“Awe-inspiring” is the term we use to describe the magnificent Marconi Beach, which is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, and is located on the Atlantic coast of Cape Cod’s “arm”. From the lookout just above the beach there are wonderful, broad sweeping views of Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
The beach itself is named after the Italian inventor and nobel prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, who in 1903 successfully transmitted the first transatlantic wireless message originating in the U.S. between President Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII in the U.K. But with technology rapidly advancing, the wireless station became outdated within a few years, and was replaced by a more modern one in Chatham, MA.
The barren aspects of this elevated location attracted first Marconi, followed by the government during World War II, where they established Camp Wellfleet as an artillery training facility. When this was no longer needed, the property was transferred to the National Park Service to become part of the Cape Cod National Seashore.
Perhaps the most dramatic piece of Marconi Beach’s history is the ship-wreck of the pirate vessel the Whydah in 1717 during one of the worst storms in Cape Cod’s history. The vessel was the flagship of Samuel ” Black Sam ” Bellaby, who was on his way back to see his sweetheart Maria Hallet in Provincetown, to finally retire after years of plundering across the seas. He had been away for 2 years and tragically fell short of his destination by 5 miles, just 500 yards from shore. There were 140 pirates aboard with tons of gold and other treasure. In 1984 the underwater explorer Barry Clifford discovered the wreck 10 feet deep in sand on the ocean floor, together with $400 million worth of gold coins and many priceless historical artefacts. www.capecodtravelguide.com/articles/2 & http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Sp8fAAAAIBAJ&sjid=HNYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3987,588464&dq=marconi+beach+history&hl=en
Marconi Beach has in more recent times, been ranked as one of the top ten beaches in northeast America, and the many thousands of tourists who visit the beach every will certainly see why.
Useful lnks: Marconi Beach www.nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/marconi-beach.htm
Cape Cod National Seashore: www.nps.gov/CACO/
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce: www.capecodchamber.org
Cape Cod Times: www.capecodtimes.com
Wellfleet Historical Society: www.wellfleethistoricalsociety.com