The Wreck of the Andrea Doria

A legendary ship, a monumental collision, and a miraculous rescue operation off the coast of nantucket.

Since the Sparrowhawk sank off Orleans in 1626, the Cape and Islands have seemingly crooned siren songs to thousands of ships, luring them to destruction in their shifting shoals. While “Cape Cod Girls” may be the best known of local sea shanties, “The Mermaid” may…

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There’s history — and mystery — beneath the waters off Wellfleet

The fascinating story of Billingsgate Island.

There is simplicity in the beauty of Wellfleet. The town is full of rich history, and there’s an authentic nature about those who have lived in this small community on the far reaches of Cape Cod. Looking out over the horizon of Wellfleet Harbor evokes a feeling of nostalgia. One feels a sense of history,…

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From Canvas to Gingerbread

The sweet history of a Martha’s Vineyard neighborhood.

Step into the historic “campground” in the Martha’s Vineyard town of Oak Bluffs, and the bustle and glitz of this resort island fall away. In season, tourists amble along the shaded paths, ogling the famous “gingerbread cottages;” residents chat with their neighbors on cozy porches; the iron tabernacle in the village center buzzes…

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Manry on a Mission

Remembering one sailor’s epic journey from Falmouth, MA to Falmouth, UK

When Robert Manry arrived on Cape Cod in the spring of 1965, his visit began like that of countless other tourists drawn to the region. On May 25, he and his wife, Virginia, and brother-in-law, John, enjoyed a breezy breakfast in Woods Hole, did some antiquing in Chatham, and took…

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Drawing on a Large Talent Pool

We were not sure this would work. When Cape Cod LIFE art director, Jen Dow, proposed we host a contest, in which we would ask students at every Cape and Islands high school to submit original artwork to help us illustrate six local history articles for this issue—including three from the 1800s—success was far from assured.
Six articles, Nine schools, 138…

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Taking on Tough Topics with Love

In Love Anthony, Cape Cod author Lisa Genova delivers a compelling tale about the unexpected friendship that develops between two women struggling with very difficult questions—and the autistic boy who helps provide the answers. Inspired by her cousin Tracey’s autistic son, Anthony, Genova wrote the novel to raise awareness and inspire compassion for autistic individuals and their families, while simultaneously…

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Seaside Decorating for the Holidays

Fanciful octopuses with glittery tentacles dancing on a hallway table. Holiday tablescapes brightened by silvery starfish. Tiny  wooden squirrels peeking out of autumnal mantel garlands. And all the glory of Cape Cod and the Islands’ natural bounty. On these pages, we share the holiday visions of seven Cape and Islands interior and landscape designers. Take a look and be inspired…

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Local Artist Makes a Giant Impression

Taking a drive to peruse Christmas lights in December is a time-honored tradition for families around New England, yet this festive endeavor has reached new heights recently in the town of Sandwich. Heralding the start of the holiday season, those who live in or travel through Cape Cod’s oldest town can view a magical display of gargantuan twinkling figures gracing…

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Thanksgiving football rivalries on Cape Cod and the Islands

Very early on Thanksgiving morning in 1987, a few years after he had stepped down as head football coach at Barnstable High, Don Dorr gathered his young son, Jayme, and daughter, Lyndsey, out of bed, and drove with them to his sister and brother-in-law’s house in Falmouth. A holiday visit, for sure, but this was no social call. Dorr’s sister,…

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Exhibit Covers Provincetown’s Whaling History

During the Charles W. Morgan’s recent tour of the Cape and Islands and points beyond, Stephen Borkowski had the rare opportunity to sail aboard the historic wooden whaling vessel as a reward for the commitment he has shown to the study of Provincetown’s history. Borkowski, a member of the Provincetown Historical Commission, had been on the ship before, having visited…

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