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The lure of Cape Cod Bay, yesterday and today

Every summer, thousands of people head to Cape Cod Bay in Massachusetts. But how did it become so popular? Why were people drawn to this location?

Cape Code Bay

“Cape Cod Bay” ($21.99, The History Press, 2008) by Theresa Mitchell Barbo discusses the history of the bay beginning with its role as an important geological resource. Early European explorers were amazed by its bounty, one stating the codfish were “so thick one [could] walk on their backs.” Soon the bay was a bustling industry of whaling, shipping and salt making, while the nearby native tribes of Wampanoag almost vanished. As Barbo brings us up to date, the book concludes with modern-day concerns for the bay and its future.

Barbo has researched and lectured on Cape Cod maritime and cultural history for 20 years and is the history editor at the Cape Cod Voice and works actively to protect this valuable environmental asset. She lives with her husband, Daniel, and their children Katherine Margaret and Thomas in Yarmouth Port, not far from the Cape. For information, visit