As it has been since 1740, the harbor is the heart and soul of Mattapoisett. Between 1740 and 1878 over 350 ships were built here. Many of them were whalers that roamed far and wide across the world's oceans bringing back wealth and tales of the sea.
In 1840 one such whaler, "Acushnet", carried as crew a man named Herman Melville, who later wrote Typee, Mardi, Redburn and Moby Dick, inspired by his time in the Marquesas and aboard ship.
The harbor is still where the residents gather for holiday concerts, ice cream cones, and local gossip.
The harbor is where boats are outfitted for the season, gear is ferried back and forth, and the Harbormaster welcomes visitors.
In town the peaceful streets are shaded by old maple trees and filled with beautiful little Cape Cod cottages. The houses are surrounded by white picket fences, hydrangeas, and honeysuckle. Garden furniture is placed just so to catch the breeze and the view down to the harbor.
The town was charming and we enjoyed seeing it, but we soon made our way back to the harbor because that's where all the action was. We had an ice cream cone and enjoyed the show, because really, the focus of Mattapoisett is on the harbor, just as it has been for over 250 years.