May 25 - 1963: Hyannisport discovers the flip side of fame

2007: Seal rehab shut down as new pups are born. 2007: Cape Cod 'dune dwellers' lose bid for special status
The Kennedy Compound on Hyannis Harbor in Hyannis Port. Photo by John Fitts.

1963: The Ship of State Rocks Hyannisport

The President's summer neighbors on Cape Cod find the price of fame is loss of privacy

On this day in 1963, Cape Cod was learning the negative side of being a world famous summer spa of the beautiful people as the Kennedy Clan inundated Hyannisport and brought with them hordes of camp followers, the international press corps and more sightseers than the four small roads leading in and out of this village could possibly handle.

The newspapers around the world were reporting this week how there was not a "welcome" sign to be seen along any local street. And that is an oversight, for Hyannis Port has found that the price of fame is a loss of privacy, and the President's neighbors, most of whom were Republican back then, would like to call the deal off.

A story in the New York Times below reported:

"Hyannis Port used to be a peaceful village, well off the main highways and happy in its seclusion from those vacationing thousands who come to Cape Cod for salt air and quaintness in the summer. Hyannis Port is not quaint;  there is no beach for tourists, not even a tearoom or a bar nor a fisherman puffing his pipe and mending his nets. There is nothing, in fact, to attract a tourist..."

 (Read the rest below)


2007: Seal rehab shut down as new pups are born

New England Stranding Network is stressed

On this day in 2007 the shutdown of New England's largest seal rescue and rehabilitation organization as harbor seals begin having their pups had other organizations scrambling to fill the void. Photo on right courtesy of Wiki Commons.

Seals ordinarily would be barking up a storm at the Marine Animal Lifeline's nondescript facility outside Portland. Instead, the medical ward where sick and malnourished seals received IVs and the pools where they learned to hunt fish are empty. The gates are padlocked.  "It's the worst time of the year for this to happen," said Dianna Fletcher, chairwoman of the nonprofit's board.

Last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service abruptly yanked the organization's permit for releasing 81 seals without testing for a pathogen that causes a contagious distemper-like illness. Twenty-one seals that were being rehabilitated were trucked to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut.

To the south, the Mystic Aquarium handles rescue and rehabilitation in Connecticut and Rhode Island. In Massachusetts, the Cape Cod Stranding Network and New England Aquarium in Boston handle rescues and rehabilitation in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

2007: Cape dune dwellers lose bid for special status

The residents applied for a "traditional cultural property" designation

On this day in 2007 a group of "dune dwellers" who live in the Cape Cod shacks where writers such as Jack Kerouac and Norman Mailer sought solitude have lost their bid for a special cultural designation usually reserved for American Indian tribes.  The residents applied for a "traditional cultural property" designation given by the National Park Service to communities with shared values and historically significant cultural traditions.

The dune dwellers believed the status would protect them from getting kicked out of their 19 cottages, which are built on a two-mile strip of dunes in Truro and Provincetown at the far end of the Cape...  To be designated a traditional cultural property, the same community must have existed historically and continue to the present.

On the right is one of today's dune shacks at Peaked Hill courtesy of the Cape Cod National Seashore Park. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on