of Carleton Shores
by Jill Jillson
Carleton Shores is located in the section of Sandwich formerly
called Scorton Neck. Old deeds refer to it as an area in
the northeast corner
of Sandwich bordered south and west by Scorton Creek, north by the Bay,
east by Sandy Neck and Great Marsh in Barnstable.
Indians had inhabited this area. The last encampment of
the Scorton Indians (part of the Wampanoag tribe) was on
the dunes at Carleton
shores. Arrowheads have been found from time to time in
the area. A Spanish doubloon was also found. There were some who
believed the coin to be part of a pirate treasusre trove. However, no
other evidence of this stash was ever found.
Three large farms took up this area. The Nye farm encompassed
the current Wingscorton Farm and Sandwich Downs. The Armstrong
farm was the
present Meadow Springs Farm and the development to the
beach. The H. T.
Wing farm, which had belonged to the Wing family since the 1670's,
was about 200 acres and is now Carleton Shores. It included
known as Long Hill and Beachplum Circle. This farm was bought by Hiram
Carleton in 1881 for his son John Fisher Carleton. John
wanted to be a farmer. His father Hiram Carleton, a minister, promised
him that if he went to Harvard, he would buy him a farm
graduated from college.
The farm was crisscrossed by stonewalls. An early picture
shows these walls and a much more open landscape than is
(Of course, this
is true of most of the Cape. In 1900, the land had far fewer trees
as fields had been cleared and wood cut for heating. With
central heating and the passing of small farming, much of the land
has gone back to trees. In spite of development, the Cape
woodlands now than 100 years ago.) The road (the current Route 6A)
was unpaved and ran only as far as the marsh at the edge of Scorton Creek.
At that time, one had to go over the bridge on Jones Lane to County Road
in order to ride to Sandwich or Barnstable.
In the early 1900's the road was paved. The state bought
up the stonewalls on the nearby farms for $1,000 and crushed
the stones with a
steam crusher. The state workers also opened the sandpit on the west
side of the hill which slopes toward Jillson Way. They took
sand for a road foundation. At that time the bridge over Scorton
Creek was built. It was rebuilt in the 1930's. There are
still a few wood
pilings left from the temporary bridge which was put up at that time.
These can be seen to the left of 6A as one drives toward
There was a large old house on the H. T. Wing farm when
it was purchased by Hiram Carleton. It was very close to
the present road.
There were also several barns on the property. The oldest
was built in
the early 1700's. It is now incorporated as a garage into the house
at 613 Rte 6A. The house dated from the 1670's. It burned
on February 2,
1900. The fire began in the chimney and burned downwards. Had help
been near at hand, the house might have been saved. But
the men pulled
out as much as the could from the lower floors and had to watch
helplessly as the fire burned the house down. The Carleton
which then consisted of four girls, a boy, and a baby on the way,
went to stay with the Armstong family at Meadow Springs.
A new house in the
foursquare style was built and ready for the family to mave back
to the farm in June, just before the last baby of the family
was born. This
house, with additions in 2000, still stands on the rise above Rte
6A. John's greatgranddaughter Cynthia Jillson Myers and
live there now. There was no electricity in the original house,
but there was a pump in the kitchen so there was "indoor plumbing".
John Carleton raised chickens and cows, had a vegetable
garden, and tended the fruit trees (apple pear, and cherry)
on the property.
Several of the pear trees still blossom every spring and produce
a few pears. John began to develop cranberry bogs to raise
commercially. Several of his bogs were put in along what is now
Caarleton Drie East, just beyond the Bruce and Helen Jillson
also began to raise blueberries in the 1920's. The first fields
were developed along Rte 6A and much of the acreage now belongs
Sandwich Conservation Commission. In 1946, his son John Foxcroft
Carleton, know as Jack, put in blueberries in what was known
as the "nursery". This field is now tended by John Carleton's great-grandson
Bruce Jillson. Bruce does the work here and gererously shares his crop
with neighbors and friends, who eagerly await the ripening of the
"blues" and Bruce's invitation to pick their own.
Parts of the farm were divided off for family members along
the way. In the 20's Sam Foxcroft, John Carleton's brother-in-law,
bought a corner
of the farm which was later developed as Beach Plum Circle.
Sam and his sister Annie Foxcroft lived there. He worked
in his orchard and for his
brother-in-law. Sam died in 1962 and the house and land were
sold to Joe Birchall, whose heirs sold it to the developers
of Beach Plum
Also in the 20's a strip on the west side of the property
from the highway to the beach was sold to a group of hunters
city. They built a cabin at the foot of the hill and raised
pheasnt and quail.
They then sold to John Shaw in the early 30's. The original
cabin burned, and the Shaws rebuilt at the top of the hill.
The Shaws then
sold this property to John Long who sold it to developers
who took down the old house and developed the property now
as Long Hill.
In 1932 the lot where Annie Lloyd's house now stands was
sold to her and her husband Louis. Annie was the daughter
of John Carleton.
been a teacher until her marriage and then worked on the
family farm. Her husband Louis worked at the Keith Car Works
Sagamore and then for
the Cape Cod Mosquito Control. In later years, Annie raised
boxwood and holly tree which she sold to local landscaper,
shared with friends and
family, and gave to her church for Christmas Fairs. Her yard
was always full of flowers which delighted many.
In the late 30's, John sold a piece of land at the west
end of the blueberry fields to Marise Faucett and Yvonne
built their Christmas shop there. They designed and printed
their own cards and
bought unique Christmas ornaments from various sources.
The Christmas shop, now enlarged, still stands in front of the blueberry fields.
In the early 30's the sandpit where the tennis courts are
now located was scraped out of the hill. At first the sand
was dug by hand. Jack
Jillson remembers that as teenagers, he and his friend
could load a flatbed
truck with 200 shovelsful apiece. They would then drive
the truck down to one of the bogs. As the truck was not a
dump truck, they then had to
unload the same 200 shovelsful by hand. They did 9 or 10
loads a day. The thrill was getting to drive the truck before
they were old enough
John Fisher Carleton died in 1940 at the age of 83. Hiis
son, John Foxcroft Carleton, known as Jack, then took over
operations. Jack was a graduate of U. Mass, then know as
Mass Aggie (Agricultural
College), and had worked with his father since graduation
from college. (He had taken time out to serve in World War
I and also had a brief
interlude in Florida where he ran a grapefruit farm.)
During that time part of the farm was leased to the government
as an adjunt to Camp Edwards Army base (now Otis ANG). The
beach was a practice range of the 68th Coast Artillery. The
original lease was
signed with Isabel Carleton, widow of the late John Fisher
Carleton, in June, 1941. In late 1941 the governement began
work on the property.
Following old cart trails, they built a road to the beach.
They developed a sandpit at the corners of Carlteon Drive
and Oak Ridge
Road. At the beach they had a firing range where the beach
parking lot now is. They put in a grid of roads to the barracks,
dispensaries, and latrines as well as a septic system,
storm drains, and water pipes from the water tower at the
top of the hill.
Parts of those roads can be found under Carleton Drive East
and West and on the Gorton property. John and Blanche Gorton's garage
is part of the old mess hall. It had been used as a garage
for some farm equipment and
family autos after the war until the late 50's. There was
a water tower at one of the high points of the property
in the area of Weathervane
Lane. It was dismantled in the early 50's amd sold to a
company in Mississippi.
The army left in late 1944 as the war began to wind down.
In August, 1946, Isabel Foxcroft Carleton made an agreement
Salvage of Medford to dismantle and take away the buildings
which the government
had left behind. This job was to be completed by January,
The wooden gates at the foot of Carleton Drive were left
behind as were a few other buildings which the family kept
Carleton converted one of the barracks into his family
home and another was the home of Jack and Carol Jillson
until they built their home at in 1949. Their cottage
was then rented out by Jack Carleton in summers.
In 1958 another Rte 6A lot was sold. AnnMarie Healy and
Babs Cannon bought the lot on the east side of Carleton Drive
the 6A side of the gateposts. They built a home and attached
a gift shop called the Cat
and the Fiddle. In the ealy 60's the shop and home were
sold and became a private home. It is now #2 Carleton
In 1963, Jack Carleton died and his daughter Joy inherited
the farm. With the help of her cousin Jack Jillson (grandson
John Carleton by way of his daughter Augusta), the farm
began to be developed. The Jack
Carleton home and the cottage were removed from the
property. One is now a house on Old County Road, and the
attached as an addition
to a home on Rte 6A.
In 1964 the first beach lots were sold. Carleton Drive
was repaved, and Cranberry Circle, Blueberry Circle, Foxcroft Circle, and
Lloyd Lane were carved out and paved. Foxcroft Lane is
named for John Fisher Carleton's
wife's family as her maiden name had been Foxcroft. As
mentioned earlier, her bachelor brother Sam and unmarried
sister Annie Foxcroft,
had a home on part of the original farm. Lloyd Lane was
named for Annie Carleton Lloyd, a daughter of John Fisher
and Isabel Foxcroft Carleton,
who had married Louis Lloyd. They had also lived on part
of the farm.
In 1963, Peter and Julie Meinl bought another piece of the
property on Rte 6A, now the David Leary home. In
barn built in
the early 1700's was sold to Bill Thompson who built
his house there and attached to to the barn which was used
as a garage.
Roads were laid out. Weathervane Lane was built in 1967, and Oak Ridge
was finished in l971. Joy Circle was also laid out
Carleton, daughter of John Foxcroft Carleton and
granddaughter of John Fisher Carleton, lives on this circle.
and the roads to the
east of Carleton Drive were laid out in 1985. Jillson
Way was paved in 1995. (Jillson Way was named for Augusta
Jillson, another of
the daughters of John Fisher Carleton. Her son Jack
and some of his children still live at Carleton Shores, as
mentioned earlier.) The old
barn on Jillson Way was moved to the Bruce Jillson
that same year.