The hidden sand bars off the coast in the fifty miles of sea between Provincetown and Chatham have seen the destruction of so many ships. The waters off of Truro and Wellfleet alone have seen over 1,000 wrecks . This has led to that stretch of ocean being referred to as an “ocean graveyard.”
When a storm struck the Cape in the early days, it was not a surprise to hear the alarm: “Ship ashore! All hands perishing”. The townspeople would head to the beach. Usually the surf was too high for them to get close enough to attempt a rescue. Unfortunately, by the time the tide calmed, there was rarely anyone left to rescue.
The passengers and crew of these early ships couldn’t be saved however the cargo most often was! After a wreck, the same townspeople that attempted to rescue the crew would come out with their carts and horses. They would haul away the cargo such as wine, coffee, nutmeg, cotton, tobacco or whatever the ship had been carrying. Sometimes owners of the wreck paid the local people to salvage their cargo. However most often the local people simply went on the theory of “finders keepers”.
My Father In Law tells stories of a ship carrying blueberries that sank off of Coast Guard Beach in North Truro. He talks of people leaving the beach with crates full of blueberries. Blueberry jam, cordial, muffins, breads and more were on the menu for quite a while in Truro that year!
The Frances was sunk in a December gale in 1872. The wreck can still sometimes be seen at low tide at Head of the Meadow Beach in North Truro. Although the ship was lost, the United States Life Saving Service men dragged a whaleboat from the bay across the Cape to the outer beach and rescued all aboard. The captain, who unfortunately died several days later from the effects of exposure, is buried in Truro.
The home at 37 Old Outermost Rd sits on the bluffs of the National Seashore in North Truro and looks out over these very waters. As you watch the waves wash ashore, remember those that have lost their lives bringing goods and wares to our coastlines. Appreciate the slow motion of the freighters in the distance that are doing the same today!
The views from the Old Outermost Rd. House are stunning and hold so much history surrounding Cape Cod. Call Nick today to learn more about this home that is now on the market! Enjoy the views with your family!