In 1872, the first federally constructed and staffed lifesaving stations emerged as part of the Department of Treasury and became the U.S. Life Saving Service. Built in 1897, the Wellfleet Beachcomber was one of the nine Life Saving Service stations built on the Outer Cape (Race Point, Highlands, Peaked Hill Bars, Pamet, Cahoon's Hollow, Nauset, Orleans, Chatham, and Monomoy Point).
In 1953 Russell Gallagher, who had summered at Cahoon Hollow Beach as a child, bought the old station and converted it into a small Inn, and dubbed it the Beachcomber. One of the rooms inside was finished with driftwood and nautical bric a brac, that was "combed" off the beach. Mr. Gallagher operated the Beachcomber for 25 years and in 1978, sold the business to the current owners.
In August of 1961, President John F. Kennedy created the Cape Cod National Seashore through purchasing and eminent domain over 43,500 acres of ponds, woods and beachfront along the Atlantic–facing Eastern side of Cape Cod in the towns of Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans, and Chatham. Included in this area is 8,000 acres (12.5 square miles) of the Town of Wellfleet. By virtue of a "Grandfather" clause, the Beachcomber was/is allowed to remain within the National Seashore as a privately held commercial property (only of eleven at that time).
The Beachcomber, located in the dunes on Cahoon Hollow Beach, offers a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean. This brings us to our assertion of being "Cape Cod’s only oceanfront restaurant and club." So, even though there are several restaurants, and other businesses on the water (either Nantucket Sound, or Cape Cod Bay), the Beachcomber remains as truly the only oceanfront (Atlantic side) restaurant on Cape Cod.
Put the Beachcomber on your list of places to visit when on Cape Cod...... you won't be disappointed!