From the wreck of the Sparrow-Hawk in 1626 to the grounding of the Eldia in 1984, Cape Cod’s outer beach—often 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. He’ll also review one of the most devastating maritime disasters of all, with a look at his most recent book, Cape Cod and The Portland Gale of 1898.
Since the start of the millennium, Don Wilding has been telling stories of Cape Cod Outer Beach history through lectures, video, and the written word. His previous books are Henry Beston’s Cape Cod: How ‘The Outermost House’ Inspired a National Seashore, A Brief History of Eastham: On the Outer Beach of Cape Cod, and Shipwrecks of Cape Cod: Stories of Triumph & Tragedy.
Book signing to follow the program/Books available in the Museum's Science Shop
Date & Time
Thu, Aug 3, 2023 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM