Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Morning in Sandwich & a Little History Lesson

Still in Sandwich, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. Incorporated in 1637, Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod. Originally settled by the English, Sandwich became an agricultural community, the main export of which was timber sent back to England. Even during the American Revolution, it remained a primarily agrarian community, supplemented by coastal fishing. But in 1825, the landscape of Sandwich would drastically change because of Deming Jarves, a Boston businessman and former agent of the New England Glass Company of East Cambridge, Massachusetts.

We all went to breakfast at the restaurant at the Daniel Webster Inn (where we were staying). After breakfast, we walked over to the Dexter Grist Mill and pond. The Mill was built between 1640 and 1646. Our intent was to feed our leftover breakfast toast to the ducks. I did this as a child and loved it, and my family was really looking forward to experiencing Jake feeding the ducks. But there were no ducks to be found. We had to settle for throwing crumbs to a few fish that weren't very interested. Jake did see a few fish snatch breadcrumbs from the water surface and he was pretty jazzed about it. "Slurp! Fish go slurp! Yum!"

We gave up on the ducks and walked across the street to the Sandwich Glass Museum. The Sandwich Glass Museum exhibits nearly 5,000 pieces of glass produced at the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company between 1825 and 1888.

Jake was getting tired and crazed, but we wanted to keep him awake until we left Sandwich, so he would sleep in the car. So, Mom took Jake back across the street to the playground at the public library. The rest of us stayed and walked through the museum and watched the glass-blowing demonstration.

The most interesting thing I learned from the glass exhibits was about cup plates. We received a Sandwich Glass cup plate as part of our package deal at the Daniel Webster Inn. But they just seemed like small decorative trinkets. Turns out, they actually had a purpose.

Cup plates are small glass or china plates that held the cup while a diner of the mid-nineteenth century drank coffee or tea from the saucer. The most famous cup plates were made of glass at the Boston and Sandwich factory located in Sandwich, Massachusetts.


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