August 1 - 1990: Where Peter Rabbit romped on Cape Cod

1818: Maria Mitchell, American astronomer, born today on Nantucket
There is not another New England village scene any lovelier than this one entering Sandwich along Shawme Pond. CapeCodToday.com photo.

1990: The Tom Sawyer of the animal world

New York Times extols Sandwich and its famous varmint

This week in 1990, the New York Times wrote a glowing report on our oldest town;

The traveler heading north on Water Street in Sandwich, Mass., will encounter a scene that conjures up the archetypal New England village. As the road winds toward the center of Cape Cod's first settled town (1637), it passes several 17th- and 18th-century buildings on the shores of tranquil, wooded Shawme Pond where mute swans, geese and ducks often conduct their stately rounds.

First comes a dark-stained saltbox with a long sloping roof - the Hoxie House (about 1670) reputed to be the Cape's oldest - then a gray-shingled, white-trimmed Colonial house almost at the water's edge. Next is Dexter's Grist Mill (built 1690, rebuilt 1961), still grinding corn, and across the street, the classic white First Church of Christ with its slim, airy spire.

If you approach the Colonial house on the pond, you will be greeted by a signboard saying Thornton W. Burgess Museum and decorated with a white rabbit wearing patched blue overalls and carrying a walking stick, strolling down a shady lane. This Tom Sawyer of the animal world and the name of his originator strike a chord for innumerable Americans who grew up before 1960. In his day, Thornton W. Burgess - creator of the American version of Peter Rabbit and his animal friends in the Dear Old Briar Patch, the Smiling Pool, the Green Meadow and the Laughing Brook - was one of the world's best-selling and best-loved authors.

Read the full article in the New York Times here.

1818: Maria Mitchell, American astronomer, born today on Nantucket

Discoverer of "Miss Mitchell's Comet"

Maria Mitchell was an American astronomer, who in 1847, by using a telescope, discovered a comet which as a result became known as "Miss Mitchell's Comet".

She won a gold medal prize for her discovery which was presented to her by King Frederick VII of Denmark. The medal said “Not in vain do we watch the setting and rising of the stars”. Mitchell was the first American woman to work as a professional astronomer.

She discovered "Miss Mitchell's Comet"(Comet 1847 VI, modern designation is C/1847 T1) on October 1 of 1847.

Read about her here. Visit the Maria Mitchell Association's website here.


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