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    Provincetown History Snippets: What is Helltown?

    Helltown Provincetown
    February 16, 2019

    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.” The name could also have been due to the hellish working conditions: it was chiefly occupied in winter, and winters there are difficult. A final possibility is the area became a port of call for seafarers and fishermen during the 1600s; the carousing, drinking, gambling, and smuggling caused the nickname.

    So you can take your pick! Have you heard of other reasons for the name? Let us know!

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