Main Births etc
Barnstable, Massachusetts
—  City  —
Barnstable Town Hall
Official seal of Barnstable, Massachusetts
Location in Barnstable County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 41°42′00″N 70°18′00″W / 41.7, -70.3Coordinates: 41°42′00″N 70°18′00″W / 41.7, -70.3
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Barnstable County
Settled 1637
Incorporated (town) 1638
Incorporated (city) 1989
 • Type Council-manager city
 • Town
Thomas K. Lynch
 • Town Council Ann Canedy, Tom Rugo, Michael Hersey, Fred Chirigotis, James Cote, Janet Joakim, Jessica Grassetti, Debra Dagwan, James Tinsley, Janice Barton, June Daley, John Norman, and Jennifer Cullam
 • Council administrator Barbara Ford
 • Total 76.3 sq mi (197.7 km2)
 • Land 59.8 sq mi (154.9 km2)
 • Water 16.5 sq mi (42.8 km2)
Elevation 37 ft (11 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 45,193
 • Density 756/sq mi (291.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 02601
Area code(s) 508 / 774

Barnstable /ˈbɑrnˌstəbəl/ is a city,[1] referred to as the Town of Barnstable,[2] in the U.S. state of Massachusetts and the county seat of Barnstable County.[3] Barnstable is the largest community, both in land area and population, on Cape Cod. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 45,193.[4] The town contains eleven villages (one of which is also named Barnstable) within its boundaries.[5] Its largest village, Hyannis, is the central business district of the county and home to Barnstable Municipal Airport, the airline hub of Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Barnstable is a 2007 winner of the All-America City Award.


JFK Monument, Hyannis

West Parish Congregational Church

Barnstable takes its name from Barnstaple, Devon, England. The area was first explored by Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602. It was one of the first towns to be settled, one year behind Sandwich, in 1638, and was incorporated in 1639. The early settlers were farmers, led by the Reverend Joseph Hull, the founder of Barnstable.[6] A memorial tablet was dedicated there in 1939 (the 300th anniversary of the town's founding) marking the site of his home, and the rock from which he preached still stands along the highway there.[7][8][9]

Fifteen Original Villages[]

  1. Mattachee Village - In 1639, the village of Mattacheese became the place where the Reverend John Lothrop and his congregation founded their settlement the town of Barnstable MA.

Industrial Era[]

Soon after the town's founding, agriculture, fishing and salt works became its major industries. By the end of the 19th century, there were some 804 ships harbored in the town. But this came to a decline with the rise of the railroad, which had arrived in 1854, and of steamships.

By the late 19th century, however, Barnstable was becoming world-renowned as the tourist destination it is to this day. Many prominent Bostonians spent their summers on the Cape shores, as did Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Grover Cleveland. However, the most famous family to summer in the town was, and remains, the Kennedy family, who can still be found living in the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port. It was the summer home of President John F. Kennedy during his administration, and it was likewise the home of Senator Ted Kennedy until his death.

Today, tourists come in droves to the town during the summer months. There is abundant shopping in the quaint shops of Hyannis, and other popular sites abound, such as the John F. Kennedy Museum and several other museums and places on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Ancient Burying Ground and Gideon Hawley House. The town's many beaches are popular tourist destinations as well.[10]


Barnstable Harbor, as seen from Millway Beach

Barnstable is located at 41°39′33″N 70°21′11″W / 41.65917, -70.35306 (41.659158, -70.353059),[11] about halfway along the "biceps" of the Cape Cod "arm". According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 76.3 square miles (197.7 km2), of which 59.8 square miles (154.9 km2) is land and 16.5 square miles (42.8 km2), or 21.66%, is water.[4] It is bordered by Cape Cod Bay on the north, Nantucket Sound on the south, Sandwich and Mashpee on the west and Yarmouth on the east. Barnstable is approximately 70 miles (110 km) southeast of Boston.

The Town of Barnstable contains seven villages:

  • The village of Barnstable, including Cummaquid
  • Centerville, including Craigville
  • Cotuit
  • Hyannis, including Hyannis Port
  • Marstons Mills
  • Osterville
  • West Barnstable

Barnstable is a town of many facets. To the north lie the dunes of Sandy Neck along Barnstable Harbor, tipped by the Sandy Neck Light. The central part of the town is dominated by the pines and oaks around Wequaquet Lake. The south is where the bulk of the population lives, many along the beaches of Centerville and Hyannis Harbors.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 4,901
1860 5,129 +4.7%
1870 4,793 −6.6%
1880 4,242 −11.5%
1890 4,023 −5.2%
1900 4,364 +8.5%
1910 4,676 +7.1%
1920 4,836 +3.4%
1930 7,271 +50.4%
1940 8,333 +14.6%
1950 10,480 +25.8%
1960 13,465 +28.5%
1970 19,842 +47.4%
1980 30,898 +55.7%
1990 40,949 +32.5%
2000 47,821 +16.8%
2010 45,193 −5.5%

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 47,821 people, 19,626 households, and 13,012 families residing in the town. The population density was 796.5 inhabitants per square mile (307.5 /km2). There were 25,018 housing units at an average density of 416.7 per square mile (160.9 /km2). The racial makeup of the town was 91.85% White, 2.74% Black or African American, 0.59% Native American, 0.81% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.67% from other races, and 2.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.70% of the population. 24.2% were of Irish, 13.3% English, 9.3% Italian and 5.5% American ancestry according to Census 2000. 92.1% spoke English, 3.4% Portuguese, 1.6% Spanish and 1.0% French as their first language.

There were 19,626 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the town the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 20.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $46,811, and the median income for a family was $54,026. Males had a median income of $41,494 versus $30,442 for females. The per capita income for the town was $25,554. About 6.3% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.7% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.


Barnstable County Court House

Barnstable has a council–manager government. It was created when the town rewrote its charter and was moved from a selectman, town meeting form of government to a town council form of government in 1989. Barnstable is one of fourteen Massachusetts municipalities that have applied for, and been granted, city forms of government but wish to retain "The town of” in their official names.[14] The first town manager, Warren Rutherford, was in office from 1990-1997. His successor, James Tinsley, was in office from 1997 to 1999, when he died from a heart attack. He was succeeded by former state representative John C. Klimm. Klimm had his contract bought in 2011 due to the actions of six members of the Barnstable Town Council, known as the "Gang of Six." Thomas K. Lynch is the current Town Manager after a brief search period. Donald Grissom resigned from the position of Town Council Administrator earlier in the year.

The town hall is located within the village of Hyannis, and the police station is located on Route 132, closer to the geographic center of town. There are eight fire stations, seven libraries and ten post offices located throughout the town, with the largest or central branches usually being in the downtown Hyannis area. Hyannis also is the site of the Cape Cod Hospital, which serves the central Cape region. Also, as the county seat of Barnstable County, the town is the site of the county courthouse and juvenile lockup at the old house of corrections, as well as the offices of the Cape and Islands district attorney.

Barnstable is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the Second, Third and Fifth Barnstable Districts. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Plymouth and Barnstable and Cape and Islands Districts, the former including Bourne, Falmouth, Kingston, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton and Sandwich and the latter including the rest of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.[15] The town is patrolled by the Second (Yarmouth) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.[16]

On the national level, Barnstable is a part of Massachusetts's 9th congressional district, and is currently represented by William R. Keating. The state's senior (Class II) member of the United States Senate, is Elizabeth Warren. The junior senator from Massachusetts is Ed Markey, elected in 2013.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 15, 2008[17]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Total 32,386 100%


Barnstable has the largest public school enrollment of any city or town on Cape Cod, with over 5,000 students. In 2010, the public school system underwent major changes due to budget issues. The new structure now includes: an Early Learning Center for pre-kindergarten students and five elementary schools serving various grades, including: Centerville (K-3), Barnstable Community Horace Mann Charter School (K-3), West Village Elementary (formerly Marstons Mills East Elementary) (K-3), Hyannis West (K-3), and Barnstable West Barnstable (K-3). The Barnstable Horace Mann Charter School is open to fourth and fifth grade students, and all town fourth and fifth grade students attend this school. The Barnstable Middle School serves grades six and seven, and is located on Route 28 behind Barnstable High School, which serves grades eight through twelve. Barnstable's athletic teams are nicknamed the Red Raiders (using a logo similar to that of the University of Utah), and their colors are red and white. Their teams are highly successful because of the large student body from which to choose players. Notable town rivals of the Red Raiders are Sandwich and Falmouth. Barnstable has played Falmouth in football on Thanksgiving Day nearly every year since 1895, making the annual game one of the longest-standing high school football rivalries in history.

In addition to its public schools, there are also several private schools in Barnstable. There are five Christian schools, three of which are not Catholic: Bayberry Christian Academy (K-3), Faith Christian School (PK-12), and Trinity Christian Academy (PK-12). There are two Catholic schools, Saint Francis Xavier Prep (5-8) and Pope John Paul II High School, which opened in 2007. Barnstable is also home to the Academy of Early Learning (PK-6), Veritas Academy (K-8), and the Cape Cod Academy, a private K-12 school. There are also two special education schools (Southeast Alternative & Beacon Point), as well as the Sturgis Charter School, which serves high school-aged students. Additionally, high school students have the option of attending Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich free of charge.

Barnstable is the home of Cape Cod Community College, a two-year junior college affiliated with Suffolk University in Boston.


Both U.S. Route 6 and Massachusetts Route 28 pass through the town from west to east, with Route 6 being a four-lane freeway through the town. Routes 6A, 132, 149 and a brief, 1/10 mile portion of 130 are also located in town. Route 6A follows an east-west route to the north of Route 6, on its route between the Sagamore Bridge and the Orleans Rotary. Routes 132 and 149 are both entirely located within the town, and both begin at 6A and end at Route 28.

Freight rail service is provided by the Massachusetts Coastal Railroad. The Cape Cod Central Railroad operates seasonal tourist excursions from Hyannis to Sandwich and Sagamore, with some scheduled weekend stops at the West Barnstable depot on Route 149 near Route 6A. The nearest inter-city (Amtrak) passenger rail stations are Boston's South Station and Providence. The Kingston/Route 3 and Middleborough/Lakeville stations of the MBTA's commuter rail system provide the closest direct service to Boston.

The town is the site of two airports. Cape Cod Airfield is a smaller airfield, used primarily for private travel, and Barnstable Municipal Airport at Polando Field is used for regional flights, especially between the Cape and the islands. The nearest national and international air service can be reached at Logan International Airport in Boston. Hyannis is also the site of the main ferry lines to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.

Notable people[]

Joe Cronin

Judy Garland

Tom Hamilton

John F., Robert F. and Edward M. Kennedy

Jack Kerouac

Notable persons who have lived in the town of Barnstable:

  • Demetrius Atsalis, state representative
  • Joe Cronin, professional baseball player, manager, and Hall of Famer
  • Judy Garland, actress and singer
  • Raymond Goulding, comedian, actor, writer
  • Andy Hallett, actor and singer
  • Tom Hamilton, bassist for the rock band Aerosmith
  • John Havlicek, basketball player for the Boston Celtics
  • Thomas Hinckley (1618-1706), 14th Governor of Plymouth Colony
  • Rev. Joseph Hull, minister who moved to Massachusetts and founded the Hull Colony
  • Amy Jo Johnson, original Pink Power Ranger
  • Herbert Kalmus, co-founder and president of the Technicolor Corporation
  • Edward M. Kennedy, U.S. senator from Massachusetts, 1962–2009
  • John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States
  • Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., 44th United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, 1938–40
  • Joseph P. Kennedy II, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts
  • Patrick J. Kennedy, Rhode Island congressman and youngest child of Ted Kennedy
  • Robert F. Kennedy, United States Attorney General, 1961–64, and U.S. senator from New York, 1965–1968
  • Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, matriarch of the Kennedy family
  • Jack Kerouac, novelist, poet, artist
  • Paul G. Kirk, U.S. senator from Massachusetts, 2009–2010
  • Dan LaCouture, NHL hockey player for the Boston Bruins
  • Reverend John Lothropp, founder of Town of Barnstable
  • Siobhan Magnus, former American Idol contestant
  • Neal McDonough, film and television actor
  • Eric Nickulas, NHL hockey player for the Boston Bruins
  • John T. Olson, brigadier general in the United States Air Force
  • James Otis, lawyer and American patriot
  • Larry Page, co-founder of Google
  • Paul Pena, blues singer, guitarist
  • John Percival, captain of the USS Constitution
  • Robert Richardson, Academy Award-winning cinematographer
  • Marnie Schulenburg, actor
  • Lemuel Shaw, state representative, state senator, 1821–22; Massachusetts Chief Justice, 1830-60
  • Casey Sherman, bestselling author of A Rose for Mary, Black Irish & The Finest Hours
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics
  • Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr., 21st United States Ambassador to France, founder of the Peace Corps
  • Paul Stewart, professional ice hockey player and National Hockey League referee
  • Michael Tonello, bestselling author
  • Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, lieutenant governor of Maryland, 1995–2003
  • Kurt Vonnegut, author, political icon, entertainer
  • Mercy Otis Warren, author, poet, playwright, and American patriot
  • Eden White, singer
  • Bryan Hardy, College football player for Bentley University

See also[]

  • Barnstaple, England (often called the town's twin)
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Barnstable County, Massachusetts


  1. ^ Galvin Francis, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (2007) Citizen Information Service, A Listing of Counties and the Cities and Towns Within BARNSTABLE
  2. ^ Town of Barnstable (2007) Information Systems Department, Official Website of the town of Barnstable Welcome to The Town of Barnstable retrieved 10/7/2007
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Barnstable Town city, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Towns and their Villages". Barnstable County, The regional government of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Behling, Sam, "Rev. Joseph Hull", retrieved 6 Feb 2011.
  8. ^, "Notes for Rev. Joseph Hull", retrieved 6 Feb 2011.
  9. ^ Crane, Ellery Bicknell, Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Vol. II, pp. 169-170, Lewis Publishing Co., New York, NY, 1907, retrieved 6 Feb 2011.
  10. ^ Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Street Atlas. South Easton, Massachusetts: Arrow Maps Inc., 2004, p. 20.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  12. ^ "CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING (1790-2000)". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 8 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-31. 
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Index of Legislative Representation by City and Town, from
  16. ^ Station D-2, SP Yarmouth
  17. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 15, 2008" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 

External links[]


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Barnstable, Massachusetts. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.