CCNS Back Shore | Dune Shacks


A man may stand there and put all Provincetown behind him. Along the Back Shore — or Back Side or Great Shore or Great Back Shore or Great Beach — settlement meets sea, and the built environment is humbled. The Pilgrim Monument looks distant, almost inconsequential. There is no place for human-engineered grandeur against the mighty Atlantic Ocean and the treacherous Peaked Hill Bars. Instead, snugness, modesty, and adaptability are rewarded. Structures perform the most elementary services of salvation and shelter. Visiting the dune shacks »

CCNS Back Shore | Dune Shack 1


C-Scape is the best known of the shacks. It’s fairly easy to reach; it was well documented in the 2009 picture book, Dune Shack Summer, by Suzanne Lewis; and it’s open for occupancy to a limited number of writers and artists, through the nonprofit Provincetown Community Compact, run by Jay Critchley and Tom Boland, which has managed the shack since 1996 under agreement with the Park Service. More pictures and history »

CCNS Back Shore | Dune Shack 2

Leo’s Place

The Noones brothers and Edward “Jake” Loring are credited with this shack, begun in the latter 1930s as a place for fishing and socializing. Howard Lewis, an upholsterer, bought it in 1952 or 1953. Leo Fleurant lived here year-round from 1963 until his death — in the shack — in 1984. In 1994, the Park service leased the shack jointly to Emily Beebe and Evelyn Simon, who continued to refer to it as “Leo’s Place.” It can be seen clearly from the Province Lands Visitors Center. More pictures »

CCNS Back Shore | Dune Shack 4

(Professors Row)

Jake Loring, the operator of Loring’s Taxi, and Dominic Avila, a carpenter, built this cottage as a Back Shore resort in 1935. It was acquired in 1953 by David William Adams, a professor at Western Michigan University, and Marcia (Cargill) Adams. Subject to a stipulation of settlement with the government, it can be occupied by the family until 2014. More pictures and history »

CCNS Back Shore | Dune Shack 5

Mission Bell (Professors Row)

“Mission Bell” is the popular name for this cottage, although the bell in question — a useful navigational landmark out in the dunes — was salvaged in 1955 not from a mission but from a one-room schoolhouse in Michigan. It’s the shack closest to the Somerset wreck. More pictures and history »