Brewster has a rich and varied history which dates to the arrival of the first settlers from Sandwich in the mid 17th century. Literally alone in the wilderness, surrounded by fierce elements of wind and sea, they built sturdy houses and mills by which they earned a living and gradually building a town. To these inventive and energetic families is credited one of the earliest "factory villages" in America. Also here are salt boxes, over a score of Sea Captain's Houses, an 18th century windmill, church yards and historical settings of every description from an Indian rock to a packet landing.
Main street (Route 6A) was laid out in 1665. The original Old King's Highway followed the route of the present day Stony Brook Rd. A trip down Stony Brook will take you past Old Cemeteries, antique homes,the Brewster Grist mill and Herring run. In 1848 the current road footprint was established between Lower road (Lobster Lane) and Stony Brook road In the 1800's packet ships regularly sailed across the bay to Boston with cargo from the local saltworks as well as flax and onions. The town's men who had reputations as skilled sailors, proudly skippered Brewster's boats. The beach at Breakwater Lane was the center of maritime activity in the 1800's with docking facilities and wharf. A walk along the shore was not always so peaceful and relaxing,though. In the late 1700's and 1800's, making salt from sea water by solar evaporaton was big business in Brewster. in 1837 there were 60 salt works on the beaches. Small windmills pumped water into a succession of large vats. Later on when salt was readily available the slat works were torn down and reused in buildings standing today. During prohibition walkers on the shores would find cases of alcohol tossed overboard by rumrunners.The arrival in 1864 of the Cape Cod Railroad meant and end to the packet ship runs between Boston and Brewster, while the railroads path has now become the Cape Cod Rail Trail.Anytime of year enjoy a trip along Route 6A. You'll see dozens of wonderful antique homes, a testament to the heritage of Brewster's numros sea captains, who knowing you can't put roots down at sea, chose to establish themselves along Main Street.