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  • Writer's pictureDon Wilding

Two new talks to debut

In addition to my regular “Henry Beston’s Cape Cod” Thursday night programs for the “Outermost House at the Schoolhouse” exhibit, I’ve added two other presentations to be held at the Eastham Historical Society’s 1869 Schoolhouse Museum this summer.

The bath house at Coast Guard Beach in Eastham being destroyed by the waves, Feb. 7, 1978. (Photo by Jack Clarke)

NEPTUNE RISES ON THE DUNES: THE BLIZZARD OF ’78 ON THE OUTER CAPE / Wednesday, July 13, and Wednesday, Aug. 24, both at 7 p.m.: On February 6-7, 1978, New England was struck by one of the greatest weather events in history, when the now-legendary “Blizzard of ’78” buried Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island with four feet of snow and 15-foot drifts. Here on Cape Cod, it wasn’t a “snow event” but a “tidal event.” The snow turned quickly to rain, and hurricane force winds, combined with the highest new moon tides the area has even seen, carved out an entirely new landscape on the Outer Beach. Tides coming in from the ocean and bay near the Eastham rotary even turned the Outer Cape into an island for a short time as the eye of the storm passed directly over the area.

STORM WARRIORS: THE RESCUE MISSION OF THE WRECK OF THE CASTAGNA / Wednesday, July 27, and Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 7 p.m.: In February, 1914, the Nauset and Cahoon Hollow Lifesaving Stations embarked on one of the U.S. Lifesaving Service’s greatest rescue missions after the Italian bark Castagna ran aground on Cape Cod’s outer bar in South Wellfleet. Facing driving snow, gale force winds, and temperatures below zero, five Castagna crew members either froze to death in the icy masts or were swept overboard. Learn all about how the local surf men’s efforts to overcome overwhelming odds, saving the rest of the crew from an icy fate.

Don is available for speaking engagements; email for details.

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