July - August 2013



In spite of winter storm damage and Congressional cut backs, the Seashore has readied itself for another great summer. New stairs at Nauset Light and Marconi Beaches, a new modern storm-proof bathhouse at Herring Cove Beach and an open Province Lands Visitor Center are ready to welcome visitors.


So come enjoy one of America's favorite national parks.



                                         Richard Spokes



Seal rescue
IFAW seal rescue

Friends Annual Meeting on July 17
Followed by lecture
"From Right Whales to Grey Seals"

All Friends members are encouraged to attend the Friends Annual Meeting on July 17 at Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham, at 6:30 pm. Outgoing president Dick Spokes will give the annual report of Friends' very busy and productive year, followed by the election of officers and directors.

Your reward will be prime seats for the exciting lecture that follows the meeting at 7:30 pm by Brian Sharp, the Cape's stranding coordinator for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW.)

Cape Cod and its surrounding waters are habitat for an impressive number of marine mammal species, from critically endangered right whales to rebounding gray seal colonies. The International Fund for Animal Welfare handles the region's response to live and dead stranded marine mammals through its Marine Mammal Rescue and Research program based in Yarmouth Port. Brian Sharp will discuss how that program deals with everything from large whale necropsies to mass strandings of dolphins to human interactions with seals.

Wednesday, July 17, 6:30 pm
Lecture follows at 7:30 pm
Salt Pond Visitor Center, Eastham


July 11 Grand Opening of the
NEW Herring Cove Beach Bathhouse

Come to Province Lands on Thursday afternoon, July 11 at 3:00 pm to celebrate the opening of the new Herring Cove Beach Bathhouse facilities. The event will include music by Zoe Lewis and her Rubber Band, refreshments by Far Land Provisions, the new Herring Cove Beach snack bar concessionaire, and remarks by Superintendent George Price and others.

The project began in the fall of 2012 with the demolition of the 1950's era concrete bathhouse, designed in response to the Hurricane of 1938. The design of the new bathhouse is also in response to increasing storms, sea level rise, and climate change. Designed to sustain 150 mph winds and constructed on pilings to allow storm surge waves to pass underneath, the structures could be relocated in the future if erosion threatens.

The event is co-sponsored by Far Land on the Beach, Eastern National, and Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Make an afternoon of it! Come early to visit Old Harbor Life-Saving Station (open 2 to 4 pm) at nearby Race Point Beach, or stay late to attend the spectacular Beach Apparatus Drill at Old Harbor, which begins at 6 pm. If you have never seen this re-enactment you are in for a treat. And, while you are at it, stop by the Province Lands Visitor Center, which Friends' funding has kept open this summer.


Toast and Jam
Toast & Jam opened the summer concert series.
Photo by Kevin Thomas

Friends concert season has begun

Toast & Jam received a standing ovation for their spirited performance at Friends' first concert of the season on June 21 at Salt Pond Visitor Center. To a full house, the four musicians delighted the crowd with its blend of instrumentals and songs, playing and singing both original and classic bluegrass music. See the left margin for a listing of future summer concerts by Billy & Beth and The Outer Cape Chorale Chamber Singers.

Marconi stairs
The Marconi Beach stairs were destroyed by winter storms,
but now have been totally repaired, and the beach is open.

News from the National Seashore

  • Province Lands Visitor Center will remain open through September, after originally being scheduled to close after Labor Day. The park has found small pockets of savings over the last few months that allow it to keep the visitor center open for another month as a service to its fall visitors.
  • The two Cape Cod National Seashore beach stairs that were damaged by winter storms have been fully repaired in time for the summer season! Nauset Light Beach stairs opened on June 9 and the Marconi Beach stairs opened on June 26. 
  • Herring Cove Beach opened on June 29, so with the exception of a few trail closures everything is now open.

The summer Park News is out. It lists the many activities available over the summer months. Some programs have been cut due to sequestration budget cuts, yet there are still a great many activities throughout the park. Pick up a copy at either visitor center. All beaches are open!

Penniman flag

Flag Day Celebration at Penniman House



There was a special flag-raising ceremony on a foggy Flag Day at the historic Captain Edward Penniman House in Eastham to celebrate the installation of a new flag pole.  The finely crafted, historically accurate, wooden flag pole was built locally by the Pleasant Bay Boat and Spar Company of Orleans and funded by Friends. 


Before the ceremony, Superintendent George Price, Park Historian Bill Burke, Friends President Dick Spokes, and longtime Penniman House volunteers gave remembrances of the American flag and Penniman family history, noting that the renowned whaling captain in his letters back home would often inquire whether the family was flying the flag.


The flag-raising marks the ongoing effort by the National Park Service and Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore to restore missing landscape features to the Penniman House grounds.