Provincetown History Snippets: Rescuing Marine Mammals

Provincetown History Snippets: Rescuing Marine Mammals

Cape Cod is one of only a few places in the world where multiple whales and dolphins frequently beach themselves together on the shore. These mass stranding events require rapid response in order to save as many of them as possible. The International Fund for Animal...
Provincetown History Snippets: The White Wind Inn For Sale!

Provincetown History Snippets: The White Wind Inn For Sale!

One of Ptown’s iconic inns is for sale! For more than four decades, this Second-Empire style house has served the needs of Ptown visitors, starting out as the Casa Vistosa in the 1950s. Architect and historian David Dunlap has said it has “one of the best mansard...
Provincetown History Snippets: Race Point Light Station

Provincetown History Snippets: Race Point Light Station

Race Point’s name comes from the strong crosscurrent (known as a “race”) that made navigation around the northern tip of Cape Cod a nightmare for sailors. Before the construction of the canal, every vessel traveling along the coast between Boston and points south had...
Provincetown History Snippets: Freezing Fish

Provincetown History Snippets: Freezing Fish

Anyone who passes the Ice House on Commercial Street in the East End, across from the Schoolhouse, knows how the condominium complex stands out on this residential area. When Provincetown was a major fishing port, fish had to be kept on ice for the journey to Boston...
Provincetown History Snippets: The Provincetown Asylum

Provincetown History Snippets: The Provincetown Asylum

In the 1800s, it seemed no town was complete without an asylum or almshouse. In some cases, these institutions purported to treat mental illness; in reality, most were designed to warehouse those who couldn’t function in town; there was no social safety net for the...
Provincetown History Snippets: Beach Point Club

Provincetown History Snippets: Beach Point Club

Cottage communities are synonymous with Cape living, and right at the edge of Provincetown is the Beach Point Club, previously known as the Harbor Lights Village. It’s hybrid: some standalone cottages, some attached units, and in the back (toward the bay) an old motel...
The Outer Cape’s Own Atlantis

The Outer Cape’s Own Atlantis

What happened to Billingsgate Island? It used to be a prosperous fishing town, but many on the Outer Cape today have never even heard of it. An unexpected storm in 1855 cut the island nearly in half; the lighthouse was moved and in 1888 a seawall was constructed, but...
East Harbor? Pilgrim Lake?

East Harbor? Pilgrim Lake?

Once a natural embayment deep enough to serve as winter quarters for Provincetown’s fishing fleet, the body of water across from Beach Point was once known as Eastern Harbor, then as East Harbor. It was diked in 1868 (so that the railroad connecting Provincetown to...
Provincetown History Snippets: Mary Heaton Vorse

Provincetown History Snippets: Mary Heaton Vorse

Mary Heaton Vorse was a Provincetown resident, American journalist, labor activist, social critic, and novelist. She was outspoken and active in peace and social justice causes, such as women’s suffrage, civil rights, pacifism, socialism, and affordable housing....
Getting to Provincetown

Getting to Provincetown

By the mid-18th century, the whaling industry was in decline and Provincetown had to find a new way to make a living, so it began cultivating tourism. By the 19th century people were traveling either by boat or stagecoach out to Ptown. In 1848 the first train service...
Provincetown History Snippet: Painting in Plein-Air

Provincetown History Snippet: Painting in Plein-Air

The Cape Cod School of Art was the first outdoor summer school for figure painting, becoming over time one of the country’s leading art schools. The school was founded and directed by Charles Hawthorne, who gave weekly criticisms and instructive talks, guiding...
Provincetown History Snippet: It’s Carnival Time!

Provincetown History Snippet: It’s Carnival Time!

Provincetown’s carnival began in 1978 as a fundraiser for the brand-new Provincetown Business Guild, which was seeking to make the town more of an LGBT vacation destination. We love themes here in Ptown, and so The first theme was A Night in Rio, and since then themes...
Provincetown History Snippets: Tennessee Williams in Ptown

Provincetown History Snippets: Tennessee Williams in Ptown

Tennessee Williams spent four summer seasons in Provincetown (1940, 1941, 1944, and 1947) where he wrote plays, short stories, and glowing poetry. He experienced a lot of drama offstage as well as on, falling in love, having his heart broken, surviving a purported...
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