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Hyannis/Barnstable History


Since 1602 Hyannis has enjoyed a rich and powerful history.

Early settlers of this area were primarily farmers. In 1690 Edward Coleman, Jr. built the first permanent residence at the head of Lewis Bay and settlers from England incorporated the Town of Barnstable in 1639.
 
By the 18th century, over 200 shipmasters had dwellings in Hyannis as the area become known as “the Port” due to its central location and marine activities.
 
Since 1874 senators, dignitaries and presidents including President Ulysses S. Grant, President Grover Cleveland and of course President John F. Kennedy have visited or called Hyannis home.
 
Today, Hyannis is the largest and most central village of the Town of Barnstable.   Other villages include Barnstable, Cotuit, Centerville, Marstons Mills, Osterville and West Barnstable.
 
While visiting Hyannis, be sure to visit the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum and the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame and Museum to learn more about our past and present history.
 

1602

Capt. Bartholomew Gosnold was the first to view the area now known as Hyannis.
1639 Settlers from England incorporate the Town of Barnstable.
1666 Nicholas Davis, first settler and business built warehouse for oysters on Lewis Bay.
1690 Edward Coleman, Jr. built the first permanent residence at the head of Lewis Bay and John Thatcher provided the first mail trip to Boston
1840 Over 200 shipmasters had established dwellings in Hyannis.  Salt works was also an important industry.
1854 The first railroad cars reach Hyannis, signaling the development of trade and business in the area.
1872 Hyannis Land Company purchases nearly 1000 acres from Lewis Bay to Craigville and most of Hyannisport for about  $100
1874 President Ulysses S. Grant visits Hyannis
1928 Joseph P. Kennedy and his wife Rose purchase the Malcolm Cottage in Hyannisport
1952 Senator John F. Kennedy purchases adjacent residence which later becomes known as the “Summer White House”
Today Millions of visitors come to Hyannis to enjoy the beautiful weather, beaches and historic sites including the Kennedy Compound