Exhibition opening JULY 2, 2018
The midcentury 1955-1965 was a vibrant, lively era, when visitors arrived by train, car and boat to enjoy the beaches and vacation life on the Outer Cape. The Highland House Hotel known as “The Queen of the Highlands” was a summer gathering place for tourists and locals alike.
“The Groaning Board”, pictured here,was a popular
fixture at the Highland House during the 50s and 60s
With its wide front porch, proximity to the Highland Golf Course and the Cape Cod Lighthouse, the Highland House hotel, hit her heyday in the mid-century. The Highland House grew as visitors flocked to the Outer Cape in the summer.
By the 1950s owners Hal and Estelle Conklin were bringing musical acts to perform at the hotel and the “Groaning Table” dinners were legendary. Joe Colliano and partner Bill Hastings were bartenders at the Highland House bar, performing four hands on the piano and organ and starting up their Jobi Pottery business near the Lighthouse. The 50’s were also a time when Route 6 was expanded and the North Truro Air force Base housed 500 people, troops and their families. And it was the time when John F. Kennedy signed documents forming the Cape Cod National Seashore, protecting thousands of acres of Cape Cod in perpetuity. Inside the Seashore, a unique group of modernist houses were built by some of the nation’s most innovative architects of the day.