Text Box: Duck Creek, 1996

The town of Wellfleet on Cape Cod has revolved around Duck Creek since the 17th century and our time in Wellfleet has revolved around Duck Creek since the last century.

Iíve done a lot of drawings of parts of Duck Creek but only one of this breadth. Itís a fine sight to wake up to.

I drew it from the back deck of our cottage in July of 1996. We first rented this cottage when Adam was little enough that Gerry gave him a bath while he stood in a spaghetti pot on the front lawn. I have a picture but Iíll spare him and not display it here.

Itís funny to think of the fact that when we first rented this place the only telephone we had was a pay phone in a shed down the hill in back. Now we have at least as many phones as people and use the house phone for dial up internet, if we canít get a wireless signal.

This drawing is a favorite. I love doing big scenes when they present themselves but I like this one especially because Iíve done drawings from almost every part of Duck Creek, some in places I could only get to when the tide was out.

In the right foreground are the remains of a derelict fishing boat that I drew in 1977 and then in 1980 showing itsí decay over time. What you see is all that was left in 1996 and now hardly any of it is left.

The little set of steps on the left lead to an extremely tiny cottage that we rented once just for a change.  I remember Gerry getting up early to see the spectacular sunrises. 

Further back is a striped roof that covered the back of a dessert place where we went often for ice cream. In front is a group of derelict boats that I drew in the seventies. One of these hulks was refloated eventually and became an oyster shucking platform at the town pier.

On the right is a derelict I wanted to draw before it disappeared, I didnít get to it in time. It sat just in front of the remains of the trestle that carried the train to Provincetown over the creek. A lot of the railroad right of way on the Cape has been turned into bicycle paths. 

We rented a place on the other side of the harbor one summer. The walk into town took about a half hour and included passing the railroad trestle and crossing Duck Creek on Uncle Timís Bridge. Uncle Timís Bridge is in the center if the drawing, underneath the Congregational Church. 

A lot of the houses along Duck Creek belonged to shipís captains when it was the commercial center of Wellfleet before Duck Creek harbor became silted in.

I think the view would have had a lot more bustling action a hundred years ago, maybe even some shipbuilding, but there would have been a summer cottage porch to sit on even then. The group of cottages we usually rent were called the Lemon Pie Cottages then.

Iíve used this drawing in a couple of different ways. The backstory page for this month focuses on them.

Close Ups

The ďCongoĒ Church. The bell chimes shipís time.

Uncle Timís Bridge.

Railroad trestle.

Duck Creek has eaten many of our kites over the years. This has never fazed Adam.

Adam taught himself to fly a stunt kite here.

We must have gotten up with Gerry to see the sunrise. She took the picture.

Sunrise at the cottage up the little set of steps. Adam couldnít keep his eyes open and has fallen back asleep. Amy just didnít get up.

All material copyright 2016 Neil Borrell


Text Box: Email   neil@borrellcompany.com