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2018 Annual Guide: Yarmouth

Duncan Oliver Yarmouth

Photo by Paige Biviano

Oliver has made it his mission to use his passion for teaching to ensure that the townspeople of Yarmouth are educated about the area. “I can usually get someone to say, ‘Oh wow, I didn’t know that,’ and we also have some fun. That’s what life’s all about,” he says.

One of Oliver’s favorite spots in Yarmouth is Bass Hole. He says his grandsons loved playing there when they were young, and claims wryly that he hoped to become an avid sailor and fisherman in his retirement. “I wanted my epitaph to read ‘The stripers feared his coming,’ but in truth, they show utter disdain,” he jokes.

Oliver dedicates a lot of time to historic research. He’s currently helping someone format an Arcadia book full of historic photos of Yarmouth, and he puts his knowledge to paper in other ways too. “I met Jack Braginton-Smith, a local restauranteur and historian, soon after we moved to Yarmouth, and together we started researching and writing local history,” he explains. “After writing two books together, Jack got sick, and now I carry on his memory with a monthly history article in The Register. We’ve had more than 30 people write historical articles about Cape Cod, and I end up writing four or five a year myself.”

Every morning, Oliver and his wife go to the local Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee, which they take to Bayview Beach to watch the ferries, a daily ritual for the couple. They met in fourth grade, and the rest of their story is, in a fitting turn of phrase, history. “My wife is the thing I’m most proud of,” Oliver says.

Oliver celebrates those who have left their mark on Yarmouth, and in doing so, he leaves his own mark, making a difference that will forever be remembered by people fortunate enough to experience Yarmouth and its vibrant history.

Allyson Plessner is the staff writer for Cape Cod Life Publications.

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