TRURO – Here at Cape Cod Wave, we are more familiar with the the game of checkers than the Game Of Thrones, but we know a cool castle when we see one. Such was the case when we spotted the mysterious Jenny Lind Tower, which is as castle-esque as you can find around here.
In an isolated corner of North Truro, near the Highland Light Lighthouse is the 70-foot stone tower known as the Jenny Lind Tower. Jenny Lind was a famous and popular Swedish opera singer in the 19th century. She was known as the “Swedish Nightingale.”
The tower used to be located in Boston and was part of the 1845 Fitchburg Railroad Depot, later owned by the Boston and Maine Railroad.
In 1850, it is said that Jenny Lind sang in an auditorium located above the railroad station. As the story goes, the concert was oversold by her promoter P.T. Barnum, and many people who bought tickets could not get in. She had to stop the concert when fans crashed the gates.
The rumor is, she climbed the tower to calm her rioting fans by singing to them.
In 1927, the train station was being torn down. A lawyer connected with the railroad, Henry Aldrich, had the tower dismantled and moved to North Truro where he had bought 100 acres of land.
When the Cape Cod National Seashore was created in 1961, Aldrich’s daughter-in-law donated the tower to the Seashore. A ghost story now surrounds the tower, as it is said that Jenny Lind’s ghost sings in the tower to calm the menacing ghost of “Goody” Hallett, a Wellfleet woman who was the lover of Samuel “Black Jack” Bellamy, a pirate who was shipwrecked off the coast of Wellfleet in the 1717.
And while imaginary dragons and such on television are interesting to some folks, we like real birds and the weird incongruity of seeing the Jenny Lind Tower next to radar dome at the former North Truro Air Station. Plus, the story is better.
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