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News from Sea Pines - Winter 2021

Here's to a better 2021 Happy New Year and welcome to the Winter 2021 edition of the Sea Pines e-newsletter. "Business as unusual" continues at Sea Pines as the pandemic persists and we negotiate these unsettled times. Thank you to all the members of the Sea Pines community for the care and concern you have demonstrated for each other.

The newsletter and website aim to keep you up-to-date on all the Sea Pines news you'll need. All e-newsletters are posted on the website and printed copies are provided at the clubhouse. We welcome your comments to the editor at the email address below.

Sea Pines marketing materials, circa 1974.

"Alakazam – all General Electric appliances!"

Sea Pines comes to market in 1974

Not surprisingly, there was more than a little hyperbole (and a touch of chauvinism) in the sales brochure that launched the initial sale of Sea Pines units in 1974. Housed in a folder made of sand paper (literally), the marketing package contains a lyrical description of our then-fledgling community and the benefits of a Brewster address (excerpted below). Later iterations of sales materials included floor plans for the five condominium designs ultimately offered: The Bay House, The Carriage House, The Brewster House, The Garden House, and the Ranch Cape.

Sea Pines was the first condominium community created by developers CMJ of Quincy; the firm would go on to develop Ocean Edge and Brewster Green condominiums. Condominiums were a novel idea at the time. The first ones in the United States were built in Utah in 1960 but the concept didn’t gain steam until after 1970, when federal legislation enabled the condominium form of residential ownership. The land purchased for the Sea Pines development was originally the summer camp component of the Sea Pines School of Charm and Personality for Young Women, a finishing and college preparatory school established in 1902. At its largest the school occupied 300 acres and included the buildings now housing Chillingsworth Restaurant and the Strawberry Patch store.

Construction at Sea Pines began in 1973 and continued in four phases through 1984. An article in the Boston Sunday Herald Advertiser in August 1976 discussed the expansion of the development to include new, pre-sold (another novel idea) units at the beachfront; these were listed at $62,000 to $126,000, considerably pricier than the existing units listed at $37,000 to $61,000. The article stated that Sea Pines boasted “natural looking homes in washed gray and muted barn reds among pine trees. Most of the area is left natural and no one [living here] feels hemmed in.”

Excerpt from the sales brochure:

Sea Pines condominiums were conceived, designed and constructed on an age-old foundation:

A man’s home is his castle. (Hers too, of course.)

We took that traditional concept of private living and turned it into something you’ve always wanted. A home on Cape Cod. One with a private sandy beach. And thick, natural greenery. And tennis courts. And a swimming pool. And just about everything under the sun.

Sounds like a dream. It is. But a dream made real because a sand castle at Sea Pines is within realistic reach.

Clusters, not clutter. We could have treated each unit like any other condominium. Like misplaced skyscrapers. But that wasn’t enough for us. And we’re sure that wouldn’t be enough for you either.

For Sea Pines, we wanted something more. More open space. More sky, sea and land. More nature.

o we spread our spread out. In small clusters. Nestled in pine. What you get are trees for neighbors. An ocean in your own backyard. And something even harder to find these days: nothing. 70 percent of the land in its natural state for the pleasure and enjoyment of each owner.

But the best land has been put aside so that we could put something man-made on it. Your own home.

1,000 feet of private beach, and then some. When you buy a home at Sea Pines, you automatically get more than your own stretch of beach to stretch out on. You get the best shellfishing this side of the Atlantic. Sand dunes to romp on. A sheltered bay to sail in. And a way of life that you could get very used to. Very fast.

Your dream home is a condominium. It’s an unconventional notion, but nonetheless a gracious one. Wall-to-wall carpeting is provided in a rich variety of colors and materials. A 52-inch, open-hearth brick fireplace is built into every home. And each home has private patio areas which can be individually planted and decorated. On the practical side, there’s your eat-in kitchen. Alakazam! You won’t have to raise a finger because it’s completely equipped with General Electric appliances. Including a 2-door frost-free refrigerator, a range with self-cleaning oven, a disposal, a sound-insulated dishwasher and optional washing machine and dryer. And there’s plenty of extra storage space. Even covered parking for your car. And ample guest parking.

The only thing missing right now is you.


Get to know your FMB representatives

We continue our series of short profiles of members of the Facilities Management Board with these two profiles. The board is comprised of hardworking volunteers who devote countless hours in service to the Sea Pines community. BA and Bob want to know their constituents and hear their opinions and concerns – so step up and introduce yourself!

BA Harris (Phase 4 Representative)

BA became a Sea Pines owner in 2009 but was not new to Brewster, having gone to Camp Wono (now Cape Cod Sea Camps) from 1959 until 1971. She also vacationed at Linger Longer Cottages before coming to Sea Pines.

BA became active in our community as a member of the Club House Committee, which she chaired after the retirement of Barbara Sullivan. The committee refurbished the clubhouse and designed the fitness room, with BA lending her expertise as a physical therapist to the selection of fitness equipment and instruction on its use.

BA is an avid boater – she first owned sailboats and now has a powerboat. With her friends and family, she enjoys trips to Jeremy Point, Quivet Creek, Provincetown, Barnstable Harbor and sunset cruises which include picnics, swimming and fishing. Her hobbies include cooking (one of her best friends is a celebrity chef), traveling (she can’t wait until we can do it again!), going out to dinner, and attending art exhibits. Her favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh but Henri Matisse is a close second.

BA is involved in Partners in Health in Haiti and Flying Kites, a primary education program with a school in Kenya. She has visited both countries, which she describes as humbling experiences. She had also been on Safari in Tanzania (love those warthogs!) and Kenya.

BA is originally from New York, but her grandparents lived in Newton, MA and from an early age she decided she wanted to live in Boston. She is a mostly-retired physical therapist but continues to be involved in clinical research focusing on strengthening programs in older people. BA worked at Mass General Hospital and the MGH Institute of Health Professions (MGHIHP) for a total of 42 years. She is now professor emerita and most recently received a Doctor of Humane Letters from the MGH IHP.

Bob Weisel (Phase 4 Representative) & Granddaughters

Bob has been vacationing in Brewster for 40 years and has been an owner at Sea Pines for the last 17 years, with his passion for the Cape shared by his two children and three grandchildren. Bob has served on the FMB from 2006-2008 and from 2015 to the present, serving as president since 2018. Bob’s committee involvement at Sea Pines has included the bluffs, beach and boating, grounds, electrical, reserve, and party committees.

As a structural engineer, Bob’s career included serving as chairman and CEO of Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation, a Boston-based global design and construction firm involved with large infrastructure projects throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and across the United States. Bob’s career included the design and construction of multi-billion-dollar projects for power, oil and gas, petrochemical, and mining clients around the world. Over the last 15 years, Bob has developed an independent consulting practice, working with clients to develop large infrastructure in Kazakhstan, Qatar, Oman, Finland, Canada, Australia and Bulgaria.

Under the Clinton administration, Bob was appointed to the Board of Directors of the U.S./India Business Counsel and the U.S./Korea Business Counsel, established to expand U.S. business activities with India and Korea.

Bob is also involved with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he serves as a member of the Board of Overseers and is Chairman of the Cardiovascular Advisory Counsel. Bob is also a volunteer consultant with Empower Success Corps, a Boston-based, non-profit management consulting firm that provides management consulting services to non-profits across New England.


Bought a flatscreen and want to dump your old TV?

PLEASE, be kind and don’t deposit your old TV or other non-household rubbish in the trash sheds. This includes furniture, golf clubs, appliances, tools, paint cans, tires, landscape debris, bicycles and beach equipment, all of which have been seen in trash sheds around Sea Pines. These items will not be collected by our waste removal supplier, nor is their removal the responsibility of Mercantile staff or covered by your maintenance fees.

If you need to dispose of items that are not household rubbish, please contact a disposal service such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK or take them to the Brewster transfer station at 201 Run Hill Road.

Another sand fence?

Sea Pines has installed a new sand fence, a critical part of our ongoing effort to protect our beach from erosion. A sand fence creates a healthy sand dune by trapping blowing and drifting sand and causing a dune to build up. Native plants like sea grass strengthen the dune by forming webs of deep root systems that help hold the sand in place. The vegetation also acts as a further means to trap sand carried over the dunes by wind. Our new fence will quickly be covered with sand, as the last one was. Sea Pines is fortunate in that these small investments over the years have paid off, freeing us from the need to purchase sand as other beachfront communities have been compelled to do.


Thirty pine trees at Sea Pines have been red-tagged for removal. These are seriously afflicted with pine bark beetle disease and were classified as non-treatable by a professional arborist. Trees with blue tags have been affected by the blight but were determined to be treatable. The removal and remediation of the tagged trees will take place over the course of the winter.


Questions or comments about this e-newsletter should be directed to Lynn Smiledge [Email ]