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

    Provincetown History Snippets: Moby-Dick and Other Whales

    Moby Dick
    April 27, 2018

    While the home port of the Pequod was Nantucket, as we celebrate the annual reading and celebration of Moby-Dick here in Provincetown this weekend, we can remember the novel—and the whaling tradition that Ptown shares.

    Written in 1851, Moby-Dick recounts the adventures of the narrator Ishmael as he sails on the whaling ship Pequod under the command of the monomaniacal Captain Ahab.

    Sales of the book were tepid at best (Melville had to take a day job after its publication), but the author did visit Nantucket where he met the broken-down George Pollard Jr., who had captained the Essex—the ship that had been attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in an 1820 incident that had inspired Melville’s novel.

    Provincetown’s whalers sailed to exotic ports of call and brought back sophistication and cosmopolitan flavor to the town. They were savvy businessmen and controlled every aspect of whaling and fishing, contributing to the town’s prosperity. The American whaling industry declined because of the depletion of whale stocks, the discovery of oil in Pennsylvania in 1859, the high cost of outfitting a ship, and—for Provincetown—the Portland Gale, which destroyed the town’s two major whaling wharfs.

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

    More Recent Provincetown News

    Art We Love – More than Meets the Eye
    September 9, 2022
    Art We Love – More than Meets the Eye
    The first impression a piece of art makes when you walk into a gallery can be thrilling.  But sometimes what’s even more exciting is discovering that what you see up close is not at all what you thought you saw from afar. All of the pieces here had that...
    The Lemonade Girl
    April 21, 2022
    For more years than many of us can remember, summers in Provincetown weren’t complete without the sight of a little girl walking up and down Commercial Street, calling out in a lovely singsong voice, “Lemonade! Fifty cents! Lemonade!” That little girl...
    Art We Love – Lightning Strike
    February 20, 2023
    One of the great bonuses of being an artist is the ability to meet and interact with other artists. In these moments, the work they produce becomes more than an artifact, it becomes an extension of the times we’ve had together, the conversations, the laughs...
    Real Estate Update January 2023
    January 25, 2023
    ptownie Real Estate January 2023
    2022 in Review This month the full data for 2022 is available and it is only a pretty picture if you are selling a property on the Outer Cape. See the below for the full YOY statistics, but here is the summary. Inventory is way down, prices are up, and the...
    Winter in Provincetown for Dining
    December 28, 2022
    Guide to Winter Dining in Provincetown! We are always asked “What’s Open for Food in the Winter?”  Well here you are! 1620 Brewhouse 214 Commercial Street (508) 413-9687 Tue&Thu-Sun 12pm-9pm Where everyone is welcome to come, grab a...