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January 2020 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

Over the next 12 months, the Protect Our Past newsletter will feature historic properties, both on and off Cape, ones that have been saved from the wrecking ball and restored to their former glory.  We hope you will find these stories both interesting and inspirational.  Perhaps they will heighten your awareness of the architectural treasures that are all around you. 

This month’s story is about a 1740 half Cape in South Yarmouth that had fallen into severe disrepair after being boarded up and unoccupied for over twelve years.  Research showed that this house had been built on Nantucket, then floated over to Yarmouth sometime in the early 1800’s, a common practice when a sea captain was in search of a bigger house after returning from a successful voyage.

Despite its dilapidated condition, the new owners discovered there were doors with original hardware, beautiful wide-board pine flooring and many hand-blown glass windows, all of which they salvaged and used in this restoration.  The end result is a charming, historic home bundled into a perfect, manageable size, with all the conveniences of modern living yet with the added bonus of having preserved a piece of Cape Cod’s history. 






                     To see all the before and after restoration photos, inside and out, go to





Hopefully you are now inspired to participate in saving historical properties. To successfully start a movement to preserve historic buildings, we need to produce a full-length documentary about the consequences of loss and the value of saving them. Perhaps you are asking, “Why is a documentary needed?” Many individuals have struggled mightily to stop the demolition of notable historic structures, winning a few and losing too many.  They need help.  

It takes the big screen, the media, to start a movement.  The “One Big Home” documentary is still energizing by-law changes in communities around the nation, even in Honolulu.  It’s director, Thomas Bena, his filmmaker colleague Oliver Becker, and Nick Fitzhugh (redfitz Productions) will be producing this Protect Our Past documentary.  They know how to stir hearts and motivate change.

Our first stage fundraising goal is $500,000, which will jump start our quest to match a generous grant donation. To give, please do one of the following: (Yes, you will receive a tax credit.) We must get this done before we lose more irreplaceable buildings to a wrecking ball.

                                                                                     How to Donate
                                       CHECK: Pay to the Order of: Center for Independent Documentary
                                                     Memo Line (lower left corner of check): Protect Our Past
                                                     1300 Soldiers Field Road, Suite #5, Boston, MA 02135
                                       ONLINE: Go to
                                                       Click on DONATE button
                                                                      THANK YOU, in advance, for caring!

To learn more, attached is the Protect Our Past Mission Statement and list of three planned projects, the first being the documentary. Please feel free to contact me with any of your questions.  

If you have time and/or website and social networking talent please let me know. 

I am looking forward to hearing from you.


Executive Director

Protect Our Past
P. O. Box 606
North Chatham, MA 02650

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