town Hall, to the soaring steeple (attributed to Christopher Wren) of the nationally famous 1847 First Church.  Don’t miss the Paintscaping of the church from August 2 to 4, when visitors will see an amazing 3D projection mapping light show using the First Church as a living canvas something that is traditionally shown only in a major metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Las Vegas, Montreal and Paris.  Better than fireworks Paintscaping is customizing a show just for Sandwich. Something you will never forget. Don’t miss it!

“Our Sandwich Journey” a two mile long grand parade will be held on Septmber 13, in the Village from 1 to 3 pm. The Grand Parade will feature lots of bands including the “Spirit of America Band” Wally & the Red Sox World Series Trophy, band organ, Clydesdales, clowns, classic cars & groups marching!

“We are currently working on more events for the fall, which will include three more talks as part of the “Talk of the Town” Speakers Series, October events “Ye Old Spirits of Sandwich,” and much more,” said Russell. “When the Sandwich 375 Committee started this journey, our slogan was “Let’s Make it Happen! WOW-WE DID JUST THAT!

Click here to find a full list of activites in Sandwich

To experience all the wonderful happenings that the town has to offer check out our year of anniversary events! Visit and like us on Facebook.

Sandwich’s 375th officer slate works on festivities for 2014 celebration

Posted Jan 14, 2013

The group planning festivities to celebrate Sandwich’s 375th anniversary in 2014 has gained organizational structure.Cindy Russell is the coordinating chairman; retired Sandwich Police Chief Michael Miller is the vice-chairman. Newspaper columnist Jim Coogan is the group secretary, and Wendy Pierce serves as treasurer.

Superintendent C. Richard Canfield is also onboard and hopes to work segments of Sandwich history into instruction for students. Canfield was a member of the Fairfield Historical Society in Connecticut.

Historical commission member Don Bayley will work as the the 375th’s online/media director.

Sandwich historical panel steps up on 2014 celebratory front

Posted Jul 21, 2012


The historical commission wants to play pivotal and leadership roles as Sandwich plans to turn back a page or two and celebrate the town’s 375th birthday in 2014.

The Sandwich observance falls the same year as the long-planned centennial celebration of the Cape Cod Canal opening and the 100th anniversary as well of the Annual 4th of July Annual Shawme Pond Boat Parade.

Commission members generally agree there is much to consider for the community’s next big birthday and much to coordinate in the Cape’s oldest town. Member Don Bayley says the 375th “could be both a successful historical and commercial event.”

Member Bill Daley says the Sandwich Chamber of Commerce wants to be actively involved in the planning, but it does not want to “spearhead” the celebration.

The commission earlier this month agreed with Daley that for starters he and Bayley should become “officially” involved in the canal celebration in 2014, representing the panel. And the commission should also become a leading entity in the town’s 375th to sponsor the birthday and persuade others to become involved in celebrating the town’s distinctive historical journey.

Members said there is a key question involved in both 2014 activities: what should Sandwich be doing?

In terms of the canal observance, most festivities will be undertaken in Buzzards Bay, along the canal or at Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Taylors Point. The Sandwich 375th is another matter. Organization is a key element.

“This is a big event,” commission member Jennifer Madden said. “It needs a serious driver to be devoted to that.”

There is a second question. Does Sandwich have the capacity to undertake – and infrastructure to support - all that might be planned? The commission agrees a discussion with selectmen on that front is in order.

The general bandwidth idea is to observe birthdays and celebrate them, showcase some history, increase tourism and generate business. In short, 2014 could be a lively and engaging time for Sandwich.

There have been no showstopper ideas publicly advanced yet. But members of various town committees have considered parades and art shows, a dance at Town Hall, tours, free admission to museums for town residents and other ideas.

Then there is the business of local restaurants charging $3.75 for drinks, and the higher end restaurants charging $37.50 for entrees with some of the revenue going to special causes.

Graveyard tours have also been considered with the likes of the Sandwich Glass Museum and Heritage Museums & Gardens assisting but not driving such an event.