I’ve posted quite a few photographs of Cape Cod sand dunes from vintage postcards. This is the first in black and white. The postcard was printed during the era when it only cost a penny to mail a postcard and have it delivered anywhere in the United States. Notice all the beach grass and vegetation growing on these sand dunes at the end of the 19th century. When the National Seashore took possession of acres of seashore on Cape Cod, which included sand dunes, during the last three decades of the 20th century they grappled with erosion. Much of the natural vegetation had been destroyed by tourists eagerly dragging coolers, umbrellas, and beach towels to set up their spot for relaxing by the water’s edge. And then there were all the children exuberantly running and sliding down sand dunes. Temporary fences were erected and new dune grass was planted. While once there was a parking area by Pilgrim Lake on the way into Provincetown for tourists to stop and walk the dunes, that parking area was closed and blocked off. Why? Just too many people causing the vegetation to become damaged and rampant erosion taking place. The wind blows hard and the sands shift and change. So it is with stories and tales of Cape Cod and Provincetown. Read any Provincetown books lately which capture the flavor of what it’s like to live in the town? Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook is awaiting your reading pleasure. Available in bookstores and online as a trade paperback or ebook. Like us on Facebook. Keep the conversation going.
I so disagree with your theory of the diminishing dunes. Since they have moved according to winds and weather for so many years it’s more reasonable to me that if the NP had left it alone it would still be there. Mother Nature was doing her job well until the almighty government stepped in to replace her and screwed it up as usual, and they have been doing more than that since they arrived and refused to talk to the locals who knew how things happened over over the years. They ruined our history by destroying historical buildings because again they didn’t know what they were . Thank God for Mrs. Tasha and her family who fought and still do to save the history of our Dunes and Lifesaving CG buildings. The dunes a
re not clean and tidy but they are real that’s what needs to be shared, not the cleaned up version of Government.
I agree with you that the national seashore did a lot of misguided damage due to ignorance. They are the ones who created the parking lot by Pilgrim Lake, and thus all the damage to nearby dunes. As to whether the vegetation would have regenerated itself.. I’m not sure. But regardless, thank you for taking the time to comment.