Cape Cod National Seashore | Back Shore

Thalassa (Shack No. 14)

Thalassa, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Thalassa, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Thalassa, when it was Seagoin' (1930), courtesy of Susan Leonard.

Thalassa, when it was Seagoin’ (1930), courtesy of Susan Leonard.

Thalassa (θαλασσα) is the primal spirit of the sea and the name Hazel Hawthorne Werner gave to the smaller of her dune cottages. It was built in 1930 by the coast guardsmen, and brothers, Louis “Spucky” Silva and Frank Silva, who salvaged its windows from Eugene O’Neill’s life-saving station, its timbers from the beach, gave it a front porch, and called it Seagoin’ (top). They sold it to Werner in 1936. Her guests included E. E. Cummings, Norman Mailer, and Edmund Wilson. It was here in 1996 that David Forest Thompson was first captivated by shack life. He published a book of his paintings, Dune Shacks. Other artists and writers who have stayed here are Tabitha Vevers; her husband, Daniel Ranalli; and Allen Young. Thalassa has been managed since 2000 by the Peaked Hill Trust.


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

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