Bird's-eye view of the village of Hyannis, Barnstable County, Mass

Author: Poole, A. F.
Publisher: Poole, A. F.
Date: 1884
Location: Barnstable County (Mass.), Hyannis (Mass.)

Dimensions: 39.0 x 59.0 cm.
Scale: Scale not given
Call Number: G3764.H9A3 1884 .P66


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Using an unorthodox perspective for a coastal location, the artist viewed this small Cape Cod village from the inland looking south, rather than from the ocean facing north, as would be anticipated. Interestingly, the Old Colony Railroad cuts through the middle of the view, with three of its facilities (Car Shops, Depot, and Wharf) prominently identified.

This purposeful shift in perspective and focus was a symbolic means of showing the economic changes that were occurring in this and other Cape Cod communities during the last half of the 19th century. While fishing and maritime activities continued to be important, these communities were becoming fashionable summer retreats for wealthy citizens of Boston, Providence, and other inland New England towns.

Hyannis is the largest of the seven villages in the town of Barnstable. Incorporated in 1639, the town straddles the bicep of Cape Cod. The early settlers of this area were farmers, but during the 18th and 19th century, the towns inhabitants supported themselves primarily by maritime activities.

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