Walk down the Provincetown wharf and docked at the very end are a few fishing boats with steel hulls and large dragging nets, called draggers.. Fishing has always been a hard way to make a living, but with quotas on how many fish of a certain specie can be caught, it”s even more challenging. The beautiful color lithograph postcard above shows what it was like on the docks in Provincetown in the 19th century when fishing was in its heyday, Times and circumstances change and while fishing is no longer lucrative there are opportunities for whale watching and fishing excursions for visitors. On a September weekend, the town is busy. Want to learn more about what it is like to live in Provincetown. Return to the 1990s in Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook now once again available at the Provincetown Bookshop and online at Amazon.com in Trade paperback or as an ebook. Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going,
I’ve posted quite a few photographs of Cape Cod sand dunes from vintage postcards. This is the first in black and white. The postcard was printed during the era when it only cost a penny to mail a postcard and have it delivered anywhere in the United States. Notice all the beach grass and vegetation growing on these sand dunes at the end of the 19th century. When the National Seashore took possession of acres of seashore on Cape Cod, which included sand dunes, during the last three decades of the 20th century they grappled with erosion. Much of the natural vegetation had been destroyed by tourists eagerly dragging coolers, umbrellas, and beach towels to set up their spot for relaxing by the water’s edge. And then there were all the children exuberantly running and sliding down sand dunes. Temporary fences were erected and new dune grass was planted. While once there was a parking area by Pilgrim Lake on the way into Provincetown for tourists to stop and walk the dunes, that parking area was closed and blocked off. Why? Just too many people causing the vegetation to become damaged and rampant erosion taking place. The wind blows hard and the sands shift and change. So it is with stories and tales of Cape Cod and Provincetown. Read any Provincetown books lately which capture the flavor of what it’s like to live in the town? Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook is awaiting your reading pleasure. Available in bookstores and online as a trade paperback or ebook. Like us on Facebook. Keep the conversation going.
If you love the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore, wide vistas of sand dunes, and crisp clear water visit the beaches at the very end of Cape Cod, Race Point and Herring Cove-– both part of the National Seashore. Walk out across the sand dunes or along the shore away from the parking lots and you’ll find lots of open space to enjoy nature. Take a walk along Commercial Street in the town and see glimpses of the Cape Cod Bay as you travel. Down at the West End of town is the breakwater that you can walk across to visit another secluded beach, Long Point. If you are a fan of the Outer Cape, purchase a copy of Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook. Become familiar or reacquaint yourself with the town as it was in the 1990s. Copies are available at the Provincetown Book Shop or online at Amazon.com in trade paperback or kindle. Visit our fan page on Facebook and keep the conversation going.
Race Point Beach in Provincetown, now a part of the National Seashore is a favorite spot for swimming, fishing, and nature watching where one might catch a glimpse of a seal or whale, depending on the season. But Race Point is also the site of many shipwrecks and between 1873 and 1902 had a Lifesaving station known as Race Point Station. Unfortunately the station was no longer in operation when the fishing schooner Buema crashed into the surf and was wrecked on January 7, 1908. The above postcard, purchased in 1924 tells the story. During the time the Race Point Station was in operation they had three surfboats which aided hundreds of seafarers. Among the names of men who served at the lifesaving station and lost their lives aiding others were Captain Dave Atkins and Frank Mayo. Is that where the name for the road Atkins Mayo, the dirt road where two characters in the mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown live, comes from? Curious to read the new murder mystery set in Provincetown, the book everyone’s talking about. You can pick up a signed copy at the Provincetown Book Shop while they last or buy a book online at Amazon.com in trade paperback or ebook. Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.
The sandbars off the tip of Cape Cod , even with the Provincetown lighthouses at Race Point, Woods Hole, and Long Point to alert passing ships can be treacherous. Fortunately in the case of the Swedish freighter, Monica Smith, enroute from New Bedford to Nova Scotia, no damage was done. This photograph was taken on February 23, 1960. A storm caused the vessel to be beached at Provincetown, Massachusetts, where the boat remained until tugboats could be assembled and then during high tide, with the help of her anchors, she safely floated out to sea and started up her engines.
When you live by the sea, you learn to deal with unexpected weather and unexpected events like a murder. What happens in a small town like Provincetown, economically dependent on tourism, when a crime takes place? Who had a motive to kill one of the town’s leading citizens? The ending may surprise you. Get your copy of the new novel Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook in time for summer beach reading. Now in bookstores and online, in trade paperback and as an ebook. Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.
Cape Cod is often referred to as “God’s Country” as it is in the poem by John Chipman printed on the above antique postcard. The top illustration shows the steamer Dorthy Bradford (the Boston Boat ) heading from Boston to Provincetown, the best town from which to start your Cape Cod visit. Today you can visit via the Fast Ferry. Chipman writes of hearing the waves pounding on the short and says “no place in the world shines the sun so bright or the moon so full on a summer’s night.”
“”They make you as welcome as flowers in Spring A hand clasp that thrills way down to the toes In the greeting one gets whereever he goes.”
That sense of intimacy is one of the characteristics of a small town. It’s one reason why so many people gravitate towards places like Provincetown. Want to experience more of what it’s like to live in Provincetown, who maybe what it could have been like for some residents in the 1990’s. Buy a copy of the fabulous new novel, Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook available at bookstores and online in trade paperback and ebook. Like us at Facebook and keep the conversation going.
Standing on the unusual formation called Clay Pounds, one of the largest on the East Coast, the Highland Lighthouse in Truro, Cape Cod was built in 1797 and was the 7th lighthouse to be constructed in the United States.
Built on the highest cliff on Cape Cod, its location has been subject to severe erosion, as much as three feet per year! In 1996 to save the historic lighthouse, it was moved back 450 feet. When you visit, there is a museum on the property, the Highland House Museum with rotating exhibits and local history displays, maintained by the Truro Historical Society.
The radio tower referred to as Radio Beacon in the postcard description was erected by the Navy as a communication station in World War II. The postcard was printed by E D. West and Company. More postcards of this beautiful lighthouse will be seen in subsequent postings on this Remaining in Provincetown website. Haven’t read the book yet? If you love the Outer Cape, Provincetown, or mysteries that involve old postcards and quirky people , this mystery novel is for you. Check us out on Facebook and Amazon. Join the conversation. Signed copies are currently available at the Provincetown Bookshop on Commercial Street in Provincetown as well as a variety of bookstores and online sites. Happy Summer and enjoy the fireworks.
These two antique postcards show Wood End Lighthouse in Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod by night and by day. Completed in 1872, joining nearby Long Point lighthouse and Race Point Lighthouse., which were both established in 1826. Before the 30 foot tall brick tower was erected, there was a pyramidal beacon established in its location in 1864. The new lighthouse put into service in 1872 had a Fresnel lens that flashed every 15 seconds along with an adjacent light keepers dwelling. Congress had appropriated $25,000 in the 1872 federal budget for Wood End lighthouse to help stem the number of ships being wrecked off the furthermost tip of Cape Cod.
Not accessible by any road, one way to visit the Wood End Lighthouse is to walk across the breakwater by the Provincetown Inn. This past October the Cape Cod chapter of the Lighthouse Foundation, repainted the handsome antique lighthouse which was automated in 1961 and was converted to solar power in 1981.
Despite the establishment of three lighthouses on the tip of Cape Cod, ships still were wrecked on the sand bars near Provincetown. In 1872 a life saving station was set up at Race Point and another one added at Wood End in 1896. If you have read the book Remaining in Provincetown, you might remember that postcard collector Sonny Carreiro was particularly interested in antique postcards related to the Lifesaving stations. Haven’t read the book? It’s available at the Provincetown Bookshop and online at Amazon and other booksellers in trade paperback and as an ebook. Like us on Facebook and become part of the conversation about this new mystery novel where Provincetown plays the starring role.
Going to the beach on Cape Cod offers so many choices. There are the National Seashore beaches and the various town beaches, but without a beach sticker your options are limited. If you can make your way out to Long Point, at the very end of Provincetown, either by boat or by walking across the breakwater there is a beautiful unspoiled secluded beach and the opportunity to shed your clothes if the area is not tightly patrolled.
In previous blog posts I’ve talked about the clothing optional sections of Herring Cove /New Beach. The other place to visit is beautiful Long Nook in Truro. If you walk down the beach to the right, you’ll start to notice it has become clothing optional. During the summer season, you will need a beach sticker from Truro which you can buy if you are renting property for the week or month. Otherwise you could try bicycling there… Perhaps readers may have some other suggestions. Now when you do get to the beach of your choice, what book did you bring to read? I’m hoping you brought a copy of Remaining in Provincetown, the new mystery novel that everyone is talking about with all those almost familiar characters. Like us on Facebook. Currently on sale at the Provincetown Bookshop and online at a variety of sites in trade paperback and as an ebook. What’s your favorite beach?
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.