Gazing across the Fort Hill overlook in Eastham, the magnificence of Cape Cod’s natural beauty and rich cultural history comes into full view. The Nauset salt marsh and ocean that sustained native peoples and early European settlers spreads out below. Heathland and fields, still populated by migratory birds, butterflies, and rabbits, reflect the agricultural past of the site, the former Knowles farm. The 19th-century home of Captain Edward Penniman, framed in view by a whale’s jawbone for a garden gate, recalls the region’s maritime heritage. It is a scene of fleeting serenity that has been eons in the making.
“When I have the opportunity to introduce anyone to the National Seashore, this is the first stop,” Cape Cod National Seashore superintendent George Price, Jr. says of Fort Hill. “It’s not only my favorite spot—it’s absolutely significant to the Seashore.”