No heat, no running water, no toilets, nor any other modern conveniences, these are the Provincetown Dune Shacks. Originally built in the late 19th century by the Life Saving Service (pre Coast Guard), the shacks were intended for use by stranded mariners.
You are looking at them here from the top of the dunes overlooking the sand bowl (described in a previous post).
Changing lenses in windy dunes may not be the best idea, but I wanted to get in as close as I could. Sitting on the top of a dune with the lens leveled on my knee, I’m pleased that I got what I did, although less wind might have helped.
I like the bright blue door on the one to the right.
The area of the dune shacks was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, and most became the property of the National Park Service in 1961.
For more information, there is a guide book here .
While the shacks provided sailors with shelter after a shipwreck, the ships wrecked provided materials for repairing these structures. Much can be surmised and imagined with this potential situation. Shipwrecks also provided the locals with the spoils – whatever cargo could be salvaged if the crew was unable to make it to shore. Finders keepers?
Today, the shacks are better known as summer getaway spots and artists’ retreats, and the National Seashore has programs in place to maintain the shacks with individuals and groups.
Rolling dunes, the endless sea, rustic living; how hard could it be? No car to get around, so you walk or get a ride in and out. Think of how much water you would have to bring to have enough for one week.