At the Cape Cod celebration of 1839, a Harvard professor stated, "The duck does not take to water with a surer instinct than the Barnstable boy . . . It is but bound from the mother's lap to the masthead." These prophetic comments were realized most profoundly in Centerville, which originally derived its strength from a strong maritime economy. One of seven villages in the town of Barnstable on Cape Cod, Centerville has a history that is tied in with much of New England. Yet, it remains highly unique, as it was shaped by entrepreneurs and rugged individualists, who weathered not only dramatic economic and cultural changes but also natural disasters.
Centerville will guide you through the village's picturesque winding rivers, salt marshes, and canopied dirt roads, where you will discover "the Barracks," the well-known home of Civil War veteran A.D. Ayling. You will explore the gardens that Frederick Law Olmstead designed for "Fernbrook," the church where Caroline Kennedy was married, and the site of the village's legendary speakeasy. Centerville will introduce you to James Delap Kelley, one of one hundred five sea captains who lived in Centerville; renowned composer Amy Beach; and sea captain Russell Marston, who left the coastal trade to become a famed Boston restaurateur.
About the Author
Author Britt Steen Zuniga has worked in museums for over ten years and has spent the last three years as director of the Centerville Historical Museum, studying the history, people, and artifacts of Centerville. A member of the Cape & Islands Historical Association, the Bay State Historical League, and the New England Museum Association, she has written for American National Biography and the National Portrait Gallery, London.