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  • Writer's pictureDon Wilding

Wilding's Cape Cod: Looking ahead

Don presents the lecture, "The Outermost House: A Story of Eastham," to students from Tahanto Regional High School at the Eastham Historical Society's 1869 Schoolhouse Museum on Oct. 15.

As the sun sinks on 2017, we here at Don Wilding’s Cape Cod can look back at the previous year with a smile, and optimism for 2018.

The last 12 months have been busy. My new book and second overall, “A Brief History of Eastham: On the Outer Beach of Cape Cod,” was published through the History Press on July 17. Attendance and sales at talks and signings for the book this summer and fall were good.

Presentations of the “Henry Beston’s Cape Cod” program, which benefits the Henry Beston Society, continued. “The Outermost House: A Story of Eastham,” another take on the "Outermost House" story, was introduced on Sept. 9.

Talks on Cape Cod shipwrecks and the Coast Guard, as well as historic storms, such as the Blizzard of ’78 and the Portland Gale, proved to be popular. Cape Cod rum runners are now making their way into the show.

Many of these presentations were public programs, but some were private affairs, such as the fall programs for the Orleans French Cable Museum, the Friends of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, and Tahanto Regional High School of Boylston, Mass.

My programs were also introduced into the classroom. Students for Open University of Wellfleet were treated to “Cape Cod History: Journey to the Outer Beach” in the spring, followed by “A History of Provincetown” in the fall. Both classes consisted of five two-hour sessions.

In addition to my regular history columns in The Cape Codder, I managed to turn up in the media frequently, including an interview on WOMR-FM in Provincetown and in a December feature on the 1927 wreck of the Montclair in The Boston Globe.


The New Year begins with the introduction of my “Cape Cod History: Journey to the Outer Beach” class for Nauset Community Education, beginning on Monday night, Jan. 22, at the Nauset Middle School in Orleans. This class consists of five 90-minute sessions (Jan. 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12, and 26), from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

I've also been asked to return to the Open University of Wellfleet in April to teach a course on Eastham history for their spring semester. Watch this site and our social media pages for details.

February promises to be a busy month.

  • On Saturday afternoon, Feb. 3, the Harwich Conservation Trust will host my “Blizzard of ’78” program at the Harwich Community Center at 2 p.m. Early arrival is advised; my last program here drew about 200 people!

  • Over Presidents Day Weekend, the Henry Beston Society and I will be teaming up with the Addison Art Gallery of Orleans to present the “Outermost Inspirations” art exhibit at the Cape Cod National Seashore’s Salt Pond Visitors Center in Eastham. After a reception at the gallery on Saturday, Feb. 17, there will be a full day of events at the Salt Pond Center on Sunday, Feb. 18. I’ll be doing my talk on “The Outermost House: A Story of Eastham” at 2 p.m. Before and after the talk, I’ll be on hand to sign books and answer questions about "The Outermost House" and the Beston Society’s artifacts from Beston and his house. Visit the Henry Beston Society site for details. “Outermost Inspiration” will also visit the Eastham Public Library in June.

  • Interest is also running high for the “Shipwrecks and Rum Runners of Cape Cod” program at Chatham’s Eldredge Public Library on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m., so early arrival is advised for that one as well. Our Facebook page shows that nearly 400 people are interested.

Here's what's scheduled so far for the rest of the year:

  • I’ll also be doing a private presentation of the “Shipwrecks and Rum Runners of Cape Cod” program at Thirwood Place in Yarmouth during March, followed by a public showing of it at the Milford Town Library in Milford on May 9.

  • The Sandwich Glass Museum’s “Talk of the Town” series will host “Henry Beston’s Cape Cod” on Nov. 21.

More programs will be announced in the coming weeks and months. If you or your group are interested in hosting one of my programs, please drop me a line at

Happy New Year to all, and I hope to see you in 2018!

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