/bahrn"steuh beuhl/, n.
a city in SE Massachusetts. 30,898.

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      city, Barnstable county, southeastern Massachusetts, U.S. It is situated between Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound, on the “biceps” of Cape Cod (Cod, Cape). It was settled in 1638 by farmers who were attracted to the site by salt hay found in the surrounding marshes, and in 1685 it was designated the county seat. During the 18th century, Barnstable was a thriving port for the New England molasses and rum trade. Since 1900 its economy has depended on summer tourism supplemented by fishing, oyster culture, and cranberry farming.

      Seven villages make up the city, including Hyannis, which is the main business centre and the site of the Kennedy family compound at Hyannis Port (Hyannisport) as well as the John F. Kennedy (Kennedy, John F.) Hyannis Museum. The other villages are West Barnstable, Osterville, Marstons Mills, Cotuit, Canterville, and Barnstable Village. The city is the site of the Sturgis Library (1867), the Crocker Tavern (1754, now a museum), and the Donald G. Trayser Memorial Museum (Old Customs House, built in 1856). The West Parish Meeting House (1717) and Cape Cod Community College (1961) are in West Barnstable. Barnstable was the birthplace of the political activist James Otis, Jr. (Otis, James), and the 19th-century jurist Lemuel Shaw. Ferries and airplane flights connect Hyannis to the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Inc. town, 1639; city, 1989. Pop. (1990) city, 40,949; Barnstable-Yarmouth MSA, 134,954; (2000) city, 47,821; Barnstable-Yarmouth MSA, 162,582.

      county, southeastern Massachusetts, U.S. It is bounded by Cape Cod Bay to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Nantucket Sound to the south, Vineyard Sound to the southwest, and Buzzards Bay to the west. The county comprises the whole of Cape Cod (Cod, Cape) and its satellite islands, including a band of territory northwest of Cape Cod Canal (completed 1914). This coastal lowland has many lakes and streams, notably the Herring and Mashpee rivers. Parklands include Cape Cod National Seashore, Scusset Beach State Reservation, Shawme-Crowell State Forest, and Washburn Island, as well as Hawksnest, Nickerson, and South Cape Beach state parks.

      The area is known for its lighthouses, windmills, and early American architecture. The principal towns are Barnstable (the county seat), Yarmouth, Falmouth, and Sandwich (the county's first European settlement; 1637). Woods Hole, at the southwestern tip of the cape, is the home of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Marine Biological Laboratory. In November 1620, before landing at Plymouth, the Pilgrims (Pilgrim Fathers) sheltered at what is now Provincetown, where they signed the Mayflower Compact. The main Indian inhabitants were the Nausets (Nauset) and Wampanoags (Wampanoag). Mashpee is the site of the Indian Meeting House (1684), one of the first Indian missionary churches in the eastern United States. The county was created from Plymouth colony in June 1685 and named for Barnstable, Eng.

      The coastal resort communities support a thriving tourist industry. Area 396 square miles (1,025 square km). Pop. (2000) 222,230; (2007 est.) 222,175.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Barnstable — town, SE Massachusetts 02630; pop. 30,898 …   Webster's Gazetteer