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Falmouth is a town in Barnstable Countymarker, Massachusettsmarker, United Statesmarker; Barnstable County is coextensive with Cape Codmarker. The population was 32,660 at the 2000 census.Today Falmouth is well known as the terminal for the Steamship Authority ferries to Martha's Vineyardmarker and as the home of several scientific organizations such as the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutionmarker, WHOI, The Marine Biological Laboratorymarker (MBL) and the Woods Hole Research Center, WHRC.

For geographic and demographic information on specific parts of the town of Falmouth, please see the articles on East Falmouthmarker, Falmouth Villagemarker, North Falmouthmarker, Teaticketmarker, West Falmouthmarker, and Woods Holemarker. There are also the villages of Hatchville and Waquoit, which are not census-designated places and both fall within the village of East Falmouth based on postal service.


Falmouth was first settled by English colonists in 1660 and was officially incorporated in 1686, and named by Bartholomew Gosnold for Falmouth, Cornwallmarker, Englandmarker, his home port. Early principal activities were farming, salt works, whaling, shipping, and sheep. Sheep husbandry was very popular due to the introduction of Merino sheep and the beginnings of water-powered mills that could process the wool. In 1837, Falmouth averaged about 50 sheep per sq. mile.

Falmouth saw brief action in the War of 1812 when the area around Falmouth Heights, on its southern coast, was bombarded by several British frigates and ships of the line, and Massachusetts militia hastily entrenched themselves on the beaches to repulse a possible British landing which never came. By 1872 the train had come to Falmouth and Woods Hole and some of the first summer homes were established. By the late 1800s cranberries were being cultivated and strawberries were being raised for the Boston market. Large scale dairying was tried in the early 1900s in interior regions. After the improvement in highways, and thanks in part to the heavy use of neighboring Otis Air National Guard Basemarker during WWII, population growth increased significantly. There were large home building booms in the 1970s followed by others in the 1980s and 1990s.

It is the birthplace in 1859 of Katharine Lee Bates, author, poet, and lyricist of America the Beautiful.

Robert Manry sailed from Falmouth in 1965 aboard his 13.5 foot (4 m) sailboat reaching Falmouth, England 78 days later.


Juniper Point, the eastern point of Woods Hole in Falmouth.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of , of which, of it is land and of it (18.70%) is water. Most of Falmouth, like the rest of Cape Cod, sits on glacial sands composed of glacial outwash and moraine deposits. However the soil in the southern part of the town is more rocky and dense, like the rest of New Englandmarker, and many glacial erratics are scattered about, dropped by the retreating glaciers. The climate is temperate marine. There is no exposed bedrock. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year and averages per month.

Falmouth lies on the southwestern tip of Cape Cod. It is bordered by Bournemarker and Sandwichmarker to the north, Mashpeemarker to the east, Vineyard Sound to the south, and Buzzards Baymarker to the west. At its closest point, Falmouth is approximately from Nonamesset Islandmarker, the easternmost island of the town of Gosnoldmarker and the Elizabeth Islands. It is also approximately 3-1/3 miles north-northwest of Martha's Vineyardmarker, the closest land to the island. Falmouth is approximately fourteen miles south of the Bourne Bridgemarker, twenty miles (32 km) west of Barnstablemarker, and seventy miles south-southeast of Bostonmarker.

Falmouth's topography is similar to the rest of Cape Cod's, with many small ponds, creeks and inlets surrounded by the pines and oaks of the Cape and often rocky beachfront. Falmouth's southern shore is notable for a series of ponds and rivers spaced very closely together, all of which travel some distance into the town. These include, from west to east, Falmouth Inner Harbor, Little Pond, Great Pond (which leads to the Dexter and Coonamessett Rivers), Green Pond, Bourne's Pond, Eel Pond (which leads to Childs River), and Waquoit Bay, which lies along the Mashpee town line. The Buzzards Bay side of the town is similar, with the largest inlet being Megansett Cove along the Bourne town line.


Falmouth's main route is Route 28, which arcs through the town from the northwest corner to the southeast. From the Bourne town line until just south of its junction with Route 28A (which until that point runs parallel), Route 28 is a divided, limited-access highway. For the rest of its distance, it is a surface road, snaking its way through the town. As it is one of the two major east-west routes on the Cape, Route 28 is extremely busy. However, due to its passage through congested and built-up parts of town, it would be extremely challenging to widen the route.

Also important is Route 151, which runs from a point near the northwest corner of the town (where it connects with 28, which is still limited-access), and follows just south of the town line until crossing the eastern line into Mashpeemarker (where it ends in a junction with 28).

Falmouth is also home to The Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority. Daily ferry service brings tourists, residents and businesses alike from the mainland to Nantucketmarker and Martha's Vineyardmarker. It is the main ferry line between the Vineyard and the mainland (as Nantucket is further west, its main line leaves Hyannis).

The Massachusetts Coastal Railroad provides rail freight service to North Falmouth, where a spur runs into Otis Air Base to serve a trash transfer station. Also, as of a June 25, 2009 article, the company plans to re-extend passenger railroad service to the town, complete with dinner and tourist trains, though this will also be only in North Falmouth, due to the fact that the other 8 miles of railroad track had been replaced with the current Shining Sea Bikeway. On November 21, 2009, North Falmouth saw its first passenger train in at least 12 years. The nearest inter-city (Amtrak) passenger rail stations are Providencemarker and Boston's South Stationmarker. The Middleborough/Lakevillemarker and Kingston/Route 3marker stations of the MBTA's commuter rail system provide the closest service to Boston.

There is a private air park in East Falmouth, and the nearest national and international air service can be reached at Logan International Airportmarker in Boston. There is a regional airport in nearby Hyannis.


As of the census of 2000, there were 32,660 people, 13,859 households, and 8,980 families residing in the town. The population density was . There were 20,055 housing units at an average density of . The racial makeup of the town was 93.39% White, 1.82% Black or African American, 0.51% Native American, 0.92% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 1.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.28% of the population.

There were 13,859 households out of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the town the population was spread out with 20.7% under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 27.5% from 45 to 64, and 22.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 87.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.9 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $48,191, and the median income for a family was $57,422. Males had a median income of $41,797 versus $28,867 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,548. About 4.5% of families and 6.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.8% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.


Falmouth is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of two districts, the Third Barnstable (which also includes portions of Barnstable, Bourne and Mashpee), and the Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket District, which includes all of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Plymouth and Barnstable district, which includes Bourne, Kingston, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Sandwich and portions of Barnstable. The town is patrolled by the Seventh (Bourne) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.

On the national level, Falmouth is a part of Massachusetts's 10th congressional district, and is currently represented by Bill Delahunt. The state's sole U.S. senator is John Kerry (the other seat is vacant after the death of Ted Kennedy)

Falmouth is governed by the representative town meeting form of government, led by a board of selectmen. The town operates its own police and fire departments, with a central police station and five fire stations. The town's central library, recently reopened after renovations, is located downtown, and there are also four branches located throughout town. There are seven post offices in town for the seven ZIP codes, although several overlap and the main office handles the majority of the work. Falmouth is also the site of Falmouth Hospital, which serves the Upper Cape region.


Falmouth's public school system serves about 4,500 students yearly. There are four schools, East Falmouth, Mullen-Hall, North Falmouth, and Teaticket, which serve the elementary school population, from pre-kindergarten to fourth grade. The Morse Pond Middle School serves grades five and six, while the Lawrence Junior High School serves grades seven and eight. Falmouth High School covers grades 9-12. (Prior to 1974 the 9-12 grades were in the Lawrence building and known as Lawrence High School.) FHS's athletics teams are nicknamed the Clippers, and their colors are maroon and white. They compete in the Atlantic Coast League, having moved recently from the Old Colony League. Their chief rival is nearby Barnstable High School. The public schools are supported in part by the Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS), various PTO associations, the Falmouth Scholarship Association, the newly created Falmouth Education Foundation(FEF), and the Woods Hole Science Technology Partnership.

Falmouth is also the home of two private schools: Falmouth Academy, a private school which serves grades 7 through 12; and Heritage Christian Academy, a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school which is affiliated with the Assemblies of God. Falmouth high school students may also choose to attend the Upper Cape Regional Technical School in Bourne free of charge, or Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis, also free of charge, pending academic acceptance.

Sports and Recreation

The Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League play at Arnie Allen Diamond at Guv Fuller Field from mid-June to early August.

Falmouth is the home of its namesake Falmouth Road Race, an annual race started in 1973 that draws over 10,000 runners from all over the world.

The Falmouth High School football team is very popular among residents. In 2003, the team surged back to relevance with an 8-3 record culminated with a win over Thanksgiving rival Barnstable after a 7 year losing streak. The 2004 team had even greater success as it went 9-1 and posted 8 shutouts. They defeated Barnstable 7-0 on Thanksgiving. Since the 2004 team, the Clippers, as they are known, have had mixed success. They had traded wins with Barnstable for the last 4 years, and the Thanksgiving series currently stands at 39-39-8.

Lawrence Jr. High also has a variety of sports like football, field hockey, and basketball.All teams are called The Bulldogs

Falmouth is also home to The College Light Opera Company, which performs 9 shows every summer at the historic Highfield Theatre. Productions began in 1969 and have become a staple of the Falmouth Summer Season.

Pop Warner football and cheerleading is for children aged 7 to 13. All Falmouth players will be on the Falmouth Hurricanes.

The Falmouth Skatepark is where skateboarders,BMXers,and rollerbladers can do their thing.

Notable residents


External links

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