Subscribe to stay up to date with the latest in Provincetown!
Subscribe to ptownie

    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!

    Click here to check out all of our Provincetown History Snippets!

    More Recent Provincetown News

    February 8, 2024. The ptownie dispatch!
    February 7, 2024
    ptownie dispatch February 8th
    RuPaul’s Drag Race Viewing Party  Every Fridays through April 26, 2024 at The Crown and Anchor Provincetown’s premiere RuPaul’s Drag Race Viewing Party is BACK at The Crown & Anchor! Join Austin Tyler & Mackenzie as the host season 16,...
    December 14, 2023. The ptownie dispatch!
    December 14, 2023
    Townie Holiday Extravaganza  December 14 thru 17, 2023 Provincetown Theater Townie Holiday Extravaganza annual year-end production Provincetown Theater with approximately two dozen participants in a yuletide variety show One Night Only December 15 at 8pm! A...