Take one guess at what village has the most land in all of Falmouth?
It’s Hatchville! One of the most beautiful, diverse and wild areas of the entire Upper Cape. For many visitors, Hatchville is your first taste of Falmouth, and most don’t even know it! Ever noticed those dense woods as you’re driving along the highway portion of Route 28? Hatchville. Noticed the wild looking scenery off to your left if you’re driving up Route 151 into Mashpee? Hatchville (or the base). Driven down South Sandwich Road as a shortcut to downtown? Hatchville. The dense forests and picturesque ponds make up a neighborhood unlike any other on the Upper Cape.
Historically, Hatchville has been a mishmash of farmland, residential neighborhoods and largely undeveloped low-lying plains. Much of the land was owned by the Crane family as the Coonamessett Ranch Company, which at one point comprised over 14,000 acres making it the largest land holding east of the Mississippi. It was later transformed into several different operations and uses including the Coonamessett Inn (since relocated to Gifford Street), Coonamessett Farm, various conservation tracts including the Francis Crane Wildlife Reserve and a sizable chunk of the military base. If you want to read more about the fascinating and strange history of the Coonamessett Ranch Company, Coonamessetfarm.com has some great resources. These days, this heritage is evident in the working 20 acre Coonamessett Farm, some small cranberry bogs and some striking properties set on former farmland. Much of the area has been preserved in the form of the Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary, the Francis Crane Wildlife Reserve and some of the woodier areas of Joint Base Cape Cod. Perhaps our website sums it up best: “This relatively obscure village contains some of Falmouth’s most beautiful terrain.”
While the long distances between homes and neighborhoods and the woodlands, ponds and hiking trails might turn off some of the more cosmopolitan or beach-focused Cape Cod homebuyers, Hatchville is a veritable paradise for the outdoorsy types or those that want some peace and quiet. Thanks to forward thinking preservationists on the local Falmouth and state levels, much of the land in Hatchville was taken into trust in the 1970s and 80s and will most likely never be developed. The seemingly endless terrain in the Crane wildlife management area is a favorite of ours (though don’t go during the hunting season!), as are the countless acres surrounding Coonamessett Pond, one of the largest and prettiest coastal ponds on the Cape.
If you’re interested in moving to the area, we recommend taking a day to explore Hatchville’s endless network of trails and ponds. You’re also likely to find a lot of older homes in this neighborhood, as development has been largely restricted in this part of town. There are plenty of antique homesteads that blend rustic country charm with distant views of Buzzards Bay, and some even have quick access to Route 28. Drop us a line if you’d like to talk to a knowledgeable neighborhood professional!