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Don Descy
Cape Cod's Secret Spaces & Mysterious Places
Don Descy, author
Cape Cod is not just sandy beaches, evening beach fires, lobster rolls, and beautiful sunsets. Hidden throughout are historic, fun and quirky places that are little known but easy to find and interesting to explore. -\tSee one of the most important monuments of American history located in plain sight in Provincetown that few people know about, many pass by and most have been brought up to believe that the event really happened 26 miles away, -\tDiscover a house in the woods in Truro with front and side doors located on the second floor but with no stairs were ever built to take down to the ground, -\tFind other monuments in Eastham and Truro hidden from public view marking historic spots really located several thousand feet from the newer public monuments, -\tView the location of Marconi’s wireless antennae in Chatham and Wellfleet and the location in Truro that he really wanted and learn why Truro did not want him, -\tClimb a tower in Dennis named after an Indian Princess and though only 30 feet high offers a spectacular view stretching from Plymouth to Provincetown and visit a nearby Indian cemetery where legend has it that she and her Indian Brave husband still haunt, -\tExplore twenty other hidden Cape treasures from historic ruins, to a haunted jail, a famous poet’s inspirational walking path and even an alien abduction site!
This welcome guide to the forgotten, obscure, and sometimes mysterious places and happenings on Cape Cod will prove inviting and easy-to-follow even for new arrivals at the storied Massachusetts summer getaway, and even year-round residents will discover something new. Descy’s love of Cape Cod is rivaled only by his knowledge of its long history and the often neglected local lore that encompasses it. From the most haunted jail in America to Jenny Lind Tower and hearty tales of shipwrecks and pirate booty, the locales explored and celebrated here reveal a vibrant Cape of fascinating and still-tangible history.

The stories Descy shares come in three categories: the lost, the forgotten, and the paranormal. Each chapter starts with a region’s background and history before diving into particular sites worth hunting down, “Secret Space”s and “Mysterious Place”s like the remains of the Highland Life-Saving Station. The breadth and depth of Descy’s knowledge is matched by his skills as a prose stylist—he writes concise, comprehensive and readable history in an easy-going style, relating complex history in just a few pages. Many of the stories are tragic, with illness and loss of life abounding.

Economy of language helps makes this guidebook inviting and effective, whether Descy’s celebrating the poet Mary Oliver’s walking path, an old jail, or a ghostly apparition purported to have appeared on a beach in the dead of night. The final part of each entry is practical, offering clear directions to the site. It is worth noting that not all of the locations are easily accessible. The directions to the Great Hidden Brickworks warn of “...poison ivy, ticks, mud and tripping hazards”—finding any area’s most fascinating spots can demand muddying up one’s shoes. Descy’s book is a highly interesting and accessible entry into not just the odd and obscure features of Cape Cod, but also an excellent history of the island itself.

Takeaway: Enticingly written guide to Cape Cod’s most fascinating secrets.

Comparable Titles: Barbara Sillery’s Haunted Cape Cod’s Sea Captains, Shipwrecks, and Spirits, Erin Briggs’s Massachusetts Bucket List.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A