Harwich, Massachusetts

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Harwich is a town on Cape Cod, in Barnstable County in the state of Massachusetts in the United States. Barnstable County is coextensive with Cape Cod. The town is a popular vacation spot, located near the Cape Cod National Seashore. Harwich's beaches are on "the Sound side" of Cape Cod; the shores that face Nantucket Sound. Harwich has three active harbors. Saquatucket, Wychmere and Allen Harbors are all in Harwich Port. The town of Harwich includes the villages of Pleasant Lake, West Harwich, East Harwich, Harwich Port, Harwich Center, North Harwich and South Harwich.

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History

Harwich was first settled in 1670 as part of Yarmouth. The town was officially incorporated in 1694, and originally included the lands of the current town of Brewster. Early industry involved fishing and farming. The town is considered by some to be the birthplace of the cranberry industry, with the first commercial operation opened in 1846. There are still many bogs in the town, although the economy is now more centered on tourism and as a residential community. The town is also the site of the start/finish line of the "Sail Around the Cape," which rounds the Cape counter-clockwise, returning via the Cape Cod Canal.[1]

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