Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA

I have always wondered why it was necessary that  the entire "arm" of Cape Cod was completely severed from the mainland of the state of Massachusetts.  That separation was achieved when this seven mile long Cape Cod Canal opened in 1914.  Pictured above is one of the two automobile bridges in use today that connect the areas.

The idea for a canal goes as far back as the mid-1600's but it wasn't until the late 1800's that the impetus reached critical mass to get it done. 

At the other end of the Cape farthest away from the canal, one of many spectacular beaches, Race Point Beach in Provincetown is pictured above. Much of the coast's natural beauty on Cape Cod is now part of  the Cape Cod National Seashore. The beauty and pastoral calm throughout the Cape is renowned but, there is more to the story.....

In the late 1800's and early 1900's, hundreds of vessels with thousands of lives and tons of goods were lost in shipwrecks along the outer Cape.   The last surviving and restored Life Saving Station is pictured above.  It was one of the  thirteen established and staffed by the U.S. Life Saving Service from the 1870's until 1915.  All were located along the Atlantic side of the Cape to respond to shipwrecks.

This tragic and cumulative loss of life and property was the driving reason that led to the construction and opening of the canal in 1914 (it also shortened the trip by water).

So now, any overage, overweight male tourist with flabby pecs can stroll the beach without worry about shipwrecks offshore (and no - that is not me in the picture) . 

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