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Mashpee Town

Mashpee Town Hall is located at 16 Great Neck Road North, Mashpee, MA 02649; phone: 508-539-1400.

Beginnings [1]

Mashpee was first settled around 1660 and incorporated in 1871. The Mashpee Indians lived in rude shelters made of matting hung over bent saplings. Their religion centered about Kiehtan, the creator, and Habbamock, who governed health. Richard Bourne, a missionary, converted many of them and helped to teach them self-government, managing in 1660 to have 10.500 acres of land set apart for them.

In 1884 the area was incorporated under the supervision of a commissioner appointed by the State.

Hunting and fishing, the chief occupations of the inhabitants until 1834, were superseded by employment in the cranberry bogs, practically all of which belong to outsiders. At the beginning of the 19th century, the full-blooded Indians had died out, and the population (in the 1930s) was a mixture of Indian, African, Cape Verdean and Portuguese.

  1. Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for Massachusetts, Massachusetts: A Guide to Its Places and People, American Guide Series, The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1937.
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