The Shifting Sands of Sampson's Island David Churbuck
June 20 | Cotuit Library | 7 PM The first Cotuit Chronicles lecture of our 2019 season relates to our special exhibition, "Shifting Sands: The Story of Dead Neck Sampson’s Island,” for which David Churbuck was an important source. David – who has had a distinguished career in journalism and marketing – has deep roots in Cotuit, having spent summers here growing up and now living in his great-great grandfather's house. In addition to his personal knowledge of Sampson's, David did extensive research on the history of the island for his blog churbuck.com. His talk will cover the impact of such natural factors as longshore drift on the island’s ever-changing shape as well as the long-term effects of connecting West Bay to Nantucket Sound by cutting through Dead Neck in 1900. In addition, he’ll share many anecdotes concerning the island.,
Meet Cotuit's Mansard Ladies Phil Odence and Jim Gould
July 18 | Cotuit Library | 7 PM Mansard-roofed homes are not exclusive to Cotuit, nor even Cape Cod, but the village does boast the Cape’s largest collection. The style is characterized by a shallowly pitched top roof capping four steeply pitched concave sides. It was all the rage in the late 19th century, and the vast majority of the 31 “Mansard Ladies” built in Cotuit still grace the heart of the village. Phil Odence and Jim Gould will tell the tale that started 300 years ago across the sea in Paris. Jim, a retired college professor, has been the village's architectural historian for decades. He coined the term “Mansard Ladies.” Phil, a lifelong summer resident, became fascinated with Cotuit's history and homes after chronicling the renovation of his 200-year-old home in his blog Laughing Gull Hill. Starting with Sandanwood – the home that sparked the trend for Mansard roofs in Cotuit -- they’ll conduct a virtual tour of all these local beauties.
Shipwrecks Along the Cape Cod Coast Greg Ketchen, President, Coast Guard Heritage Museum
August 15 | Cotuit Library | 7 PM The outer coast of Massachusetts has been called the Graveyard of the North Atlantic, with more than 3,000 shipwrecks off Cape Cod since European sailors began exploring the Western Hemisphere.. The earliest recorded wreck was that of the Pinnace Sparrow Hawk in 1626.. Many wrecks followed, particularly in the 19th century, as commercial sailing vessel traffic peaked along our coast. Advances in modern navigation, weather forecasting and vessel technologies have not eliminated the risks, evidenced by the grounding of the cruise ship Royal Majesty off Nantucket in 1995 and the fast ferry Iyannough in 2017 as it approached Hyannis Harbor. Navigational errors, extreme weather, equipment failures and human error are some of the causes. The Wydah, HMS Somerset, Pendleton, City of Columbus, Argo Merchant, Andrea Doria, and Norwegian Majesty are just a few of the marine accidents in our local waters that have shaped life-saving innovations in rescue equipment and operations. Greg Ketchen is a retired U.S. Coast Guard Captain living in Osterville. He is currently serving as the president of the Coast Guard Heritage Museum, located in Barnstable’s Old Customs House,.
The Health of the Waters in Three Bays Zenas Crocker, Executive Director, Barnstable Clean Water Coalition
September 19 | Cotuit Library | 7 PM Zenas “Zee” Crocker will discuss Osterville’s and Cotuit’s shared watershed: its history, demographics and components. What makes our Three Bays unique among the 53 watersheds on Cape Cod? What has led to this watershed being the third most troubled on Cape Cod? What do we understand about the problem of nutrient overload and how can we solve it? Besides municipal treatment, what can be done to improve water quality in the bays? Over the course of his extensive travels during his career in the financial services industry, Zee became aware of the increasingly compromised global environment, especially regarding air and water pollution. This experience led him to greater concern regarding local conditions and challenges here on Cape Cod and taking the helm of Three Bays Preservation (now Barnstable Clean Water Coalition) in his "retirement."
The Role of Animals in World War I Joseph Yukna, Co-Founder, Cape Cod Military Musuem
October 17 | Cotuit Library | 7 PM From the mighty elephant to the lowly slug, animals were used in amazing ways during the Great War. At the beginning of World War I, all of the combatants had cavalry units and horse-drawn artillery and supplies. Pigeons were much more reliable than early radios and easily severed telephone lines. More surprising is the uniformed baboon that drew a salary, stood guard duty and received a pension! Joseph Yukna began delving into this forgotten field of military history after learning the curious fact that the British Army tried to train seagulls to poop on U-boat periscopes. However, he has always been a history buff and became interested in the Cape's military history while working as a Department of Defense police officer on Camp Edwards. He is the co-founder of the Cape Cod Military Museum in Bourne. This talk is not recommended for small children.