Chatham, one of the older townships of Cape Cod, was settled in 1656 by a handful
of Pilgrims, whose surnames still dominate the town's census list. The town was incorporated
in 1712. Originally a farming community, its inhabitants found deep sea fishing more
lucrative, and today small boat deep sea fishing is an important source of the town's
revenue. Covering an area of approximately seventeen square miles, Chatham is a happy
combination of past and present: old fashioned and picturesque, yet affording the
best in modern facilities. The town operates under the town meeting form of government.
The executive officers are a board of five part-time selectmen and an executive secretary.
Once a year, the citizens meet to discuss articles in a town warrant and pass or
reject them. Most funds spent by the town are voted at this meeting. The citizens
of Chatham enjoy the special benefits of forward-looking zoning and current planning,
and of both public and private conservation efforts. Warm summer days with cool summer
nights, beautiful warm indian summers, and relatively mild winters make Chatham a
comfortable place in which to live year-round or vacation. (Derived from various
state and town sources*)
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