An Island in Time: Exploring Bound Brook Island, Its Land & People, Its Past & Present


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It’s not only a rural paradise secluded in the Cape Cod National Seashore, it’s one square mile rich with history—native Punonakanits, Pilgrims, sea captains, shore whaling, religious revival meetings, salt works, and an island-born entrepreneur who first brought bananas from Jamaica to the US.

Sharon Dunn came to love this land in northwest Wellfleet, arriving in the early 1990s to spend summers with her family in one of its four original antique Cape houses. She hiked its hills and ravines, its forgotten roads, came upon cellar holes where houses once stood. Why was Bound Brook Island no longer an island? Why did its thriving community of 150 inhabitants in 1850 dwindle to none by 1910?  Why do photos from early 1900s show a landscape bare of all vegetation?

Antique maps and photographs as well as her own maps, photographs and poems, grace this book that also contains original research in town records, county deeds and censuses, where the author found surprising details about the island and the families that lived there.

An Island in Time spans the island’s creation 16,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age, and ends in the twenty-first century, with its summer people, its artists and intellectuals and its future in a warming world.


Sharon Dunn has published a memoir, Under a Dark Eye: A Family Story, and two books of poetry, Refugees in the Garden and My Brother and I. For ten years she was editor of the literary magazine AGNI. She lives with her husband in western Massachusetts and on Bound Brook Island in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.



Weight .93 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .5 in
Levellers Press