David Donovan PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JESUP MEMORIAL LIBRARY

‘Outermost House’ and author topic of Donovan talk



BAR HARBOR — National Park Service Ranger David Donovan will speak about naturalist and author Henry Beston and Beston’s book “The Outermost House” at the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m.

In 1926 Beston went to “The Outermost House,” a 20-by-16-foot house located on the dunes of Cape Cod’s Eastham, for what was intended to be a two-week vacation. The cottage had the Atlantic Ocean near the front door and Nauset Marsh in the back. Beston’s only neighbors were the Coast Guardsmen, who patrolled the beach. However, as he recounted, “The fortnight ending, I lingered on, and as the year lengthened into autumn, the beauty and mystery of this earth and outer sea so possessed and held me that I could not go.”

He used the house as a base for observation, writing the book longhand on his kitchen table overlooking the ocean. “The Outermost House” has been called one of the motivating factors in the establishment of the Cape Cod National Seashore, and noted biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson said the book greatly influenced her writing.

The book “is one of the reasons that the Cape Cod National Seashore exists today,” said Endicott Peabody, former Massachusetts governor.

Donovan is a biology teacher who spent seven years as a seasonal interpretive ranger in Acadia National Park before spending the summer of 2017 on the Cape Cod National Seashore. For many years, he has been a gallery guide at The Harvard Museum of Natural History, where he specializes in the interpretation of the Ware Collection of Glass Plants. In addition, Donovan has led Winter among the Trees educational programs at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum.

Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected].

 

 

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