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Historical Society of Old Yarmouth

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Capturing Cape Cod History:
An Anthology of Register Articles
Edited by Pat Tafra


Here is the current volume of the Capturing Cape Cod History anthology, with all-new content. This intriguing and humorous collection of 80-plus articles and illustrations consists of 60 selec- tions from the Register newspaper from 2010 to 2014, plus 25 articles from the Historical Society newsletter, the “Beechcomber”, and several articles written in the19th century by Yarmouth Port’s Mary Matthews Bray.

As was the first book, this collection is perfect for the local historian, the casual reader or as a thoughtful gift. Priced at only $15.00, this will be an early sellout.  Available now at the HSOY office, the Cobbler Shop, or by mail – shipping and handling $4.00 for one copy, $4,50 for two in the same package (“book rate”).


Cape Cod Shore Whaling America’s First Whale men
John Braginton-Smith and Duncan Oliver
$4.00 This 286 page book is the second collaboration for Jack Braginton Smith and Duncan Oliver. Shore whaling kept appearing in their research for their first book, “Port on the Bay” but the authors found that no one had ever thoroughly researched shore whaling on Cape Cod. In fact, there were many authors who overlooked it entirely, or were factually incorrect in what they described.
This book is the first to look at the subject in depth. The book is interesting reading as well as an irrefutable new source of genealogical and archaeological authentication for dedicated societies, libraries, clubs and people.
Dramatic descriptions are drawn of whalemen and Indians, rowing out to sea, six men in a whaleboat, during the cruelest weather of the year; November until March.
During peak times, more than 200 shore whalers were living on Sandy Neck, another 150 at Black Earth (now called Chapin and Mayflower beaches), and another 100 or so at Great Island in Wellfleet. Between1620 and 1750, shore whaling was the major winter industry for men on Cape Cod.
Port on the Bay: 
Yarmouth’s Maritime History on the “North Sea” 1638 to the Present

Duncan Oliver and Jack Braginton-Smith


Port on the Bay: Yarmouth’s Maritime History on the “North Sea” 1638 to the present.” This book was researched and written by HSOY Trustee Duncan Oliver and popular local historian Jack Braginton-Smith and promises to be a great addition to your local history bookshelf!



Yarmouth’s Proud Packets
Haynes Mahoney
$1.00 (New 2004 reprint)

Author Haynes Mahoney outlines the origins of packet service, early maritime life in the local community and the coming of packets to Yarmouth. With an eloquent yet casual writing style, Mahoney provides interesting and amusing stories and anecdotes about the captains, the ships, and the social life of the Yarmouth packets operating in the 19th century.

Riding Around with Father
Caroline Siebens  
$1.00  Pamphlet, 42 pages, 1985 Printing.  Written c. 1957.  

A compilation of three stories:  Riding Around with Father, Camp Meeting and Going Cranberry.  Author Caroline Siebens, founder of the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth, recounts some of her childhood memories growing up in Yarmouth.  Her stories include visiting the sick with her father, who was the local doctor, attending weekly summer services at the Yarmouth Methodist Camp Meeting, and harvesting cranberries, along with many others in the community, in one of the cranberry bogs owned by her father.  A warm, personal glimpse of Yarmouth social life during the last days of the 19th century.  These three stories are also available as individual pamphlets.


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The Historical Society of Old Yarmouth, PO Box 11, Yarmouth Port, MA 02675