Eden By The Sea

The Dune House was a favorite spot for Bunny and Paul Mellon who enjoyed the understated elegance of the cottage on the dunes.

Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and her husband, Paul, could have chosen any exquisite corner of the globe as the summer holiday retreat for their growing family. Read more…

Sailing On: Centerville museum exhibit focuses on Donald McKay’s life work

The mastermind behind some of America’s fastest clipper ships is the focus of an exhibit at the Centerville Historical Museum.

For one brief, glorious period, prior to a tidal wave of steam-powered boats, the swiftest, tallest, most beautiful sailing ships ever built rode the crest of popularity on the high seas. Read more…

The Last Stand of the Stagecoach

Relics of the horse-drawn era are embedded in Cape Cod's history.

The next time you are stuck in midsummer traffic, crawling your way across the Bourne Bridge and cursing all motorized vehicles, turn up your air conditioning and consider traveling around Cape Cod in a time before modern conveniences.

The Last Stand of the Stagecoach

From the mid-1700s to the mid-1800s, the sole alternative to walking, horseback riding, or a packet sailboat from Cape Cod Bay was the stagecoach—a narrow, springless carriage that jostled up to eight passengers, their baggage, and, often, the daily mail, behind four slow-moving horses. And the teeth-clattering ride on hard seats over rutted sand paths spawned a growth industry of tavern stops, some of which remain fixtures on Cape Cod’s roads today.

The Last Stand of the Stagecoach

In his book Cape Cod, Henry David Thoreau devotes an entire chapter to his coach journey through the Cape’s towns during the waning days of the stagecoach. His nostalgic view of the “good humor” of his “free and easy” fellow passengers and the leisurely unfolding of small town scenes as the stagecoach passes from village to village serves as a welcome reminder of a slower-paced Cape Cod.

The Last Stand of the Stagecoach

As this new form of transportation grew in prominence, Keith Car Works of Sagamore reinvented itself into a nationally renowned stagecoach manufacturer. Begun in 1826 as a small blacksmith shop, the company first made sleighs before constructing stagecoaches. Bourne selectman and historian Donald “Jerry” Ellis describes the stagecoaches from Keith Car Works as the “Cadillac of carriages between Yarmouthport, Harwich, and the Lower Cape.”

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Up and Away

A Cape Codder climbs into a biplane's cockpit and rediscovers her home from a fresh vantage point.

I climb cautiously onto the vintage fabric wing, having been warned by my tan, weathered pilot Chris “Sid” Siderwicz, to step lightly. Futilely trying to appear calm, cool, and collected as Sid gives me a hand, I straddle the cockpit door and slide awkwardly into the deep front seats of the biplane before Sid hands me a set of Amelia-Earhart-looking head gear. From the seat behind me, Sid says that since it will be too difficult to hear each other in flight, simple “thumbs up” communication will do. Read more…