How Cape House got its name

This literary press is dedicated to the memory of Joan Helen Ash, mother and mother-in-law of its founders, Bill and Lorraine Ash.

It is named after the home she owned atop a bluff on Stage Island in Chatham on Cape Cod. Full-length windows on the first floor offered a dazzling view of Nantucket Sound. Joan used to go there every September and, after she retired, lived there eleven years with her best friend from college, also a widow. They always invited their children and grandchildren to visit. “Come on!” they’d say. “Come up to the Cape house!”

Joan Ash in the early 1970s.

Anyone who visited the Cape house re-entered the rush of life refreshed and recharged, their thoughts rearranged by that horizon pointing to infinity. The place had a way of restoring faith in dreams and possibility. This publishing venture invokes all the good things we associate with Joan’s Cape house — expansive horizons, brilliant colors, and the serenity and perspective that come from taking time out to think, explore, and read.

Joan was a literary type, too, and for many years ran a weekly New Jersey newspaper she owned with other ladies. The Town Journal stood then as a small and true bastion of free and objective reporting and thoughtful commentary. Joan believed in a free press and the power of the word. She also believed in taking time out, breathing in the sea air, and long, good talks.

Here’s to you, Mom. You were the best.