You can see a sandbar and someone walking on the flats, but the artists on the Provincetown beach in this late 19th century antique postcard are focused on painting a portrait of a seated woman wearing a yellow straw hat. There were several art schools in Provincetown at the time this postcard was published. Artists, who often supplemented their income by teaching were attracted to the northern light reflected off the water, sand dunes, and beaches in the picturesque town located on the tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Today the town is still filled with art galleries plus the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. Plenty of writers have also made Provincetown their home. One of them just wrote a book, a mystery novel set in the 1990′s titled Remaining in Provincetown, which has been getting some very good reader reviews. Have you read it yet? You can buy it at Amazon.com online or if you are making a visit to Provincetown, there are signed copies at the Provincetown Book Shop. The novel by S.N. Cook is available also as an ebook on kindle. Like us on Facebook. We’d love to hear from you.
This Provincetown Town Crier is dressed in traditional pilgrim attire, and I’m not certain if he is based on one of the professional Town Criers that walked the streets of Provincetown during the 20th century when this postcard was published. By the car in the background, and style of the printing, this particular Cape Cod postcard was published by the Mayflower Sales Company in approximately 1950. Titled, “Ye Old Town Crier, Provincetown, Cape Cod, Mass” the description on the back of the card says, “In keeping with the old colonial tradition, the custom of having a town crier walk up and down the streets cryng the news and events has been carried down through the years in quaint old Provincetown.” Spreading the news in a personal way was certainly inspirational to a number of the characters in the new murder mystery novel, Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook. Find out what everyone’s talking about. You can purchase a signed edition at the Provincetown Book Shop on Commercial Street or buy a copy online in trade paperback or kindle. Read all the reviews at Amazon.com. Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.
Right beside the town hall in Provincetown, on the tip of Cape Cod, was a favorite outdoor sidewalk cafe called Cafe Poyant. Next to the cafe was a bakery with French pastries and donuts. Who remembers the place? It was a great place to “people watch”. The red and white awnings were classic. The large white building in back, once a church as shown on some of the earlier postcards on this website, was the Art Cinema movie theater. They showed wonderful foreign films. The bakery and cafe were owned by Gene Poyant, who in his later years volunteered as the Provincetown Town Crier. Today there is no outdoor sidewalk cafe at this location. As the town has continued to grow and expand. stores and restaurants change, although some favorites remain. What did it feel like to live in Provincetown year-round 25 years ago? If you’ve read Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook, you might have gained a different perspective. If you haven’t read the book yet, read what everyone’s saying about it. Now available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble and other online sites in trade paperback and on kindle. Signed copies are at the Provincetown Book Shop while they last. Like us on Facebook. Keep the conversation going.
Whether you are visiting Provincetown for the very first time or returning to Cape Cod for your annual summer visit, there is nothing like reading a few good books to get you in the mood. Here are some favorites!
Time and the Town by Mary Heaton Vorse
Mary Heaton Vorse (1874-1966) arrived in Provincetown in 1907. The book was published in 1942 and it is the last of the sixteen books that she wrote. An activist in the American labor movement and a roving foreign correspondent, she was a woman ahead of her time. Her book is a story of the town and its people, rich with history and interesting antidotes. Her story is both a memoir and a social commentary, with lovely descriptions of the way the town once was years ago. y If you have an interest in Cape Cod, Provincetown history, and women writers, don’t miss out on reading this classic. A reprinted version published by the Rutgers University Press and listed under editor Adele Heller is available online in paperback. Earlier collectible versions are available from antiquarian book dealers.
The Outermost House: A Year on the Great Beach of Cape Cod
By Henry Beston
Published in 1928 this beloved book that puts the focus on nature, is now available in paperback , and chronicles a year spent on the Cape Cod Beach , now known as the Coast Guard Beach in Easton. Beston describes the desolate beauty of life living on the sand dunes. You are transported. Available in paperback, hardback, and a kindle version as well as an audio version, it could be the perfect book to listen to as you drive towards the tip of Cape Cod.
Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook
A perfect beach read, this recently released mystery novel set in the early 1990s, takes you inside the minds of a diverse set of characters whose lives intersect when one of the town’s leading citizens, a real estate entrepreneur and native son, is murdered. “Described Provincetown to a T” says one of the Amazon customer reviews. “Finally an author has been able to successfully capture the flavor of that quirky town on the end of Cape Cod and do it well,” says another reader review. Available in trade paperback in bookstores, online, and as a kindle version.