The Glow of Antiquity

The rich history of candlemaking is a seasonal attraction in the Nantucket Historical Association‘s Hadwen & Barney Oil & Candle Factory.

The immaculate brick and hardwood interior of the Nantucket Historical Association’s Hadwen & Barney Oil & Candle Factory is a beautifully preserved reminder of the island’s vital role in America’s candlemaking history. Standing under a mammoth lever press that dominates the room, it’s easy to imagine the odor of whale oil and the greasy, smoky faces of the workers who once transformed raw oil into a product that helped build an island. Read more…

Wampanoag Wisdom

For Chief Flying Eagle, sustainability is as old as the dunes.

As he walks the rows of his bountiful garden outside his humble Mashpee home with shears and deadheaded blossoms in hand, Earl Mills, Chief Flying Eagle of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, is a man attuned with nature. A candid delight washes over Mills’s face as he points out the ivory-white hydrangeas and bouquet-ready zinnias that stand proudly among Black-Eyed Susans and delicate Yarrows, drawing in butterflies and bees. The fluttering, buzzing, rustling, and chirping of the fauna drawn in by the garden provide a pleasant accompaniment to the incessant drone of June bugs high above. Read more…

Saviors and Sacrifice

Before network television began to capitalize on the men who risk their lives at sea, there was a fleet of brave souls patrolling the coasts of the United States aboard lightships, tasked with the duty of keeping incoming vessels safe in treacherous waters. With an abundance of loneliness, isolation, and danger, life aboard these ships meant little glory and immense sacrifice. Read more…

Kidding Around

A Guide to Children’s Activities This Summer on the Cape & Islands

For many children, once that final bell rings and closes out another school year, it’s time to power down the brain and focus on soaking up every drop of fun before the morning alarm goes off in September. Fortunately, many organizations on Cape Cod have found ways to bridge the gap between learning and fun. The following institutions have curricula that combine all things that make those golden weeks between June and September so wonderful—digging in the dirt, playing outdoors, exploring the beach—with a few character-building lessons thrown in for good measure.

Kidding Around Read more…

A Very Good Reason, to Stay Here All Season A Very Good Reason, to Stay Here All Season

Shorts and flips flops aren’t the usual attire of the president of a company, but that’s what Justin Labdon, president of Cape Cod Beach Chair Company, has chosen over the suit and tie wardrobe of the workaday world. Labdon left the high-tech world over a decade ago to return to the Cape and establish himself as a businessman that you could only find in a coastal community. Now, when he isn’t building beach chairs, he’s kicking back, fully reclined, on any of the Cape’s beaches in the comfortable, low-slung models reflective of his professionally casual lifestyle. Read more…

The Foundation of Three Centuries

To experience the 300 years that transformed Chatham from farming village to vacation destination, just explore its historic buildings.

Chatham Bars Inn

The town of Chatham has seen many transitions over the last three centuries. What was once a farming community on the elbow of Cape Cod has become one of the most sought-after tourist destinations on the East Coast where visitors can still walk into buildings throughout town and be transported back in time. “There’s a real preservation-minded community here,” says Mary Ann Gray, archivist at the Chatham Historical Society. In honor of the 300th anniversary of Chatham, which takes place throughout the year. Cape Cod Life combed through documents from the Chatham Historical Society for a deeper look at four buildings that recall the town’s earliest days—and make for a great day of sightseeing in 2012 and beyond. Read more…

Shorelines Spring ’12

Coastal Dream Houses

201203hsp_004 Shore Décor: Design at the Water’s Edge ($50) offers readers a glimpse into why living by the water is a truly unique privilege. From the classic to the contemporary this gorgeous collection features nearly 350 beautiful photographs of homes making it obvious why seaside living is so desirable. In this book, you just might find the inspiration to turn your seaside dream house into a reality. More information is available at

Wicker World

201203hsp_002 No home on Cape Cod or the Islands is complete without at least one piece of wicker furniture. Antique Wicker ($19.95) presents 925 examples from former worldwide wicker giant, the Heywood-Wakefield Company of Gardner, Massachusetts. Photos and illustrations of chairs, tables, sofas, beds, and wardrobes are featured in a reproduction of the original catalog, which was illustrated with Art Deco flair. An authentic price guide allows any homeowner, collector, or dealer to see the original price of wicker items nearly a century ago, giving a sense of the enduring value of this quintessential coastal style. For more information, log on to

The Classic Cape

201203hsp_003 In The Cape Cod House ($25) Stanley Schuler documents the history of this iconic style of home, from the first structures built by the Pilgrims to the modern styles being constructed today. The text is accompanied by drawn plans and 143 pictures of Cape Cod houses as well as explanations behind the designs and materials used to make these classic American homes, now built across the country. For more information, log on to

Green Things in Life Apr’12

Local choices for healthy coastal living

Grill Green

Cape Cod Fire Log As winter turns into spring, many of us are itching to use our barbecues and backyard fire pits. Cape Cod Fire Log provides 100 percent recycled, unused wood free of waxes, oils or any additives in the form of logs or cooking briquettes for a green evening of grilling and relaxing. Fill up and keep warm while preserving trees. Cape Cod Fire Log products can be burned indoors or out and are available locally at Roche Bros and Tedeschi Food Shops. Briquettes can be purchased in six-pound, 15-pound, and 30-piece sets of mini logs. $4.99-$12.99., 877-663-5647. Read more…

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