Since the start of the millennium, Don Wilding has been telling stories of Cape Cod Outer Beach history through lectures, video, and the written word. An award-winning writer and editor for Massachusetts newspapers for 30 years, Don pens the popular “Shore Lore” history column for the Cape Codder newspaper of Orleans, and is the author of two books, “Henry Beston’s Cape Cod: How ‘The Outermost House’ Inspired a National Seashore,” and "A Brief History of Eastham: On the Outer Beach of Cape Cod," from The History Press. Don has also been an instructor of Cape Cod history courses for the Open University of Wellfleet and Nauset Community Education.
In his presentation SHIPWRECKS AND RUM RUNNERS OF CAPE COD, Don takes a look at some of the great shipwrecks and rescues on the Outer Beach of Cape Cod, ranging from the earliest days of the U.S. Lifesaving Service (1872) to the early years of the U.S. Coast Guard in the first half of the 20th century. Don will look at the wrecks of the Castagna, the Francis, the Montclair, the Jason, the Portland, and many more. During the era of Prohibition, the Coast Guard was also in pursuit of rum runners and at how "the Noble Experiment" turned into a profitable and potentially dangerous undertaking for many of the Cape's residents.