(photo credit Tom Leach, September 2004)

Round Cove, Pleasant Bay, Harwich, Massachusetts

Round cove, or Short cove, as it is called in old records, lies northward of Muddy cove (Monomoy River), on the west side of Pleasant bay. It is now a haven for boats. On the west bank was the boundary between the Quasons and Sipsons (native Americans), and the site of the wetu of Isaac James, an Indian of note. Many springs of water are found around the cove. The Indians called the locality north of it Wequaset. The first white settler near the cove was Thomas Freeman. The house of the late W. S. Eldridge marks the site. The last salt works in the town stood on the banks of the cove. About one-third of a mile in a westerly direction, on high ground covered with a growth of young oaks, is the burying ground of the Indians who resided in the vicinity. A few years since the writer was shown several places where tradition says Indians were buried. Isaac James and most of his family found resting places here, it is reported. Some of the graves were marked with small bowlders, well sunk into the earth. Mr. James was a good citizen, and was much respected by all who knew him. He had several children, but he survived them all.

W. Sears Nickerson reported "In my grandfather's (Warren Nickerson) day Round Cove was the center of busy community activity. Besides his MORNING STAR tied up between trips at his wharf on the north side (of the Cove shore near the hotel line today), there were Sam Eldredge's saltworks at cove run (the channel), the hay field just north of Issac Jeems'sWigwam, and the gristmill of Elnathan the Miller over on Mill Hill (location of the main Inn). All these industries were vital to the village in that period. Not the least was grandfather's little fifty to "corn-cracker", in which he carried out the salt, corn, codfish and whateverhis neighbors produced, to barter for iron-ware, sugar, spices, rum, and tobacco in the coastal marts from Bangor to New York."

Jackknife Harbor at the entrance to Muddy Creek or Monomoy River was once known as Muddy cove, or Long cove, lies partly in this town. The center of it from the place called the "Eel Weir " to its mouth at Pleasant bay, is the boundary between Harwich and Chatham. In length it is more than a mile. In many places it is narrow and shallow. Some marsh borders the cove on both sides, which is covered at very high tides. Across the mouth of the inlet is the Wading Place bridge, which connects the two towns. In former times, when the Indians were numerous, they forded the river here, in their passage from one town to the other. Near the boundary stone where the tide gate has been put in, is the site of an eel weir of the Indians. At this point the river hugs the upland closely. On the west side of the cove, near the house of Hiram Nickerson, is the site of the house of captain Joseph Nickerson, the first white settler, so far as is known, in this part of the town, and near by, to the northward, the site of the house of William Long, the ancestor of the Long family of Harwich. Joshua Jethro, a Christian Indian, lived for many years, after the beginning of the eighteenth century, a short distance northwesterly from the mouth, upon the farm purchased of the Quasons, and after him Micah Ralph, the last Indian of pure blood in Harwich. from Deyo's History of Barnstable County published 1890, (page 829) from Paine's History of Harwich, Mass published 1937, (pages 6,7,56,78,91,108)

This webpage under development by Tom Leach, Harwich. Mass.