History of Onset Island

Onset Island

Onset Island is located in the area of Massachusetts called Cape Cod. The 12 acre island sits in OnsetBay, off the village of Onset. Fifty plus summer cottages are now located on the island. The island was first used by the local natives as a summer camp and a place to harvest shell fish. I will discuss the history on OnsetIsland in another document.

Onset Village

Whether you call it Pine Point, Old Pine, Onkowam, Pine Neck, or Onset, OnsetVillage is rich in history. Onset really started to flourish in 1848 when trains arrived from Boston to carry industrial goods to market, and thus introducing Bostonians to Onset. Cottages were built, hotels constructed; and as the tourist population grew, the tourists arrived daily by train, sailboat, and steamers. Onset was once a major terminus for the old side wheeler steamboat ferries. The route included New Bedford, Woods Hole, Martha”s Vineyard, and Nantucket. OnsetVillage was known as Pine Point, bought by the Spiritualists in the late 1800’s. It was not until they named their Association the Onset bay Grove Association that Pine Point begins to be thought of as Onset.

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