Falmouth is a town in Barnstable
County, Massachusetts, United
States; Barnstable County is coextensive with Cape Cod.
population was 32,660 at the 2000 census.Today Falmouth is well
known as the terminal for the Steamship Authority ferries to Martha's
Vineyard and as the
home of several scientific organizations such as the Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution, WHOI, The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and the Woods Hole Research Center,
geographic and demographic information on specific parts of the
town of Falmouth, please see the articles on East
Falmouth, Falmouth Village, North Falmouth, Teaticket, West Falmouth, and Woods Hole.
There are also the villages of Hatchville
and Waquoit, which are not census-designated places
fall within the village of East Falmouth based on postal
was first settled by English colonists in 1660 and was officially
incorporated in 1686, and named by Bartholomew Gosnold for Falmouth,
Cornwall, England, his home
Early principal activities were farming, salt works,
whaling, shipping, and sheep. Sheep
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.
Falmouth saw brief action in the War of
when the area around Falmouth Heights, on its southern
coast, was bombarded by several British frigates
and ships of
, and Massachusetts
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 Base during WWII, population growth increased
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
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 England, and many glacial
erratics are scattered about, dropped by the retreating
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
Bourne and Sandwich to the north, Mashpee to the east, Vineyard
Sound to the south, and Buzzards Bay to the west. At its closest point, Falmouth is
approximately from Nonamesset Island, the easternmost island of the town of Gosnold and the Elizabeth
Islands. It is also approximately 3-1/3 miles
north-northwest of Martha's Vineyard, the closest land to the island.
is approximately fourteen miles south of the Bourne Bridge, twenty miles (32 km) west of Barnstable, and seventy miles south-southeast of Boston.
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
), 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
Falmouth's main route is Route
, 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.
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 Mashpee (where it ends in a junction with 28).
Falmouth is also home to
The Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship
. Daily ferry service brings tourists,
residents and businesses alike from the mainland to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.
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
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 capecodonline.com 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 Providence and Boston's South Station. The Middleborough/Lakeville and Kingston/Route 3 stations of the MBTA's commuter rail system provide the closest
service to Boston.
a private air park in East Falmouth, and the nearest national and
international air service can be reached at Logan
International Airport in Boston.
There is a regional airport in
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
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
, 0.02% Pacific Islander
, 1.44% from
, and 1.91%
from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 1.28% of the
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
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
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
, and is currently represented by
. The state's sole U.S.
senator is John Kerry (the other seat is vacant after the death of
Falmouth is governed by the representative town meeting
of government, led by a board of
. 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
, 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
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
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
(FEF), and the Woods Hole Science
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
in Bourne free of charge, or Sturgis Charter
Public School in Hyannis, also free of charge, pending academic
Sports and Recreation
The Falmouth Commodores
Cape Cod Baseball League
play at Arnie Allen Diamond at Guv Fuller Field from mid-June to
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
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.
football and cheerleading is
for children aged 7 to 13. All Falmouth players will be on the
The Falmouth Skatepark
skateboarders,BMXers,and rollerbladers can do their thing.