Very often we describe a home as “located in the National Seashore”. What does that mean and why is it important that a home in Truro is situated in the Seashore? I wanted to share a little history with you about how The Cape Cod National Seashore came to be.
The Cape Cod National Seashore was created on August 7, 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. The National Seashore encompasses 43,607 acres (the equivalant of 68.1 square miles) on Cape Cod. It includes ponds, woods and beach front of the Atlantic Ocean. There is nearly 40 miles of shoreline along the Atlantic shore of Cape Cod in the National Seashore and includes the towns of Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans and Chatham.
There are several notable sites in the National Seashore. Some of these include the Marconi Station, the site of the first two-way transatlantic radio transmission, the Highlands Center for the Arts (at the former North Truro Air Force Station), the Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars and Doane Rock. There is also a former United States Coast Guard station in Truro that is now being operated as a youth hostel.
The National Seashore has also incorporated several paved bike trails through the park including the Nauset Bike Trail in Eastham, The Head of the Meadow Trail in Truro and the Province Lands Trails in Provincetown. The Truro trail is a favorite of mine as it stretches between Head of the Meadow Beach and High Head Beach and includes a glimpse of Pilgrim Springs where the Pilgrims had their first drink of fresh water after landing here before venturing to Plymouth.
So why did the National Seashore come to Cape Cod? The steady growth of tourism in the 1900s helped the residents of Cape Cod recover from the decline in the fishing industry, which was previously the main source of income for most. However the fast paced development of the area threatened the very things that the residents and tourists found so appealing. One resident said in 1961, “the resources which were once believed inexhaustible are vanishing before our eyes.” Very few people doubted the need to protect these resources. The question was how.
After years of debate, studies and bills going through and dying in Congress, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed a bill authorizing the establishment of Cape Cod National Seashore. President Kennedy had been a long-time summer resident of the Cape, and he had co-sponsored the legislation while he was in the Senate. The goal of the National Seashore, he wrote, was “to preserve the natural and historic values of a portion of Cape Cod for the inspiration and enjoyment of people all over the United States.” In his remarks upon signing the bill, President Kennedy told the assembled dignitaries, “From personal knowledge I realize very well, how useful this is going to be for the people of the Cape and Massachusetts and New England and the entire United States.” This was the first time the federal government had created a national park out of land that was primarily in private hands.
So when you get a chance to see the home on Old Outermost Road in Truro and you wonder why the home has remained so private and the stunning views have been so undisturbed over the years, think about the 1960s and President Kennedy’s strong belief that this area should be preserved. Although there have been some issues throughout the years, the relationship with the property owners, the towns and the National Seashore has been a friendly one. Every time I walk the trails in Truro or ride my bike on the bike trails, I am grateful for the foresight by President Kennedy so many years ago.
Contact Nick at Thomas D. Brown Real Estate today to see the home on Old Outermost Road. Give yourself an opportunity to see the Cape Cod National Seashore from a viewpoint that many will never see! Soak in the views and the sound of the waves crashing below you and think about how the preservation of this area will allow the new owners of this home to wake up to that each and every day!