Keeping Our History Alive
Black Pond Wilderness © EJH 2022

Every newsletter we assemble is special, but this one feels particularly so. I recently asked our board members and special contributors to share Chatham memories and stories, and we have an embarrassment of riches for you! This is likely the most varied newsletter to date and we hope you will savor it over some hopefully peaceful days, avoiding bad weather and crowded airports. Sincere thanks to Winnie Lear, John Whelan, David MacAdam, Carol Pacun, Bill Horrocks, and Lisa Green, as well as to Tim Wood of the Cape Cod Chronicle.

Also please do take a look at our beautiful new website, redesigned and just launched with the help of Paraclete Design, it is an up-to-date resource for you.

Without further ado ... read on, and Happy Holidays!

Jennifer Longworth
Dear Villagers,

Greetings from a very windy Chatham. The town continues to be busy with weekend shoppers and walkers on our beautifully decorated Main Street. Many of them will happily return to celebrate Christmas and First Night.

Now I have a request. An increasing number of demolition and major alteration requests are heard when many of you are away. When and if you receive a notice before a hearing from the ZBA or Historic Commission or Conservation Commission concerning a request for major alterations or demolition of a neighboring building or grounds, please call the office of Community Development and ask for a copy of the filing (508-945-5168) and respond with your support or lack of support. There seems to be a tendency for new buyers to favor suburban design over maintaining the original historic appearance of our old homes. All correspondence is read at the hearings and the board members are usually very responsive to neighbors’ concerns.

I also encourage you to contact me if there is a speaker or a program you would recommend for our Annual Meeting in August. The subject can be an Old Village or town-wide concern. All suggestions are most welcome.
I send best wishes to you and your families for a healthy, happy, and peaceful 2023.

Winnie Lear, President
The Walsh House
~ Winnie Lear
East side of the house,1927. Courtesy the author.
Charles Ensign Rogers was born in Chatham in 1858 to Abigail Nickerson and Joshua Rogers. Their first home was in the Village between Water Street and the lighthouse on the east side. After his family moved to Boston around 1880 he married Minnie Paine. Charles was an apothecary and proprietor of a pharmacy in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The children of Minnie and Charles Rogers were all born in Brookline. My grandmother, Etta Winifred (“Winnie”) was the eldest and was joined by siblings Issac, George and Mert between 1881 and 1885. After Charles and Minnie suffered early deaths, the children lived permanently in Brookline and spent their summers in Chatham with their paternal grandmother, Abigail. Mert was a teenager when he moved to Chatham. After Abigail’s death his Uncle George sold Abigail’s home and another property now belonging to David Veach and Naomi Turner on Main Street. He then purchased Mill Pond property generally extending from Water Street to Eliphamet's Lane. George and Mert built the Flat Top house on Eliphamets Lane around 1910 where they raised chickens and ran other businesses. Mert bought “The Little Tavern” (Port Fortune) for one hundred dollars in 1927. It was an ice cream parlor which he ran for several years. When George died in 1928, Mert inherited his uncle’s property. He sold Spaulding Dunbar the Old Mill Boatyard (now First Light Boat Works) as well as the tiny cottages on the Mill Pond shore.

In the early 1870s the eastern shore of Chatham Harbor suffered extreme erosion and property loss. In 1878 Abigail Nickerson’s house was moved to the corner of School Street and Hallett Lane (now 85 School Street).
The glamorous Walsh sisters. Left to right -
sitting: Winifred, Beatrice, Mary; standing: Jane, Alice, Ethel. Courtesy the author.
In 1918 my grandparents bought 85 School Street from Russel A. Bearse and the family moved there permanently by 1921. Their daughters Winifred, Beatrice, Ethel, and Mary attended the Village School across the Street. Alice and Jane attended the newly built school in town after the Village School closed in 1926. My grandfather owned a printing business in Boston and continued to work and commute weekly from Chatham. In 1925 Luther Edwards, a local carpenter, built a large addition to the east end of the home to accommodate the family of eight.

In 1936 my grandparents moved back to Brookline with their three youngest daughters. Sadly, Winifred and James Walsh died in the spring of 1938. The three oldest daughters were married and two of them were living in the Family House. Winifred graduated from Boston University and was married to my father Charlie Shepard in 1935. She taught English at Chatham High School for thirteen years before my brother and I were born. He owned a plumbing and heating business which he inherited from his father John Shepard. They bought 60 Hallett Lane directly across from the Walsh House in the early 40s. He later built his plumbing shop (now 44 Hallett Lane ) in 1950. My brother and I inherited 60 Hallett Lane and 44 Hallett in 1992.
North side of the house including the garage, 1927. Courtesy the author.
Jane, the youngest daughter, lived with my parents after her parents’ death. She attended Chatham schools and graduated from Barnard College in 1945. My mother gave her The Apple Cottage and 43 Hallett Lane in the early sixties. While she continued to live in the Walsh House in the summers, Jane rented the other houses for many years. Alice Weidman sold her Mill Pond House and moved into The Walsh House in the early 90s. Her son Chris set up a salt works next to the house in a former tennis court and still has a salt and maple syrup stand across the street.
The grandchildren in the early 1950s. Winnie and her brother Jim Shephard sit second and third from the left. Courtesy the author.
Although most of my 20 first cousins (including John and Chuck Whelan on the Shepard side) were not Chatham residents, many were here in the late 40s through the 2000s . We
spent endless summer hours roaming the neighborhood visiting our many relatives. My mother's sister Bee Lightfoot and her family and her sister Alice Weidman and her family both lived on property my great Uncle Mert owned on the Mill Pond. Their sister Mary Taylor and her family lived on Stage Harbor Road year round and her four children joined us often. 85 School street was sold in 2016 as was the former garage (43 Hallett Lane and the Apple Cottage). Today a new generation of the Walsh family visits often. Although we all miss congregating at The Walsh House we have cherished memories of our ancestral home, also affectionately known as The Family House.
Our Intriguing Past
~ John Whelan
I have collected books and material about Chatham for years. My Cape Cod and Chatham library is extensive. From time to time, I reread some of the books. Recently, I decided to take a second or third look at Home Song Chatham written in 1995 by Marcia J. Monbleau.  The book’s main articles are a series of stories and interviews about life in Chatham and Chatham’s history. Not exactly precise history, but individuals' interpretations of what they lived through. Chatham notables like Joseph A. Nickerson, David E. Ryder, Charlotte Forgeron, Walter V. Love, Cy Baker, Crosby Lincoln and even Tim Pennypacker are included. One passage is by Anne J. Rogers who grew up on Eliphamet’s Lane. She leads her article by describing the Village and its boundaries. Anne claimed the Village extended to the Mitchell River Bridge, around the Mill Pond, ending on Main Street at the now-defunct Mulford Howes Lane, and referred to our area as “the Village” as opposed to the Old Village. Anne’s article is very interesting reading.
Marcia Monbleau did something quite unusual in Home Song Chatham. In the bottom quarter of many pages, she inserted various small entries from the Chatham Monitor. The Monitor was Chatham’s weekly newspaper, published from 1871-1938. In effect, it was The Cape Cod Chronicle of its day.

These snippets are fun to read and think about. There is no central theme, these are just entries that caught my eye:
1874 Scallops, though plentiful in Chatham, have never been used much for food.

1876 Boys in Chatham have commenced to go barefoot.

1886 Census information: 181 horses, 180 cows, 86 other cattle.

1886 a lengthy report of a sea serpent seen in Chatham harbor during a boating party at which some of Chatham’s most prominent citizens were in attendance.
Captain D.W. Nickerson was at the helm and cried out when his boat appeared to rise in the water. “A marine boa constrictor or sea serpent made his appearance at the weather side…he had a length of about 60 feet, his head was unusually large and differed in color from the rest of the animal.” The Chatham citizens listed included town physician Dr. B. D. Gifford, Captain Joseph Snow and George Nickerson. The final passage of the entry is “The respectability of the party will vouch for the correctness of the above”.

1889 Former President Grover Cleveland came to Chatham.

1891 Joshua A. Buck has traded cows with Marcus Eldridge.

1894 Town Meeting, Article 16: “To see if the Town will pay 25 cents for each crow killed.”

1903 Chatham is considering closing its almshouse. Only two residents.

1907 $30 worth of cigarettes - the total of all cigarettes in Chatham stores - were purchased by Mrs. Jennie Adams of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. The cigarettes were burned in front of Town Hall. “Applause from the crusaders were mingled with sighs from the smokers when the torch was applied.”  

Chatham was a pretty strange place in those days. Pick up Home Song Chatham sometime and learn a bit about it for yourself. I used another source of odd items for just a few more. Mary Ann Gray created a timeline of Chatham during her time with the Atwood House. Some of her best items, beginning with my favorite, are:

1721 Town Ordinance: All married men are required to kill 8 blackbirds and 2 crows. Single men 4 blackbirds and 2 crows. 

1756 Captain Joseph Atwood builds the Atwood House.

1790 Population 1140.

1800 Census: It is estimated that 90% of the residents are related in some way to founder William Nickerson.

1808 First Chatham Light built.

1848 There are 12 District Schools in Chatham including one on Monomoy Island.

1860 Access to Monomoy silted in. Many houses floated back to Chatham.

1892 Chatham schools closed for a week so that students could pick cranberries.

1893 Scallops are now used for food. The cost is 15 cents a bushel. 

1914 The Boston Post gave a cane to the town for its oldest citizen. Only men were eligible.

1917 Women in Chatham were only allowed to vote for the School Committee. 

1920 Land for the Chatham Dump was purchased for $75.

1921 10 working farms in Chatham.

1925 Famed author Sinclair Lewis has a Library Card from Eldredge Public Library.

1931 Passenger service from Chatham is suspended by the railroad.

1942 World War II ration books are issued to Chatham residents.

1946 The Village School is sold to the American Legion for $1.

1947 Still no women on the Jury List for Chatham.

1950 Town laborers now get $1.00 per hour.

Lots of unusual posts in Chatham. So when your friends say “Chatham is not what it used to be”, you should definitely agree with them. It will be your choice to point out these oddities of Chatham’s past. Or not.
© EJH 2022
Christmas Eve on South Beach
~ David MacAdam

Though I’ve lived year-round in the Old Village since 1969, it wasn’t until thirteen years ago that I actually spent a Christmas here. So, when I recently received a request to write something about Christmas in the Old Village, I didn’t have much in the way of memories to draw upon. 
The Beach has been an integral part of Chatham’s Old Village from the beginning. I “retired” in 2009 from my solo adventuring in the back country of northern Canada’s Baffin Island after 40 years. I missed those times of total immersion alone in the silence of nature. To help fill the void I would often walk alone the then South Beach, day/night, summer/winter. My favorite time was evening in the fall, going down with the sun on the outside, and returning on the west side on the tide flats and amongst the salt marshes of the Southway by the last twilight from the rapidly darkening western sky, and sometimes even some moonlight. The experience of being out a few hours in this way was a tiny reminder of being out alone for weeks on end in the eastern Arctic in my younger, more adventuresome days. 
On a seasonally pleasant day before Christmas, I decided to walk South Beach Christmas Eve. To me it was a particularly inviting place to spend a Christmas eve, and there would be good moonlight. I had a very warming dinner of greasy corn beef hash and egg. Less the egg, this was always a favorite last dinner on the land in Baffin before rejoining humanity. I had long ago learned that your body is like a big oil burner and if you put a greasy meal into it, you are toasty warm in the cold for many hours after as the fat burns off. I then donned longjohns, heavy sweater, parka, hat and warm enough beach walking shoes, and set out through a not entirely dark Old Village to Lighthouse Beach.
The sun had long gone as the day was one of the shortest of the year, and the moon had not yet risen. On the beach the lighthouse was at my back and periodically its beam would swing around to light the way ahead for me. It also destroyed my night vision for the times between flashes. The lighting was as disruptive as it was useful. I got mixed up in some dunes a short way out from the lighthouse that I never should have had a problem with. That ended me up on the inside side of the farthest pond where it butted up against dunes, rather than on its flat outer edge. 
Woodcut image by Clare Leighton from her book
Where Land Meets Sea: The Tide Line of Cape Cod © 1954, Rinehart and Company
Once at the harbor entrance the light from the lighthouse beam had dimmed sufficiently that I could begin to see brighter stars, and my night vision began to kick in. Travel quickly grew easier along the open ocean. There, the tide was low, and the sand was frozen firm. Soon the high beach and dunes blocked the lighthouse beam. My night vision improved, and the light-colored sand and breaking waves shone in the starlight. In fact, it seemed the further I went the brighter the scene all became. Though the temperature was below freezing, it was a still night, so I felt no cold. There was but the slightest breath of air out of the west. The clouds of the day had pretty much dissipated with the coming of night. Exercise, proper clothing and of course, a well fueled body, combined to leave me toasty warm. Behind me a Coast Guard boat lit up like a floating city sailed out of the harbor and off to the east.

I moved right along, making good progress. Before long a glow appeared on the northeastern horizon. Soon after, the top edge of a very red moon appeared, casting a bright orange reflection on the sea off-shore. It was close enough to full to provide ample light. It took its time to climb clear of the few clouds lingering on the horizon, and begin to illuminate the sea foam of the small breaking waves close to shore. But when it did, the beach on which I walked became noticeably brighter. As it climbed still higher in the sky its light cooled from red to a frigid silver. 
In time I came to the broad wash-over - a real no man’s land. The tide being near dead low, it was easily crossed. At that time, water only flowed through at higher tide. On the other side, I climbed the highest dune before the isthmus joining South Beach to Monomoy. I wandered about there a bit watching the moon on the unusually calm sea and the even calmer Southway. To the south lay the extensive flat, wind- and storm-swept beaches then making up the southern extremity of South Beach, all bathed in a cold blue light. The air was as still as could be, and, but for the sea, absolute silence reigned supreme. My original goal was the isthmus. That would return me to the wash over an hour and a half later. Thinking ahead, it quickly became obvious that were I to continue, there would be a good chance I would return to water in the wash-over. I had waded at this place on previous walks, and in my Arctic days waded many far bigger, swift and icy glacial rivers, so I didn’t doubt I could have done it. But this was a level of adventure I quickly decided I didn’t feel like taking on, on Christmas Eve. I turned around north and re-crossed the wash-over, hopping a few newly running rivulets, as the sea just began to crest the high beach and return to the wash-over. 
The scene changed with turn around. It always did. The moon was now more in front of me, no longer over my left shoulder and there were more shadows visible in the dunes. I sensed a little discomfort in my right leg and foot with the change in tilt of the beach. I was only six months from a serious bout of sciatica in my right leg.

Woodcut image by Rockwell Kent from his book
N by E © 1930, New York Literary Guild

As I left the wash-over, I noticed the Coast Guard boat returning from the south close to the beach, and heading my way. As it progressed, it swept the beach with its powerful searchlight. I had no desire for an interrogation by the Coast Guard. I was especially in no mood to try to convince them of the legitimacy of my being far out on the beach alone on Christmas Eve. Surely all my attempts at explanation would fail. They would never understand. Fortunately, I had time to take evasive action. Not far north from the wash-over were some tall dunes. I estimated I could reach them walking at a normal pace before the search light reached me. Nonetheless I kept an eye on the beach behind me to monitor the light’s progress. As planned, I reached the dunes with time to spare. From my sheltered spot, I watched the beam sweeping closer and closer as the boat advanced toward me, just off from shore. When the beam was nearly upon me I moved in close to the base of the dune. There I had enough shadow from the light to stand and pace around to keep warm. The dune grass above me blazed in the unnatural light, as did the sand just beyond the dune’s shadow. I imagined the boat stopped right offshore as the northward progress of the sweeping beam stalled for a bit. Or maybe it was just my imagination. In comparison to the cold, silver light of the moon, the light of the searchlight was warm, beckoning like a Great Star in the east. I easily resisted.
Eventually, I sensed the beam moving on up the beach. I waited until I could see it setting the dunes ahead ablaze, but leaving the top of my dune dark but for just the moonlight. I emerged from around the south end of my protective dune to where I could see the progress of the boat, festooned in red, green and yellow lights like a floating Christmas tree, and more importantly, the progress of the sweep of the beam. Both were now far enough along that I felt safe in moving back out to the beach beside the relentless wash of the surf. Once again I was under way in pure, cool moonlight, absolutely alone. This was just one more reason not to have persisted beyond the wash over. There were no dunes to hide behind further down the beach.  
The beach grew steeper and the dunes behind, higher, as I went along. The air seemed cooler, though it could have been that I was simply tiring. The play of the moonlight on the water, and of both on the beach at the water’s edge continued to entertain me all the way to the harbor entrance. I endeavored to stay low on the beach as I approached the harbor entrance to avoid the beam of the lighthouse as it flashed monotonously above me. Sooner or later I’d have to face it, but I was hoping to delay that final bit of my walk as long as possible. In so doing I overshot my turn toward the mainland.
Rockwell Kent Moonlight, Winter, c. 1940 image courtesy wikiart.org
When I finally crested the beach to check my whereabouts, I had to backtrack until I could turn toward the lighthouse on the narrow bit of sand between the harbor entrance and the large brackish pond that was then there. Now the going was downright unpleasant with each sweep of the lighthouse beam temporarily blinding me until the next came around. I pulled my hat down on my forehead as far as possible to shade my eyes, and watched my feet reach out in front of me, first one then the other, monotonously moving me closer to the light. Occasionally I would stop for a moment between light flashes to get my bearings before turning my eyes back to my feet and plodding onward.
The Old Village welcomed me with darkness, a relief with the lighthouse beam now behind me. Christmas Eve was just turning to Christmas morning when I arrived back at my house.  

Historical Society’s Gam Session Recalls Neighborhood’s Working Class Roots
by Edward F. Maroney - Cape Cod Chronicle, May 18, 2000. Reprinted with kind permission. Photos by Edward F. Maroney unless otherwise indicated.

“Gam session” usually refers to groups of fishermen meeting to work on their nets. However, in this case it is Chatham residents at the Atwood House who got together to talk over old times in Chatham. This article, written in 2000, is itself an historical document and great fun to read. Cheers for the old timers in question: Charlotte Forgeron, June James McDonald, Dorothy Chambers, Jane Tuttle Powers and Dan Buckley. ~ Carol Pacun
Hupp Motor Company's 1912 RCH Runabout. Source: Wikipedia
CHATHAM  Once upon a time, the neighborhood from Eldredge’s Garage on Main Street up to the Chatham Light was an enchanted village, where an endless supply of children frolicked on the beach, played hockey with goals backed by fish nets and thought a ride to Harwich on the Hupmobile was a big deal. That was in the 1920s and 30s. Years later, when Village girl Charlotte Forgeron became principal of the town’s elementary school, she could not find a single child there for the bus to pick up.Before that way of life disappeared, it left behind many happy memories that five longtime residents shared at the Chatham Historical Society’s gam session at the Atwood House Museum Sunday.
Charlotte Forgeron
Jane Tuttle Powers
“It was a snug, cozy little world,” Forgeron said.

“The neighborhood was pretty much working class,” said Jane Tuttle Powers. “There were only a few professional folks. Everyone was very close to the land, to the sea, and to God.” “The family’s children loved to hitch their pony Fanny to a sled or a wagon and go swaying down Main Street from the lighthouse. There wasn’t a car in sight,” Powers recalled.

“The village was really a kids’ place” said June James McDonald. “We had for our playground the beach down below Holway Street way down to Morris Island.”

“The current was swift and the undertow very strong,” Dorothy Chambers said. “We played on the beach, but we swam in the Mill Pond. We learned to row and catch horseshoe crabs. They were used to bait eel traps. The boys and girls stopped often at Good Walter Eldredge’s store on the shore, where he would give them an apple and let them listen to the old salty reminiscings.

“There was China Josh and Klondike Frank. They were part of the lore of Chatham.” MacDonald added.

Informality was the order of the day when it came to sports. “We played a lot of hockey in the winter,” Dan Buckley said. “One on one team, twenty on the other. The nets were fish nets. There was running to Monomoy on hunting expeditions on old cars that had been stripped down to four tires, an engine, a steering wheel and a gas tank.”

The outside world sometimes cast shadows on the children’s fun. Powers, the youngest of the speakers, remembering making up songs like this during World War II. “I wish I were a bombardier/I’d drop a bomb on Hitler’s ear.”
June James McDonald
Dan Buckley
Then there was home-grown prejudice to deal with, too. McDonald, whose native American father moved his family from Martha’s Vineyard to Chatham, spoke of that time. “We didn’t know any different until we went to school. Then came the 'N' word.” She remembered that one day members of the local International Order of Red Men asked her father to help make their entry in the 4th of July parade more authentic by wearing Indian garb on their float. They won a prize and asked him again the next year. Then the local chapter asked her father to join, but the national organization rejected him. McDonald said, “He couldn’t be a Red Man because he was too white.”

Once, sitting with one of her brothers at the top of their house to watch for their father’s return. McDonald saw a cross burning on the beach. “There had been an influx of Ku Klux Klan,” she said. “They had decided to come make their case against Catholics in town.” Chatham was spared further embarrassment by the group. “They disbanded,” said McDonald, “’cause their treasurer ran away with all the funds.”

Not a few townspeople turned an occasional profit during Prohibition. One night, McDonald said, her father and her oldest brother Harold were coming back in a little rowboat after having recovered some precious bottles. All of a sudden, they heard the sheriff’s voice from above – “Well, James, by God, good to see you. Go on by.” That was a great relief to Harold, who had bottles stuffed in his boots and under his jacket and had been thinking ‘If I breathe, I’ll clink.”

The village was oh so quiet, McDonald recalled. “You put your children in bed with the chickens and then you could hear people walking. Early in the morning, you could hear oarlocks when people were rowing on Mill Pond.”

Dorothy Chambers made a fitting plea at the end of her reminiscences. “Chatham is and was a fishing village. Please don’t make it suburbia.”
© EJH 2022
The Old Village National Register Historic District: An Appreciation
~ Bill Horrocks

Our beloved Historic District was established two decades ago through the extraordinary efforts of a number of people. Principal among them were Carol and Norm Pacun. The Pacuns worked tirelessly with a local consultant, Candace Jenkins, and officials at the Massachusetts Historical Commission to create the district. Nancy Yeaw, then chair of the Chatham Historical Commission of which Norm Pacun was a member, contributed as well. The District, formally established in 2001, was sponsored by the Old Village Association, Inc. (with Carol Pacun as its first president) and by the Chatham Historical Commission.

The application for approval of the OVNRHD is an expansive document (about 150 pages) with interesting descriptive and historical information as well as maps, photographs, and correspondence, describing the district and its formation. An Historic District is generally a collection of buildings, sites, structures and objects in an area that is important in American history, culture, architecture or archaeology.
Such a district consists of both contributing and non-contributing structures. On Pg [107] it is stated that the boundaries of our district embrace the dense residential portion of the area that is labeled "Old Village" on historic maps of Chatham. The district forms one of the largest and most cohesive clusters of 18th, 19th and early 20th century dwellings on Cape Cod. It lies between Chatham Harbor and Mill Pond and Little Mill Pond with its northwest boundary abutting the Chatham Historic Business District, a separate entity, which is administered by the Town of Chatham.

Until October of 2022 this document was available in Chatham only in the archives of the Atwood Museum and the reference room of the Eldredge Library. It is now digitized at the Internet Archive site.

The Archive's downloadable pdf can be difficult to navigate owing to many blank pages. For this reason an interim, abbreviated Table of Contents is linked here for you to download: Old Village Historic District Table of Contents

There is much more material which is not included in the above Table of Contents. The National Register District Data Sheets start on Pg. [213] where the 205 contributing structures and 98 noncontributing structures are listed on the following sixteen pages each with a name, a street name, an assessors map number and a Massachusetts Historical Commission number (MHC#).

It may be expected that most owners of properties containing contributing structures would want to examine this document. Collected at the end of the document is material related to the provision of information to owners of contributing structures about what restrictions they have and how these restrictions should have minimal impact on the modifications they may make so long as their proposed changes are relatively modest. Documents describing the role of the Cape Cod Commission in the review of certain modifications are quite informative and can be found on pages [295 to 302].

Each property owner knows why he or she values living in the Old Village. The benefits are largely qualitative, involving pride in preserving an historic heritage for future generations and in maintaining the environment as it exists today. If one has to forgo building a larger or taller addition to one's contributing structure this should be viewed as a small price to pay for the privilege of living in a wonderful historic neighborhood. Our Old Village Historic District can only be preserved by maintaining one contributing structure at a time.
A Tribute to Marty Fairbanks
~ Carol Pacun

Marthabelle "Marty" Fairbanks, a beloved Old Village resident, died on September 22nd after a long illness. She was born in Hyannis and spent her childhood on School Street. Her parents, Victor and Constance (Eldredge) Chase were true old-timers, and Marty had inherited both an encyclopedic knowledge of and a love for the “Village”. She and her husband Randy retired to Chatham in 2000 when Marty took on the role of unofficial historian and neighborhood advocate. On her walks with her dog, she was always happy to answer questions about properties and who lived where and when - including, of course, her father and what is now Chase Street. During the summer she extended her route to include Andrew Hardings Lane Beach, where she picked up the bottles and garbage left the night before. 

Marty was a woman of many talents – she taught young children, was a member of the New England Horsemen Council, took part in dog shows, fished, clammed and with Randy, rode through Maine wilderness on a snowmobile. Most of all, she was an important member of our community. Her very presence reminded us of time gone by, how special life in the Old Village was - and could continue to be - in the future.
Remembering William Koerner
~ Jennifer Longworth

The Old Village recently lost a fine friend in Bill Koerner. I first met Bill about a dozen years ago when his wife Nancy enlisted my help with the Old Village News.  Over the years, I began to recognize Bill as a real anchor – for his family, for the Railroad Museum, for our community. 

Like Nancy, he had not just a can-do attitude, but a let’s-get-this-done spirit.
Together they were hosts for our annual Kids For Food drive, drop-ins, yard games and happy socializing. He and Nancy delivered and picked up countless chairs and bowls of delicious punch for the annual wine and cheese gatherings, ensuring everyone who wanted a seat at the Porches would have one.

He had a deep appreciation for history, and for things that survived from the past, whether they were small, like strike-anywhere matches, or massive, like the metropolitan train lines of his youth. He delighted in sharing stories that I continue to treasure, and his feeling for the romance of the old Lackawanna Railroad was something that bolstered me during my commute into Manhattan, passing through the Hoboken Lackawanna Terminal.   

Bill’s solid, friendly presence could easily fill a room, making it feel simultaneously more expansive and yet cozier too. I always loved visiting with him on their porch, or in our kitchen, over coffee. I particularly remember him gleefully recommending holiday concert music he enjoyed while savoring holiday cookies we shared. Time with Bill was always richly rewarding and life affirming. I miss him, but for me his spark will always be part of my Old Village neighborhood.
© EJH 2022
A Favorite Holiday Recipe
~ Lisa Green

For me the Holidays would not be complete without family, friends and food. We have been fortunate to spend many special times in Chatham.  As the the family goes in many directions, a holiday in Chatham has been the magnet that keeps us together. I love to plan holiday menus weeks in advance and enjoy it very much. Usually I do not make the same menu twice. HOWEVER one year (I think in 2009 in Better Homes & Gardens) I came upon this recipe for Persimmon salad and I have included it every year since. The first year we had it at Thanksgiving in Chatham and then I made it for a Christmas open house we were invited to. The persimmons are only available for a short time so each year I look forward to Fall and Persimmons. It is a great side dish for any Fall or Winter meal. Sadly they have deleted the original recipe but luckily I saved a copy. Here it is, with a link for a downloadable copy at the end:

Priscilla’s Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad by Reed Davis
Prep: 20 min. Stand: 30 min. Total 50 min. Yield: 8 (1/4 cup) servings

For a fresh and flavorful salad, toss persimmons, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, olive oil and cilantro in lime juice.


2 limes
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped*
4 ripe Fuyu persimmons, see below**
1 pomegranate, seeded
¼ cup toasted pine nuts, see below***
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup cilantro leaves
cilantro sprigs


Squeeze juice from limes into large bowl. Add jalapeño. Let stand 2 minutes. Meanwhile, trim and discard top and bottoms of persimmons. Thinly slice persimmons. Toss persimmons, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, olive oil and cilantro in lime juice. Season to taste with salt. Let stand 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Top with cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.

*Kitchen note: Hot chile peppers, such as jalapeños, contain oils that may burn your skin and eyes. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If bare hands touch chile peppers, wash well with soap and water.

**Tips: Fuyu persimmons? Fuyu persimmons are a variety of persimmon that has a tomato shape and should be eaten while firm. This firmer texture makes them ideal for slicing and using in salads. Look for Fuyu persimmons that have shiny skins and bright green caps. Avoid those that are soft or bruised. Find them in large supermarkets and Asian food markets October through December.

***To Toast Pine Nuts: heat a skillet over medium heat: add pine nuts. Cook 3 minutes or until toasted, shaking pan frequently. Cool on paper towels.

Vice President:
Winnie Lear
Debbie Aikman
Nancy Koerner
Carol Pacun
Term ending 2023:
Nancy Phelps
Jennifer Longworth
Lisa Edge
Kim Longworth

Term ending 2024:
Winnie Lear
Carol Pacun
Bill Horrocks

Term ending 2025:
Debbie Aikman
Nancy Koerner
David MacAdam
Lisa Green

Calling All Authors And Filmmakers

Have you or has someone you know published a book or produced a film about the Old Village, Chatham or Cape Cod?

Please send us title(s), author/director name, publisher and date, and where to find the book/film locally and online, plus an image.

Part of the Bertie series
by John Hutchinson, 2019 Hummingbird Publishing
Chatham Historic House Signs
Chatham Historic House Signs - houses 100 years or older are eligible for white rectangular signs that summarize the early history of the building, e.g.

Name of first owner
Function of building
The date
Over 670 Chatham houses are eligible for these signs; over 100 are in the Old Village. The information and application are available by clicking here. For street designations in the Old Village visit our webpage.


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Summer parade memory © EJH 2022
Happy Holidays!
Old Village Association
P.O. Box 188, Chatham, MA 02633