June 15 - 1955: Last leg of Mid-Cape Highway completed

1986: Our two faces and three sides
The Blogfather drove here in his ruby red '55 Corvette.

1955: Superhighway Opens Up Some New Vistas -- Summer Activities

Visitors can now go from one end to the other without seeing anything

On this day in 1955, a story appeared in the Travel Section of the New York Times extolling the new "speedway to the tip of Cape Cod", i.e., Provincetown.

Except for a math error, it's 27.68 miles from the Orleans-Eastham line to the tip of the Cape in Provincetown, the article recommends the new virtue of being able to visit the Cape and manage to speed past a half a dozen of its prettiest towns.

See all the cars I've owned here.

Here's the story...

Speedway to the Tip of The Cape

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. -- A superhighway extending from the Cape Cod Canal at the base, to Provincetown at the tip of the Cape, complete save for some sixteen miles between Brewster and the Orleans-Eastham line, will open up new scenic vistas to the tourist this summer and substantially cut down driving time to Cape towns. The news highway is one of the new features offering additional pleasures to the 1955 tourist to Cape Cod.... read the rest below.

6-15-8-md-cape-highway-last_600

1986: The two faces and three sides of Cape Cod

We're the 2nd. fastest growing retirement area in the country

On this date in 1986, the New York Times reported that by the beginning of the 20th century the descendants of those tenacious Puritan fishermen and farmers who had settled Cape Cod 200 years earlier were harvesting a different crop: tourists and summer residents. Many of their grandchildren are now doing the same, but under much different circumstances.

Today's Cape Cod has two faces and three sides. One face is that seen by the 163,000 residents who live in Barnstable County (all of Cape Cod), now the fastest growing area in Massachusetts, and, next to Florida, the fastest growing retirement area in the country.

The other face is the one seen by an estimated 150,000 summer visitors who are on the Cape almost every day from mid-June to Labor Day. The year-rounders' face includes supermarkets, branches of Boston department stores, restaurants and pubs frequented by residents, art galleries and crafts shops that are open all year and amateur theater and music clubs that perform in the off-season. The face that visitors see is made up of professional summer theaters, hundreds of small boutiques, snack bars, ice cream parlors, T-shirt shops, import centers and miniature golf courses.

The three sides of the Cape differ from each other as much as the two faces. The south side, along State Route 28, begins with the old resort town of Falmouth. It includes the rapidly developing residential areas of Mashpee and Cotuit, as well as the long-established communities of Osterville, Centerville and Hyannis Port, where wealthy families from New York, Providence and Boston maintain summer estates. Also on the south side are the traffic-choked city of Hyannis and a garish strip along Route 28 from Hyannis to Dennis Port. From there eastward through the tidy village of Harwich to the old port of Chatham at the Cape's elbow, the summer face largely gives way to the year-round face... NYT. The illustration is an old Cape Cod Postcard in the author's collection.

"Tricky Dick" Nixon made it permanent


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