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...
Provincetown History Snippet: The Portuguese

Provincetown History Snippet: The Portuguese

While there was some immigration from Portugal in pre-Colonial and Colonial times, it was when whaling took off that it became significant. The Azores were known to captains as the “Western Islands whaling grounds” and the ships hunted, re-provisioned, and took on...
How WOMR Came To Be

How WOMR Came To Be

Happy Birthday, WOMR! Community radio stations are interesting places. They attract original thinkers, iconoclastic figures, free spirits. WOMR was founded by such a group of people, and in celebration of the station’s 37th birthday, we’re bringing you this origin...
Provincetown History Snippet: Winning the Race

Provincetown History Snippet: Winning the Race

During Boston’s Old Home Week Celebration in August 1907, a cup was offered by Sir Thomas Lipton for a 42-mile fishermen’s race in Massachusetts Bay—from Provincetown to Gloucester and back—with a purported value of $5,000. Captain Marion Perry entered,...
Provincetown History Snippets: Renovating Town Hall

Provincetown History Snippets: Renovating Town Hall

During the mid-to-late 1800s, towns in Massachusetts started building municipal halls complete with auditoriums as a way to end the practice of meeting in churches (to officially separate “church and state”) and Provincetown Town Hall was built with a large auditorium...
Provincetown History Snippets: The S-4

Provincetown History Snippets: The S-4

In one of the saddest chapters of Provincetown history, six remaining survivors inside a sunken U. S. Navy submarine tapped out a message to divers working to free them: “Is there any hope?” There wasn’t. The submarine, the S-4, had just completed a...
Provincetown History Snippets: William F. Boogar Jr.

Provincetown History Snippets: William F. Boogar Jr.

He loved birds. He also loved bronze, and the combination made for exceptional art created by William F. Boogar, Jr., a noted sculptor who studied in Provincetown with Charles Hawthorne and settled here permanently in 1933. He worked in the lost-wax method in his...
Provincetown History Snippets: The Nauset

Provincetown History Snippets: The Nauset

When they came ashore at what would become Provincetown, Mayflower passengers first encountered a native tribe called the Nauset. Part of the Algonquin, the Nauset lived on Cape Cod from Bass River east. They were non-nomadic and peaceable; there were no conflicts...
Provincetown History Snippets: Norman Mailer’s Ptown

Provincetown History Snippets: Norman Mailer’s Ptown

This week we’re bringing you a different history snippet: Norman Mailer’s own words about the town, taken from Tough Guys Don’t Dance: The northern reach of Cape Cod, however, on which my house sat, the land I inhabited—that long curving spit of...
Provincetown History Snippets: Helltown

Provincetown History Snippets: Helltown

Helltown was a settlement south of Hatches Harbor, with 33 buildings, a fleet of 30 dories, and a working population of about 125 fishermen. When Mary Heaton Vorse asked a captain why it was called Helltown, he answered, “because of the helling that went on there.”...
Provincetown History Snippets: Library on the Move!

Provincetown History Snippets: Library on the Move!

If you’re looking at the Provincetown Public Library, then you’re looking back in time! It started life as the Center Methodist Episcopal Church and was impressive for its time, with a 162-foot tower housing a bronze bell. The spire was damaged during the...