Wareham was discovered in 1603 by Bartholomew Gosnold, an Englishman who sailed across the North Atlantic Ocean to explore the East Coast of North America. Gosnold named Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, the Elizabethan Islands, Cuttyhunk and Agawam—better known as Wareham—as well as other local towns.
In 1666, local tribes sold Agawam to the Plymouth Colony for grazing lands. The tribes did not realize the full extent of what they had signed; the sale gave the Pilgrims exclusive rights to Agawam.
Early on, the residents recognized the importance of herring. Even in Colonial times, strict rules were set for how many herring could be caught. Because herring was a necessity of life, catching and preserving the fish became a family affair. Oysters were another greatly sought after food found in the local waters.
Bog ore was discovered while digging in the fields. This ore proved useful for making nails, farm implements and ironware. Many homesteads set up furnaces and forges so that they could process the ore. During the processing, it was discovered that if charcoal was burned instead of wood, the fire would be hotter and the ore would then harden and turn to steel. This steel could be used to make stronger nails. In 1819, the first cut-nail factory in the region was started; many other nail companies soon followed. Only one nail company is still in existence: The Tremont Nail Company holds the distinction of owning one of the oldest operating industrial buildings in America. Realizing it’s historical significance, the town has purchased the property in order to ensure its preservation.
Overlooking the calm waters of Buzzards Bay is the picturesque seaside village of Onset. Once a favored destination for Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey and Cab Calloway, the village continues its fondness for the Blues with it’s Annual Onset Blues Festival held each August. Today, Onset is a burgeoning vacation destination again, with the resurgence of newly renovated Victorian mansions and cottages that line the sandy crescent-shaped beach.
Wareham offers an exceptional location within easy distance to the Boston and Providence metropolitan areas. All the tourist amenities of the Cape Cod area are available in Wareham. The town has over 54 miles of coastline enhanced by beaches, estuaries, rivers and communities.