From the wreck of the Sparrow-Hawk in 1626 to the grounding of the Eldia in 1984, Cape Cod's outer beachoften referred to as the "Graveyard of Ships"saw the demise of more than three thousand vessels along forty miles of shifting shoals. The October Gale of 1841 claimed the lives of fifty-seven sailors from Truro, a devastating toll for a small seaside community. Survivors from the 1896 wreck of the Monte Tabor in Provincetown were arrested for a suspected mutiny. Aboard the Castagna, which stranded off Wellfleet in 1914, several sailors froze to death in the masts, while the crew's cat survived. Local author Don Wilding revisits these and many other maritime disasters, along with the heroic, and sometimes tragic, rescue efforts of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and Coast Guard.
About the Author
Since the start of the millennium, Don Wilding has been telling stories of Cape Cod Outer Beach history through lectures and the written word. An award-winning writer and editor for Massachusetts newspapers for thirty years, Don contributes the "Shore Lore" history column for the Cape Codder newspaper of Orleans and is the author of the book Henry Beston's Cape Cod: How the Outermost House Inspired a National Seashore and A Brief History of Eastham (The History Press, 2017). His Cape Cod history lectures are a popular draw on Cape Cod and across Massachusetts. Don is a cofounder of the Beston Society and is on the board of directors for the Eastham Historical Society. He lives with his wife, Nita, in Northbridge, Massachusetts, and on Cape Cod.