Program: Henry Beston’s Cape Cod: Inspiration for a National Seashore

Presented by Don Wilding of the Henry Beston Society. Tuesday, July 15 @ 6:30 p.m.

Join the Athol Public Library at 568 Main Street on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 6:30 p.m., when we welcome Don Wilding for his presentation of Henry Beston’s Cape Cod: Inspiration for a National Seashore.

Don Wilding, the co-founder of the nonprofit Henry Beston Society on Cape Cod and author of the book, Henry Beston’s Cape Cod, has presented this program on Cape Cod and across New England extensively since 2001.  Beston’s book, The Outermost House, was written in 1927 after Beston spent a solitary year in a 20x16 cottage on Eastham’s outer beach.  The Outermost House is now considered an American classic on the level of the works of Thoreau, Muir, and other noted nature writers, and was cited as a major influence on the establishment of the Cape Cod’s National Seashore in 1961.

Wilding’s presentation includes over 100 slides of Beston and his famous cottage, along with footage from the documentary film project.  The program tells how the Quincy native, still shaken by his experiences as an ambulance driver in France during WWI, took to writing fairy tales and eventually found the peace of mind he was looking for on Cape Cod’s outer beach.  In doing so, Beston not only found himself as a writer but the National Park Service later used The Outermost House to cite why the Outer Beach of Cape Cod should be preserved as a National Seashore.

Wilding published his book, Henry Beston’s Cape Cod: How ‘The Outermost House’ Inspired a National Seashore, in 2003, shortly after co-founding the nonprofit Beston Society with his wife, Nita.  The book was published in a new edition in July 2013.  Wilding will be available to sign copies of his book along with copies of the DVD, Henry Beston’s Cape Cod: Meditations of the Outer Beach.  The DVD, a fundraiser for the documentary film project, includes samples of interviews and scenic footage that have been gathered so far.

The Beston Society is based in North Eastham and has sponsored and/or taken part in lectures, theater productions and exhibits on the Cape.  Wilding and the Beston Society are now producing a documentary film about Beston’s story and his influence on the Cape Cod National Seashore, in association with filmmaker Christopher Seufert and Mooncusser Films of Chatham.  For more information on the Beston Society, call (508) 246-7242 or visit

This library program is free and open to the public.

The Henry Beston Society is generously providing us with this presentation free of charge.

Please call the library to sign up at 978-249-9515.  REGISTRATION REQUIRED.  Space is limited.