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The IPA Blog

The "Oracle of Barnstable Village" on the history of our herring runs.

This week we lost an incredible local historian, Jim Gould, co-author of the Images of America’s books on Marstons Mills, Cotuit and Santuit. Jim was a prolific contributor to Marstons Mills Historical Society, and kept a blog on local history, including various articles on the herring runs and fisheries.

As we ready for the 2021 Herring Count, here are a few of Jim's posts about the history of the herring runs, and the “ruin of the fishery” by the creation the berry bogs.

As Jim tells it “ cranberries and milling don’t mix” . In 1874, Nathanial Hinckley, owner of the local fulling and grist mills, “began a decade-long fight to stop upstream growers from reducing flow to his grist mill or suddenly releasing a flood. His suit against Samuel Nickerson of Cotuit, the financier of the big bogs in Newtown was lost in the highest court. In 1882 he asked the town for damages for A. D. Makepeace’s injury to his grist mill and ruin of manufacturing. The town awarded him $200, which he refused, and shut down the mill for a while, insisting on right of further suits.”

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