About This Place
Chatham is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States, Barnstable County being coextensive with Cape Cod. The population was 6,625 at the 2000 census. Chatham is home to the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, located on Monomoy, and to Monomoy Theatre.
For geographic and demographic information on specific parts of the town of Chatham, please see the articles on Chatham (CDP) and West Chatham.
Native American tribes who lived in the area before European colonization include the Nauset, specifically the Manomoy or Monomoy people. "Manamoyik" was a Nauset village located near present-day Chatham. Explorer Samuel de Champlain landed here in 1606, contacting (and skirmishing with) the Nauset. English settlers first settled in Chatham in 1665, and the town was incorporated in 1712, naming it after Chatham, Kent, England. Located at the "elbow" of Cape Cod, the community became a shipping, fishing, and whaling center. Chatham's early prosperity would leave it with a considerable number of 18th century buildings, whose charm helped it develop into a popular summer resort.