As oceanfront living becomes accessible only to the wealthy, a funky little neighborhood in Harwich remains attractive to the masses.
The "Campgrounds", formally carved out at the turn of the last century as the Ocean Grove Campgrounds, brought people to the shores of Nantucket Sound for a series of summertime religious revival meetings in the early 20th century. In the early years, believers camped out in tents however rainy weather no doubt prompted the construction of wooden platforms for the tents. These eventually sprouted dozens of tiny stick-style cottages of 200 to 500 square feet which remain today.
100 years later, the original architectural lines are still visible within second stories and small additions, but Campgrounds cottages attract people who don't mind crowding in with those they love. Conversations can be heard across three or four houses, so what happens at the Campgrounds, stays at the Campgrounds, as the familiar sales pitch goes.
The Memorial Day holiday weekend recently brought returning families together for an annual pot-luck picnic. A very young child, perhaps no older than 7, circled the block on his pint-sized motorized car with another very young friend who pushed himself along on a scooter. As the children disappeared from one set of eyes on a porch, they were picked up by another next door, and so on and so on.
Retirees strolled to the homes of other retirees and they caught up on news about grandchildren while planting flowers and laying fragrant cedar mulch . Teenagers walked the streets home from the beach in nothing more than a bathing suit. No shoes, no shirts-- no problem at the Campgrounds!
That is the Harwich Ocean Grove Campgrounds, a special place so close to the sea. There are currently three homes for sale in the neighborhood, one of them can be seen here.
And for a "commute" to the beach from that home, enjoy the walk below.