Editor’s note: This story was updated to include the last name of Seaman Piper Turner II, which was inadvertently left out. 

MASHPEE — Jessie “Little Doe” Baird, remembers in the 1970s when she could pick blueberries where the Stop & Shop now stands. She could walk to the rotary without worrying about traffic, and from her house on Quinaquisset Avenue she could hear the music coming from the On the Rocks bar.

“It was just a different world,” said Baird, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. “It was a different time.” 

In 1965, a shopping plaza with a grocery store, a pharmacy and a home and garden store sat at the intersection of routes 151 and 28 — and served the town’s 665 year-round residents. The Tisit gas station was next to the rotary, and Dick and Ellie’s sold fried seafood and ice cream near where The Shed Place is today.

The rest of the area was undeveloped and would stay that way for another decade. 

Mashpee Commons looking east, the Mashpee Rotary is at the top right. Owners of the development want to build hundreds of homes and increase business space on the property over the next 25 years.

In 1986, the plaza began to be transformed into Mashpee Commons, a downtown center reminiscent of a New England historic district with a modern twist. The streets were laid out in a grid and were lined with restaurants and shops — both boutique and chain — and apartments were constructed above.

Mashpee grew and expanded, becoming the fastest-growing town in the country at one point in the 1980s. By 2000 the population swelled to almost 13,000, according to the U.S. Census.