CUTTYHUNK: TRANQUILITY AND HISTORY ON AN ISLAND OFF CAPE COD

Larry Brain - Aug 13, 2012
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Cape Cod off the coast of Massachusetts has long held a special place in the heart of visitors. Many people visit this area cut off from the modern world. It is a mystical and gorgeous place for a summer vacation. Even more remote than the area of the Cape are the Elizabeth Islands. They are 16 islands spread out from the Cape like the skipping of stones. Many of these islands are owned by the Forbes family. One island, an exception to this rule, is Cuttyhunk located approximately 2 hours from Boston.

Most visitors to Cuttyhunk hunker down in their boats for the evening. There is limited lodging available on the island itself. There are eight guest rooms at the Fishing Club with its white clapboard exterior and weather beaten shutters. There are also rooms available for rent in a mansion Avalon in town.

Upon arrival to the island visitors are greeted by Bonnie who is the innkeeper. Bonnie has learned to do all the upkeep around the club. Ms. Veeder relied on donations from strangers to restore the lodge, add furnishings and make it a place of prominence in the town. Visitors frequent the inn the only place where one can get a sit down breakfast.

The walls, of the main lodge are plastered with photos of former presidents who visited and enjoyed the setting. William Howard Taft and Teddy Roosevelt as well as Grover Cleveland have visited Cuttyhunk, as well as tycoons JD Gould and others financed the original Cuttyhunk lodge.

There are approximately 130 houses in town; however, there are only 52 full time residents in the area. There are in addition, 300 to 500 overnight visitors in the summer. The town is reminiscent of a Yankee version of Mayberry. There are also municipal buildings as well as a town hall, a library, a one room schoolhouse, a historical society and a museum, as well as the Union Methodist Church. Sometimes less is more in a small town setting. Anything else would seem superfluous and citified.

Once the lodging is secured it is time to explore the island. Cuttyhunk has pink and cornflower blue hydrangeas found all over the town. They dot the home gardens in the area. They lend a lovely atmosphere to the island and add to its rustic seaside charm. Cuttyhunk is also a place of history with abandoned bunkers from the Second World War, where military denizens searched for Nazi submarines off the coast.

In order to visit the island one can take a ferry from the mainland. It costs USD 25.00 for the ferry to the Elizabeth Islands. One also has the option of a water taxi for about the same price. Whether you are interested in peace and tranquility, a good fresh catch lobster dinner at a reasonable price, or prefer to try your hand in pristine Atlantic waters, Cuttyhunk is the place for you.

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