Established 1922

In 1922, Albert Bowerman established Bowerman’s Beach Club as a special place for West Falmouth families to enjoy our beautiful Cape Cod beach.

The Bowerman family managed the Club for almost 60 years until 1981 when a devoted group of local residents purchased the Club. This group of local leaders was committed to preserving this unique and cherished gathering place for current and future residents of West Falmouth and their families. Bowermans Beach Club, with its natural dunes and fine white sand, remains a stunning setting for recreation, relaxation and exquisite sunsets, but the thing that makes Bowerman’s truly special is the sense of community and friendship shared by members across multiple generations.
The origin of the club began with John Jenkins deeding the land of what is now known as Bowerman’s Beach to Prince G. Bowerman in 1838. It remained exclusively in the Bowerman family for almost 150 years until its purchase by the Bowerman’s Beach Club Condominium Association in 1981. The beach was first used as a bathing spot in the early part of the 20th century, and a few scattered “bath houses” or “camps” were formed as a result of the interest of some summer residents.
In the early 1920s, George Dwight Pratt, who was a former mayor of Springfield, MA, and a visitor to the beach, suggested to Albert Bowerman that he consider a more centralized arrangement including the construction of bathhouses for the convenience of members. A primary building was subsequently constructed in 1922, and the few scattered shacks were consolidated in to this new structure.

For many years, Albert and Lois Bowerman and their children occupied the second-floor living quarters and managed the Club each summer to serve both regular guests and “transients.” Eventually, the latter group expanded so that a transient building was constructed with a fence to provide each group its own area. In addition, a special arrangement for a few bathhouses was always made with the West Falmouth Inn to accommodate its guests. Bowerman’s Beach Club flourished as families came to gather frequently for summer recreation and friendship.

Unfortunately, there have been several natural events that have damaged Bowerman’s central building over the years. The famous 1938 New England Hurricane completely destroyed everything on the site. Since the beach operation was a profitable business for the Bowerman family, plans for a new bathhouse were quickly developed. With the architectural advice of Paul Cumings, a long-time summer resident, a handsome new facility was constructed and ready for the summer of 1939. The new facility also had private living quarters for the Bowerman family as well as a large social room for general use. The building was used continuously for 25 years until 1964, although several nor’easters and hurricanes caused considerable damage during that time.
In 1964, a fire of undetermined origin destroyed the central portion of the building. Albert Bowerman was not alive to witness this second disaster, but the family rebuilt the structure maintaining the same character and charm, and that is the building that exists to this day.

The Bowerman family continued to manage the club during this time. Upon the death of Albert Bowerman in 1959, one of his daughters, Cecelia B. Fuglister, undertook supervision of the business and the property. In 1969, another of his daughters, Priscilla B. Gentile, arranged to spend her summers managing the seasonal operation, with varying assistance from younger members of the family and some additional help from the children of Club members. Together, the two sisters provided wonderful continuity in their oversight of this increasingly popular beach facility.

In order to maintain both the beauty of the beach as well as a thriving business operation, the Bowerman family sold the property to a group of passionate and devoted residents in 1981. The vision of both the Bowerman family and this group of local leaders was to create a permanent ownership structure to ensure that current and future generations would be able to continue to enjoy this important West Falmouth institution. In fact, the member-owner structure of non-residential condominiums was the first of its kind in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and served as a model that has since been followed by many other clubs.

2022 – Bowerman’s 100 Year Anniversary

2022 is a landmark year, as it marks the centennial of Bowerman’s Beach Club. West Falmouth families across multiple generations will gather to celebrate 100 years of the Club’s existence. While so many things change over time, Bowerman’s Beach Club, with its soft sand and warm summer waters, remains an important element of the West Falmouth community where families and friends across many generations have gathered for 100 years . . . and will continue to gather for many years in the future.

Founders of the Bowerman’s Beach Club Condominium in 1981

John Funkhouser

Dick Fraser

Gordon Heald

Walter McLaughlin

Tom Wheeler