Provincetown History Snippet: John Reed and Louise Bryant

Provincetown History Snippet: John Reed and Louise Bryant

Few people have lived through such earth-changing times; journalist John Reed famously wrote about “ten days that shook the world” in reference to the Russian Revolution, which he and Louise Bryant both observed first-hand; but before that, they were also...
Provincetown History Snippet: Whorf’s Wharf

Provincetown History Snippet: Whorf’s Wharf

The long line of Whorf fishermen and sea captains goes back to John Whorf, born in Provincetown in 1760. Thomas Ryder Whorf Jr, who lived between 1815 and 1887, built the famous 400-foot-long Whorf’s Wharf (apparently no one thought anything of the odd alliteration...
Provincetown History Snippet: The Mudheads

Provincetown History Snippet: The Mudheads

In the late 19th century, summer art colonies were becoming increasingly popular. Charles Hawthorne selected Provincetown as the site for his summer school, and he taught his students to do plein-air paintings—paintings out of doors. A model would sit on a stool on...
Provincetown History Snippet: Useless and Ridiculous

Provincetown History Snippet: Useless and Ridiculous

During the Civil War, two defensive batteries were built on Long Point to protect Provincetown’s valuable harbor from a possible Confederate blockade. The batteries were essential: Provincetown had strategic importance for the war and both the fishing fleet and the...
Provincetown History Snippet: Church, Museum…. Library?

Provincetown History Snippet: Church, Museum…. Library?

The building that is now the Provincetown Public Library started out in 1860 as the Center Methodist Episcopal Church, and was already famous: with a 900-person capacity, it was the United States’ largest Methodist church! The church was abandoned and then sold in...
Provincetown History Snippet: Stanley Kunitz

Provincetown History Snippet: Stanley Kunitz

Kunitz attended Harvard University, where he earned a B.A. degree in 1926 and an M.A. in 1927. While working as an editor, he contributed poems to magazines, eventually compiling them in his first book, Intellectual Things. He served in the army during World War II,...
Provincetown History Snippet: A Long-Lost Poem

Provincetown History Snippet: A Long-Lost Poem

Marie Louise Hersey was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1894 and graduated from Radcliffe College in 1916. In Modern Verse (1921), author Anita Forbes writes, “In few towns along the New England coast is the contrast between the old America and the new more...
Provincetown History Snippet: The Provincetown Players

Provincetown History Snippet: The Provincetown Players

There’s community theatre… and then there’s community theatre. Only the Provincetown Players could boast producing one Nobel prize and five Pulitzer prizes, though as Mary Heaton Vorse said, “No group of people ever had less sense of having a...
Provincetown History Snippet: The Outermost House

Provincetown History Snippet: The Outermost House

Note: From time to time we venture farther afield than Provincetown to bring you history snippets. Today we’re going slightly up-Cape to remember Henry Beston in honor of the opening of Outermost Art & Objects in Ptown. American writer and naturalist Henry...
Provincetown History Snippet: The Town Goes Dark

Provincetown History Snippet: The Town Goes Dark

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and America was at war. While up until then the Pilgrim Monument had been lit with powerful floodlights, the day after the declaration of war, the Monument was no longer the beacon of light it had been before;...
Provincetown History Snippet: Forum 49

Provincetown History Snippet: Forum 49

In the late 1940s and 1950s Provincetown emerged as one of the nation’s première art locales for contemporary American art. The first major exhibition of Abstract Expressionists was held at 200 Commercial Street during Forum 49 in the summer of 1949. Forum 49 was a...
Provincetown History Snippet: Provincetownsend

Provincetown History Snippet: Provincetownsend

It was said to be a place for “runaways and other gay street youth,” but Prescott Townsend’s home at 1 Bradford Street—known as “Provincetownsend”—provided much more than a place to stay. It was supposedly magical: John Waters claimed that trees grew in the living...
Provincetown History Snippet: The Night the Castle Burned

Provincetown History Snippet: The Night the Castle Burned

Carl Murchison and his wife Dorotea bought the west end Provincetown house they called the “Castle” in 1936, and immediately began accumulating a substantial art collection, one that included many early Provincetown painters as well as Gainsboroughs, Reubens,...
Provincetown History Snippet: Bunny Hops In

Provincetown History Snippet: Bunny Hops In

In 1920, writer and critic Edmund “Bunny” Wilson arrived in Ptown to visit poet Edna St. Vincent Millay in the cottage she rented from Susan Glaispell. He returned in 1927 and described entering the harbor: “exquisite delicacy of mother-of-pearl sea thinning to a...