Did you know that there are many Chatham’s in America? Even though we think Chatham, MA is the best, there are 16 more places named Chatham in America. Our town took is name from the original Chatham in the county of Kent, England, and it also shares the moniker with many townships, counties, boroughs, and villages across America. While our Chatham is our favorite and the place to be this summer, we are happy to share the other Chatham’s with you.
Chatham, MA is located on the elbow of Cape Cod surrounded on three sides by water and is the most picturesque town of its rivals. Located halfway between Falmouth and Provincetown, is a great hub for exploring the whole area. Once a quiet farming and fishing community, our town has become a vibrant and luxury tourist destination. The year-round population is around 6,125, and in the summer months it can reach up to 30,000! There are four villages that comprise the town, Chatham (CQX), South Chatham, North Chatham, and West Chatham. Chatham is home to the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, Chatham Light, the famous Chatham Main Street, Chatham Anglers, and in recent years the Great White Sharks. The original Indian name of Chatham was Monomoit and was renamed by Samuel de Champlain to Port Fortune (as you can recall, these are the names of some of our rooms). The town was incorporated on June 11, 1712, by English settlers and named Chatham.
You will find the natural beauty of our town remarkable. Chatham has a special blend of the past and the present with quaint streets lined with historic sea captains’ homes, a fine selection of historic museums, and a walking downtown area with unique shops, galleries, and restaurants. Chatham’s expansive and magnificent beaches, wildlife, nature trails, bike paths, and stunning ocean views will make you fall in love with our town right away.
Did you know there is a Chatham in Alaska? Port Chatham Bay in Alaska is now an abandoned ghost town but was first settled in 1787 as part of the British Royal Navy, and later housed both a cannery and a territorial school. However, in the early 1940s, Chatham men began disappearing when they went to the nearby forest to hunt. Their bodies then began to wash ashore, and locals reported Bigfoot-like sighting. The terrified residents fled, the post office was officially closed in 1951, and the town is now completely uninhabited.
There’s a Chatham in North Carolina and was named for William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham for his support of the American colonies. Chatham County has designated George Moses Horton (1798-1883), who lived most of his life as a slave on a tobacco plantation in the county, as its Historic Poet Laureate. Horton began by composing poems in his head and reciting them out loud. A professor’s wife transcribed his poetry and helped publish his first collection, “The Hope of Liberty” in 1829. Horton became the first African- American man to publish a book in the South.
New Jersey also has a Chatham! The town separates municipalities, collectively known as “The Chatham’s”, including what was once a 1710 colonial English village, which adapted the name Chatham in 1773 to owner William Pitt, the first earl of Chatham. Pitt was a member of the British, who defended the rights of the American colonists, and Chatham citizens actively participated in the subsequent Revolutionary War.
Did you know there is a Chatham in Illinois? A village in Sangamon County (population: 12,800) was settled in 1816 and incorporated with the name Chatham in 1836. A year later, legislators from Sangamon County, including a young lawyer named Abraham Lincoln, managed to convince the Illinois General Assembly to move the State Capitol from Vandalia to Springfield, which is few miles north of Chatham.
We hope you find our town as special as we do, and you will come to visit and enjoy the beauty of the wonderful seaside village, THE CHATHAM and all that it has to offer. Book today and start dreaming about your summer vacation!
Credit: Lisa Cavanaugh, read more in the Annual 2020 Chatham Living By the Sea magazine (Article: Chatham U.S.A.) and Chatham Chamber of Commerce