September 1 - 1993: The New York Times "discovers" Eastham

Cape Cod's little secret
The windmill on the Eastham town green, the site of the annual Eastham Windmill Festival. Photo by Maggie Kulbokas.

1993: The New York Times
"discovers" Eastham

Back in September of 1993, a writer for that worthy newspaper extolled the virtues of one of Cape Cod's least "spoiled" towns. And this coincidence is serendipitous as we are about to celebrate another Eastham Windmill Weekend festival which is held each year in September.

Decades ago, the New York Times article started...

Halfway between the elbow and knuckles of Cape Cod, Massachusetts' long arm flexing into the Atlantic, lies a little town that most vacationers hardly notice. "You can pass through the village centers of Eastham and North Eastham and never know you've been there," notes one guidebook. And it's almost true. Bisected by Route 6, Cape Cod's main artery, Eastham appears at first glance to have little of even passing interest, besides a glimpse of water and a vaguely hat-shaped visitor center. To most hurried visitors, "the gateway" to the National Seashore, as Eastham is known, remains a stop for gas on the way to the beach; for those who pause a moment longer on their way to Wellfleet or Provincetown, it's a straggle of efficiency cottages, a few motels and a handful of slightly faded roadside attractions. No blown glass, no band concerts, no yacht club.

But for those who linger, Eastham provides its own quiet blandishments. The sun rises over the ocean on one edge of town, and sets a few miles away over Cape Cod Bay. In between sunrise and sunset, you can swim across a couple of freshwater ponds, or brood by a salt marsh. A watery, drifting place, Eastham loses a bit of itself every year to the tides, shored up only by beach grass and scrub pine...

To linger in Eastham is to acquire an appreciation for subtleties...

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