Written on the back of this antique postcard it says Hell Town, New Beach. Yes, long ago there was a fishing settlement between Woods End and Race Point called “Hell Town”. It’s a pretty ironic name considering that Provincetown, located at the very end of Cape Cod, through the years became known as a wild party town where just about anything goes. As for the term New Beach, it has not been used for decades to my knowledge. When I google the term “New Beach” what I get is “Nude Beach”. Well yes, there has always been an unofficial and then official Nude Beach over at Herring Cove Beach. If there is a secluded place, naturists will remove their clothes, it’s just natural. Just like it’s natural for folks who live in a beautiful place like Provincetown will want to enjoy spending as much time on the beach, listening to the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore and the sounds of the seagulls calling to one another flying above and looking for some tasty dinner. Partaking in tasty food is something many of the characters in Remaining in Provincetown like to do, particularly Bruno the owner of a popular Bed and Breakfast. Want to learn more? Keep posted to learn more about the soon-to-be released novel everyone’s talking about.
In the early days of Provincetown, the streets were narrow and unpaved because most people got around on foot or by boat. Today walking and bicycling are still the most efficient ways of transportation, particularly during the summer season when everything is so crowded,
So where was this picture taken (a colored lithographic print)? It looks like the west end of town, near the very tip of Cape Cod, but the bay on the left hand corner is so close to the edge… One of the nice things about the town is seeing the sea as you walk down Commercial Street. It’s a small town, with only two main streets running parallel to one another, making it a challenge for someone to commit a crime and make an easy getaway. But someone does commit a murder and manages to initially escape detection. Want to know more? You’ll just have to read: Remaining in Provincetown. Stay tuned to this blog for more information.
The night life in Provincetown includes many different types of entertainment including drag shows like the famous performances by Lynne Carter at the Pilgrim house during the 1960s. After all, people are not always who they appear to be and looks can be deceiving. A favorite place to gather was the Madeira Club. It didn’t matter what your sexual preference– gay, straight, or bi— everyone appreciated Lynne’s performances as Bette Davis. In the mid 1970s Carter purchased the Club. Too bad that nothing can last forever. In 1990 the Pilgrim House was destroyed by arson. Hmm arson… A mysterious fire? Arson does figure into the plot of the soon-to-be released mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown. Keep following this site to find out exactly when the book will be available. We’ll also be giving away a few free copies and if you’d like to suggest sales outlets… let us know. Thank you!
The sand dunes at the tip of Cape Cod, between Bay and Ocean have shifted with the wind, but the dunes have always been a secret place for hikes and love trysts. You can get across the sand on foot, horseback, or four wheel drive vehicle (with a special license) . Their beauty has inspired scores of artists and photographers. Are the Provincetown sand dunes a special meeting place for lovers? Where are the secret places two star crossed lovers might rendez-vous? It’s stories you’ll read about in the soon-to-be-released novel Remaining in Provincetown.
Provincetown in summer is a bustling place. The narrow streets are crowded with tourists. Even 100 years ago when the fishing industry provided year-round income for families, the tourist trade was important. Souvenir shops that sold postcards, like this one shown above, as well as collectible souvenir spoons, plates, paper weights, and glasses provided seasonal income for local residents. Servicemen in the Coast Guard and Navy would come into town to see the sights that included fine restaurants, bars, and entertainment. The T-shirt shops came later! Town Hall in this antique postcard is partially obscured by the thick foliage of the trees, but it looks very much the same today as it did back then. In 1990 when the novel Remaining in Provincetown takes place, Town Hall was painted white and one of the characters has their office inside. Which one? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Provincetown’s National Seashore, managed by the National Park Service, includes historic Race Point beach and Race Point Light. The Race Point Lighthouse served as an important beacon to ships before the days of radar and radio. Many ships were wrecked on the sand bars off the tip of Cape Cod and a rescue station was located not far from the lighthouse. Today, if you visit Provincetown be certain to spend time at all the gorgeous beaches and visit the restored Lifesaving Museum that was moved to the site from Chatham in 1977. It was called the Harbor Life-Saving Station and it was built in Chatham in 1897. The original Provincetown station did not survive the ravages of time. On Thursday evening you can see rescue re-enactments .
While the roads are no longer dirt roads, there are still patches of woods and overhanging trees as you follow the route from the center of Provincetown across Route 6 and towards Race Point Beach. There are many trails across the sand dunes., some just meant for walking. Printed in Germany and sold during the era when it cost only a penny to mail a postcard for domestic delivery, this beautiful card appears to be made between 1880 and 1900. Antique postcards are important to one of the characters in the soon-to-be-released novel Remaining in Provincetown. You might go so far as to say they were almost an obsession.
Provincetown once had a booming fishing industry. The harbor on the tip of Cape Cod was filled with fishing boats in early morning, on their way out to sea, heading as far as Georges Bank, the most westward of the great Atlantic fishing banks. Sought after fish species included cod, haddock, herring, and flounder. While the fish populations have decreased due to the high demand for seafood, fishing is still an important part of the Cape Cod economy. A common way of fishing in the 19th and early 20th century was called trawling. Large nets were used to drag behind the boat to gather up fish. Thus the term dragger referred to boats that were trawlers. Fishing boats would also troll with baited line. Dragging baited lines behind a boat is referred to as trolling. The antique postcard above shows fishermen in Provincetown, Massachusetts baiting trawl.
Provincetown developed alternative ways to support its economy by promoting tourism and the arts. It’s a great town to visit and to read about. Don’t forget to put Remaining in Provincetown on your reading list this summer. It’s a novel with more than one mystery in the plot.