YOUR GENIAL HOST - Jim Gould
greets history-walkers at the Marstons Mills library.
Jim Gould fills in Mills history
is a history keeper.
With meticulous research over years he
knows stories of the past: what is here still, what is not here, save in memory.
Now in his 80s, Gould is a former professor, author, and the village historian for Cotuit .
told a group of 30 walkers (most of whom he
can still outpace) who met at the Marstons Mills village library April 30 that the first library for Cotuit
and Marstons Mills stood where the Regatta restaurant is on Route 28.
For a time books for the Mills itself were stored in a sea chest in the local Methodist church.
A wren sung (protesting?) as Gould
described how the survivors lived on birds and eggs, with very little water, on an island before being saved, while others of the crew went on towards Chile, and in fact ended up cannibalizing each other.
Wood smoke lingered near an unpresuming house on Main Street, once occupied by a seaman who crewed a vessel with $8,000 (a huge sum in those days) worth of sugar.
In 1861, the vessel was impounded by Southern privateers and taken into CapeHatteras, the men imprisoned and the boat sunk to block the harbor.
Passing the Josiah Hamblin house, plain Greek Revival with a hint of Victorian, Gould
pointed to a locust (as with many on the street) almost three feet in circumference, noting that a fragrant Balm of Gilead and the town's biggest elm tree once grew on the sloped yard.
Walking down the street to the Mill pond itself, near Route 28, Gould
pointed to a marker memorializing a Crocker shot down in World War II.
There a fish house stood, where hundreds of barrels of herring were packed.
said, pass many feet under the road now, and though they are doing well this year - various alternate routes were constructed for them in the cranberry era, which took them uphill and down dale toward the sea - Gould
said perhaps herring don't like to go uphill and that (along with clogging) may be why the "new" routes had only intermittent success.