Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rum-Running at Smuggler's Beach, South Yarmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The sand sculptures at Cape Cod's Bass River Beach, known to locals as Smuggler's Beach, in South Yarmouth

Marash Girl was excited to visit the sand sculptures in South Yarmouth last week, after her first encounter with the sculptures at Smuggler's Beach (See Marash Girl's post about the fish that talked & walked.) Curious about the name Smuggler's Beach, Marash Girl made a phone call to the elegant hotel located at Smuggler's Beach.  "Could you tell me the origin of the name Smuggler's Beach, the name you use as part of your establishment?"  "No," answered the woman on the other end of the line.  "We just made it up."  "Thank you," said Marash Girl, as she decided to do a bit more research to find the real story behind the name.  And in an article in the publication CAPTURING CAPE COD HISTORY, she found that the site of that elegant hotel in South Yarmouth was once the location of the speakeasy "Casa Madrid".   The article went on to say that "Mayor Curley of Boston may or may not have been escorted out a window by his bodyguards during a 1932 raid by the state police."  But there is no question that rum-running occurred during prohibition (1920-1933) from across Bass River to Smuggler's Beach, at the mouth of the Bass River on Cape Cod in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts.


  1. Very interesting! The sculptures are really cool, but the fence ruins them completely!!

  2. does diamond sue own the eponymous river?

  3. Guess why they had to put the fence up!

  4. I somehow saw your other post about the sand sculptures first and commented there, but I used to live right around the corner from Smuggler's. If you pass it on your left and go past the Riviera and Blue Water, my street was on the right. We were just a few houses in, so it was great being so close to the beach. If you went a little further past the Blue Water and Surf & Sand, I grew up spending my summers in the duplexes just past that on the beach. I think someone told me they're all walled off now though. :( Such a small world. See, not ALL Armenians go to Old Silver Beach. ;)

  5. the site of Casa Madrid is a few hundred yards up run pond road on the left. much of the building is still there and sticks out quite clearly, as it's a white Spanish stucco structure.

  6. I used to work at the Casa Madrid in the mid 90's when it housed mental health services. It was a funky old place. Legend had it that tunnels ran underneath the building for ingress and egress. In the basement you could see where part of it had been sealed off.

    1. I wish I had some photos of that! Would love to know more of the legends! Do you know any more about the place?