For over 100 years Highland House held fast through battering storms and gales on a sandy point of Cape Cod Bay. Highland's hosts offered a bit of friendly diversion to vacationers with grace and solitude and a million stars alight. How could you go wrong with "...15 bedrooms and a bath..." for only $8 a week room and board. People traveled by horse, by carriage, then train and automobile to find this lovely Hotel at Truro for time away from home and congenial company. The owners watched as literally thousands of other people joined them on their once lonely point looking out on Cape Cod Bay.
Today, it is operated by the Truro Historical Society. The huge main room shows no evidence of sagging. Built 'hell for strong' with no steel support or visible beams holding straight the ceiling and upper story. A grand inclusion to the Historical Register.
Nor a two-burner bake oven like this one with fancy blue doors.
Being a museum junkie, my very favorite item here was the amazing collection of hand hooked rugs. I think I counted ten of them. Many done before patterns were available. Just the tidy handwork of 'waste not want not', using scraps of wool.
If you can stand a slug of pictures you can click my link at: http://picasaweb.google.com/1579penn/62210HighlandHouseLiveSavingServ#
(It also has pictures of the light house and Life Saving Museum.)
From Highland House, we walked to Highland Light, the oldest lighthouse on the island. We passed through the oldest golf course on the island, Highland Links, an area that at one time was the vegetable garden for the hotel.
Congress stepped in and began funding private organizations like the Humane Society, recognizing the need for nationwide sea rescue on both coasts. In 1872, the first staffed life saving station was built on Cape Cod. Only one, Highland, remains to tell the story today.
He told us that the U.S. government would fund food for the horse, in stations that had one, to help haul the boat to the water, but would not buy the men their food or clothing needed for rescue. These men patrolled at night, walking the beech in winter 2 and 1/2 miles each way, often holding a shingle in front of their eyes to protect them from the blowing, swirling sands.