Tales of Cape Cod

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Louis Cataldo
  • The Tales of Cape Cod Oral History Collection consists      of interviews of life long residents of all the towns in  Barnstable County conducted between ca. 1972-1978. Louis Cataldo, then president of the Tales of Cape Cod board, oversaw the project, staff included Franklin S. Klausner, Roland Barabe, David J. Boudreau, Charles H. Hodgson and Renee Magriel, and interviewers included Betty W. Richards, Lee Anne Sullivan and William Pride. Interviewers asked older Cape Residents about changes    in transportation, the arrival of electricity and telephones, their memories of school, holiday celebrations, foodways, family histories and more. Residents shared stories and anecdotes about summer people, the fishing and   cranberry industries, agriculture, local businesses, the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, Prohibition, race relations, economic change, major storms and much    more.  For more information, contact the William Brewster Nickerson Archives in the Wilkens Library at Cape Cod Community College: http://www.nickersonarchives.org/ 

Interviewee Collection Sort descending Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
Carleton R. Crosby Tales of Cape Cod

Dr. Crosby was born in Brookline in 1895.  He reads from the introduction to his unpublished memoirs for approximately 10 minutes.  This section deals primarily with the train trip from Boston to Buzzards Bay and then on to the Chatham depot, the ride from the depot to their summer home in East Harwich, and his earliest memories as a child during the summer with his family and relatives.  Dr.

Renée Magriel East Harwich, MA The William Brewster Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives
Mary E. Madeiros Tales of Cape Cod

Madeiros describes her experiences living on Cape Cod in Cotuit in the 1920's, including bootleggers, silent movies, the Barnstable Fair, travelling medicine shows, the one room schoolhouse in Santuit, MA, travelling peddlers and local businesses, doctors and medical care, and Christmas celebrations.

Frank Rudd Cotuit, MA The William Brewster Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives
Howard Atwood Tales of Cape Cod

"See, in the latter part of my grandmother being at the lighthouse, President Roosevelt was off the backshore in a government boat on a vacation.  They told him about her being the only woman lighthouse keeper in the country.  He said he would like to meet her.  So, they brought him around, around Provincetown and into Wellfleet Harbor.  They rode him ashore.  He shook hands with my grandmother."

Unknown , Wellfleet, MA The William Brewster Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives
Horace & Malcolm Crosby Tales of Cape Cod

Malcolm “Max” Crosby age 85 (born 1893) and Horace M. Crosby Jr.

Betty Richards Osterville, MA The William Brewster Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives
Mary Mandell Tales of Cape Cod

Born in 1905, Mary recalls how she and her family traveled from Baltimore, Maryland to summer on Cape Cod each year.   She describes her experiences as a child living in Barnstable Village during the summers, rowing to Sandy Neck to buy lobsters, walking down Millway to Main Street and visiting the stationary store, garage and blacksmith shop, Phinney’s General Store and the hardware store.  She also describes the Cummaquid Golf Course, and the houses on Scudder Lane, where her family lived.  Mary tells a story her father told her about Leander Lewis who lived on Scudder

Susan Greene Barnstable, MA The William Brewster Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives
Alvah M. Bearse Tales of Cape Cod

Alvah M. Bearse was a prominent figure in the history of Hyannis, Massachusetts, with his life story intricately linked to the development of this Cape Cod town. Born into a family with deep local roots, Bearse witnessed the transformation of Hyannis from a quaint village to a bustling center of commerce and tourism. His grandparents were well-known in the community, engaging in various trades that contributed to the town's economy and culture. Bearse's upbringing was characterized by a blend of traditional education and practical skills, which later influenced his career choices.

Unknown Hyannis, MA The William Brewster Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives
Helen Pulcifer Doland Tales of Cape Cod

Born in 1894 at 382 Main Street, Yarmouth Port, Mrs.

William Steere Yarmouth Port, MA The William Brewster Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives
Emma Marshall Tales of Cape Cod

February 28, 1978 interview with Emma Marshall of Provincetown, born July 1893.

Betty Richards Provincetown, MA The William Brewster Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives
Mabelle Howes Eagar Tales of Cape Cod

Born in 1898, Mrs.

William Steere Dennis, MA The William Brewster Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives
Judge Henry L. Murphy Tales of Cape Cod

Judge Murphy was born in Hyannis in 1907.  His father and brothers owned Murphy Brothers Bakery for over 40 years.  Judge Murphy as a child started at 5:00 am in the bakery, then school and then back to the bakery in the late afternoon.  The bakery delivered fresh baked goods each morning via horse and wagon.  He remembers graduating from law school during the depression and finding it difficult to find work in Boston.

Frank Rudd Centerville, MA The William Brewster Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives