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NPS milestone: Exploring the National Seashore’s watery roots


In a scene from Cape Cod on any given day, two men were sitting on a cottage porch in Truro, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Pamet River Valley, and the Truro Highlands.

On this particular day in 1905, Dr. Herbert Howard, the cottage’s owner, was hosting a visitor, Truro’s Dr. L. Thomas Hopkins.

As is often the case with a view like this, caring for the beauty and splendor of this corner of the world became the topic of conversation.

“All of this area should be taken over and preserved by the state or federal government to prevent private development,” Howard, a nationally known educator and, at the time, the director of Massachusetts General Hospital, said to Hopkins.

This exchange, noted by former managing editor of The Cape Codder, Francis Burling, in his 1977 book, “The Birth of the Cape Cod National Seashore,” proved to be prophetic, even though it would take another 56 years to come to fruition. At the time of this Pamet River Valley pow-wow, it would still be another 11 years before there was even a National Park Service.

The park service, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary on Cape Cod and across the country this summer, was officially created on Aug. 25, 1916, signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson through the National Park Service Organic Act.

Read the rest of the story in the July 1 edition of the Cape Codder ...

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