Falmouth was settled by English colonists in 1660 and later officially incorporated in 1686. The town was named after Falmouth, Cornwall, England by Bartholomew Gosnold. Early on, the town’s economy was based upon whaling, salt works, shipping, and the breeding of sheep. During the War of 1812, Falmouth was bombarded on its southern coast by British ships. Cranberry and strawberry cultivation were established in the late 19th century.
Falmouth has an area of 54.4 square miles, 10.3 square miles of which is water. The town lies on in the southwestern portion of Cape Cod and is bordered by Bourne, Sandwich and Mashpee. To the south, the town meets Vineyard Sound and is only three and one third miles from Martha’s Vineyard. Falmouth is home to a number of ponds and rivers, including Waquoit Bay, Eel Pond, Bourne’s Pond, Green Pond, Great Pond, Little Pond and Falmouth Inner Harbor.
With over 31,000 residents, Falmouth is second only to the town of Barnstable in terms of population. Home to seven historic districts and a number of idyllic beaches, Falmouth is a great gateway to Cape Cod. From here, one can reach many of the most desirable destinations in Southeastern Massachusetts. Falmouth is home to several of the world’s most renowned marine science institutions, including the Woods Hole Research Center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Marine Biological Laboratory, NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, and more.
Four public schools – East Falmouth, Mullen-Hall, North Falmouth and Teaticket that teach pre-K through fourth grade. Grades five and six are covered by Morse Pond Middle School; seventh and eighth grade are served by Lawrence Junior High School. Grades 9-12 are taught at Falmouth High School. Heritage Christian Academy and Falmouth Academy are the town’s private schools and serve grades pre-K through eighth grade, and grades 7-12, respectively.
ARTS & CULTURE
The Falmouth Historical Society operates the Falmouth Museums on the Green compound, which features exhibits and artifacts that hark back to the town’s past. Included are whaling exhibits; guided tours of the Francis Wicks House and Conant House from the 18th century; and a cultural center featuring work from local artists, among other attractions. Each year, the Falmouth Cultural Council distributes grants to programs in Falmouth that support the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences. You can learn more about Falmouth by visiting our blog and reading Living in Falmouth.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Aquarium of the National Marine Fisheries
Ashumet Holly and Wildlife Sanctuary
Cornelia Carey Sanctuary (The Knob)
Falmouth Museums on the Green
Old Silver Beach
Shining Sea Bikeway
The College Light Opera Company
Wood Neck Beach
Woods Hole Aquarium
Woods Hole Drawbridge
Woods Hole Historical Museum
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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