Tales of Cape Cod

Tales of Cape Cod

Tales of Cape Cod


Route 6A & Rendezvous Lane

Barnstable Village. 

Parking on the street, at St. Mary's or Sturgis Library



Tales of Cape Cod

Tales of Cape Cod


Admission-$10 members, 

$15 non-members


cash, checks, credit cards accepted 

Gathering Room

Tales of Cape Cod

Gathering Room


Programs begin at 7 pm followed by a dessert reception 


 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we will not be having any programs in May and June. We sincerely hope that everyone is safe and look forward to resuming in July. Keep posted to this website as time goes by. 


JULY 6 at 7:00 pm

RUM RUNNING ON CAPE COD with columnist and author Don Wilding. During the era of Prohibition (1920-1933) rum running was big business on Cape Cod. Busy harbors and remote estuaries, were all game as sites for bringing the booze onshore under cover of darkness from Rum Row. This is a comprehensive look at how the “Noble Experiment” turned into a profitable and potentially dangerous undertaking for many Cape Codders. Book signing. 

JULY 20 at 7:00 pm 

THE ILLUSTRIOUS HISTORY OF JOE’S TWIN VILLASwith artist, entrepreneur Joe Diggs. Joe’s Twin Villa was an Osterville hotspot was owned and operated by generations of Joe Diggs’ family. It is now closed, but will long be remembered by its many Cape regulars. In powerful mixed media works that combine action painting, photography, graffiti and collage, Diggs’ art captures the spirit of Twin Villas and explores what it means to be a black man in America. 

JULY 27 at 7:00 pm

THE FURIOUS SKY, A 500 YEAR HISTORY OF AMERICA’S HURRICANES with Eric Jay Dolin. From the moment European colonists laid violent claim to this land, hurricanes have had a profound and visceral impact on American history—yet, no one has attempted to write the definitive account of America’s entanglement with these meteorological behemoths. Now, bestselling historian Eric Jay Dolin presents the five-hundred-year story of American hurricanes, from the nameless storms that threatened Columbus’ New World voyages, to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the escalation of hurricane season as a result of global warming. Populating his narrative with unlikely heroes such as Benito Viñes, the nineteenth- century Jesuit priest whose revelatory methods for predicting hurricanes saved countless lives, and journalist Dan Rather, whose coverage of a 1961 hurricane would change broadcasting history, Dolin uncovers the often surprising ways we respond to natural crises. A necessary work of environmental and cultural history, A Furious Sky will change the way we understand the storms on the horizon of America’s future. Book signing. 

AUGUST 3 at 7:00 pm 

HANGINGS-MELVILLE, LEMUEL SHAW & 4 KILLERS with the Hon. Greg Williams. A story about homegrown historical figures in a story of intrigue only the ever popular Greg Williams can weave. 

AUGUST 10 at 7:00 pm 

VIKINGS ON THE CAPE-ARE THERE RUNES IN THE DUNES? with Timothy Lindberg. The fact that the Vikings were the first Europeans to set foot on American soil is generally accepted. Leif Eriksson journeyed to a land he called Vinland according to the Icelandic Sagas. But where is Vinland, could it be Cape Cod? Lindberg will take you on a journey as well; a journey of colorful history, clever hoaxes, and human hubris in the search for answers to this ongoing mystery. 

AUGUST 17 at 6:30 pm 

GERTRUDE LAWRENCE-THE GHOST OF THE CAPE PLAYHOUSE with musician/ historian/recitalist/lecturer/ scholar Robert Wyatt. Gertrude Lawrence was one of Great Britain’s brightest theatrical stars during the first half of the 20th century. A lifelong friend and colleague of Noel Coward, Lawrence ‘s forte was sophisticated musical comedy, where she exuded a lively, charismatic stage presence that easily overcame her shortcomings as a singer. She was sometimes criticized for a small vocal range and a tendency to sing flat, but her emotional commitment and flat-out star power earned her the approval of most of the musical legends she worked with: the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Kurt Weill and Rodgers & Hammerstein. Her connection to Cape Cod came later in her career when she married producer and aficionado Richard Aldrich in 1940. Their life together was dear and rewarding and Aldrich published Mrs. A: An Intimate Biography of a Great Star, the definitive book on Lawrence’s life and career in 1955. 

Wine and cheese reception. $20 members; $25 nonmembers.

AUGUST 24 at 7:00 pm

AHAB’S ROLLING SEA-WHAT MOBY DICK TEACHES US ABOUT OUR PAST & CURRENT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE OCEAN with Richard King, a professor at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole. Dr. King sails into our Tales of Cape Cod Lecture Series to tell the story of Ahab’s Rolling Sea: A Natural History of Moby-Dick, which has been lauded by both the journals Science and Nature as well as by humanities reviewers such as the American Scholar and the Times Literary Supplement. For this talk, you don’t have to have read the novel! King, an entertaining speaker, will speak clearly about how we use Melville’s masterpiece as a benchmark to shed light on our own current knowledge of marine biology and oceanography—as well as how we perceive and steward the ocean today. King, also an illustrator, creates an individual drawing in each of the books that he signs, so this is not an opportunity to miss! 

Book signing. Dessert reception to follow. $10 members; $15 nonmembers.

AUGUST 31 at 7:00 pm 

IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK-HISTORIC HOUSE MUSEUMS OF CAPE COD, MARTHA’S VINEYARD & NANTUCKET with author Marcia Belmonte Young. This program tells the stories (ghosts included) behind some of the historic house museums, some which are period houses (built in the 1600s) and others are mansions, originally buildt for high society. Some are well known; others are off the beaten path. 

Dessert reception to follow. $10 members; $15 nonmembers.

SEPTEMBER 14 at 7:00 pm

NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T; THE PILGRIM’S LANDING ON CAPE COD with Bill Burke, UNITED STATES NATIONAL PARK SERVICE. Four centuries ago, a small band of English religious dissenters and a small crew from the Mayflower set ashore at Provincetown, setting in motion a brief but intense 5 weeks of exploration, rummaging and soul searching on the Outer Cape prior to settling Plymouth. What were they looking for, what were their interactions with native peoples already here, and what is the legacy of their brief encounter? 

Dessert reception to follow. $10 members; $15 nonmembers.

SEPTEMBER 21 at 7:00 pm 

THE BLIND BARRISTER OF BARNSTABLE-JOHN D.W.BODFISH with Russ Allen. John Dunning Whitney Bodfish, the speaker’s grandfather-in-law, was a blind lawyer who practiced in Barnstable in the first half of the twentieth century, served as a County Commissioner, was active in Commonwealth politics, and gifted Benjamin Bodfish Park in Sandy Neck. This program will explore his life as recorded in his autobiography, share family anecdotes, and detail the contributions he made to the betterment of the Town of Barnstable. 

Dessert reception to follow. $10 members; $15 nonmembers.

SEPTEMBER 28 at 7:00 pm 

REVERSE FREEDOM RIDERS with NPR Reporter Gabrielle Emanuel. The summer of 1961 was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. And that is when black and white activists known as the Freedom Riders set out to integrate bus travel and challenged Jim Crow laws. But what happened a year later has largely been forgotten. That is when Southern segregationists fought back. Their victims were poor African Americans and acclaimed NPR reporter Gabrielle Emanuel of WGBH in Boston has the story of the Reverse Freedom Rides. Gabrielle started her journalism career as a Kroc Fellow at NPR. She then went on to cover education for NPR before coming to WGBH. Since coming to WGBH, Gabrielle has reported on everything from controversial real estate developments to sea turtles stranded by changing water temperatures. She went to Dartmouth College and attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. 

Dessert reception to follow. $10 members; $15 nonmembers.


October 5 at 6:30 pm 

THE NEW ENGLAND THRUWAYI MEMORIES OF THE BRONX, MASHPEE, BAJANS & WAMPANOAGS with Morgan Peters. When one side of your family are West Indians, New Yorker summer residents in Mashpee and the other side is Wampanoag, it makes for a very interesting experience growing up during the tribe’s land suit, slimy developers land-grab, and the shaping of your own social, cultural and ethnic identity. 

$15 members; $20 nonmembers. Wine and cheese reception.