Provincetown Cape Cod Vacation Season

Board of Trade Building Provincetown, Cape Cod

Board of Trade Building
Provincetown, Cape Cod

Like our facebook fan page and you may be selected to receive a FREE advance cppy!

Like our facebook fan page and you may be selected to receive a FREE advance cppy!

Beautiful beaches, a monument to climb, numerous art galleries and shops to visit, all make Provincetown the gem of Cape Cod. Shown above in this antique postcard is the Board of Trade Building, founded in 1899, which became incorporated a the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce in 1957. If you arrive by Boat, it should be the first place you stop, located at the base of MacMillan Pier, for tourist information. The Mission of the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce  “This organization shall encourage and promote the civic, commercial, and social betterment of the Town of Provincetown for residents and visitors.”

Providing visitor information that focuses on the GLBT  tourism (Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgender) is the Provincetown Business Guild located downtown at 3 Freeman Street.  The Provincetown Business Guild sponsors the famous Carnival week of events, that started back in 1978.

There’s a lot of do for visitors, whatever your sexual orientation. Provincetown has always been a town where you can be yourself. Ever wonder what the town is like in the off season when all the tourists have gone home? Read the new mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook, sold at stores and online at  the Provincetown Bookshop and at Amazon in trade paperback on kindle. Like us on Facebook. Keep the conversation going.

Provincetown Gay Party Central, Crown & Anchor history

Now called The Crown & Anchor, the New Central Hotel was a popular Provincetown Inn in the 19th century

Now called The Crown & Anchor, the New Central House was a popular Provincetown Inn in the 19th century and  today is a  “happening place”.

The handsome waterfront Provincetown Inn located in the center of Provincetown on Commercial Street has gone by many names. In the antique postcard shown above it is called “New Central House”. Said to have been built in 1836 as the Central Hotel by 1868 it was considered the largest hotel at the tip of Cape Cod, with 75 guest rooms.  A private beach with cabanas and long porches with rocking chairs for guests to sit out and look at the water, made this Inn a successful business that kept expanding through its many incarnations. Its been called: Ocean House, Central House, New Central House, Towne House, the Sea Horse Inn. and the Crown & Anchor as it is known today.  At the end of the 19th century it catered to prosperous guests by providing a  billiard hall, smoking rooms, gentleman’s parlor, and ladies’ reading room for a mixed clientele of families and primarily straight travelers. But as the town evolved into a mecca for gay travelers, it gradually evolved into a thriving complex of bars and restaurants that cater to gay and lesbian patrons of varying tastes.   Although the Crown & Anchor was burned to the ground in 1998 when adjacent Whaler’s Wharf burned as well, it was faithfully rebuilt in its previous architectural style. The leather bar is known as The Vault and the restaurant Central House at the Crown pays tribute to its earlier years by using the earlier name of the hotel. while  the Paramount Nightclub, Piano Bar, Wave Video Bar and more make certain there is always a party going on somewhere.   Places to have a good time are an important aspect of life in Provincetown, whether you are a tourist or a resident, and in the new mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown a popular hang-out is the fictitious “Cowboy Club”. Want to learn more about what goes on there? You’ll have to read the book now available at Amazon.com and as an ebook on Kindle. Like our Facebook page and you may win a FREE copy.

Gay Provincetown friendly to pets

An antique postcard with an interesting statement

An antique postcard with an interesting statement

Is this young lady saying she has no chance in Provincetown because none of the men in town are interested in her or because she is walking with a dog? When did Provincetown first get its reputation as a gay town? Lest you think this postcard is of recent manufacture, here is the back of the card.Ptownlady2

Provincetown has long had a reputation for not following society’s conventions. The fishing village at the very tip of the Cape was known as “Hell Town” back in the 19th century.  Whatever your sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or philosophical perspective, the small town on the tip of Cape Cod has long been the place you get away to not be deterred or influenced by what everyone else thinks. And as for that very cute dog, being walked on a leash, well Provincetown is also quite dog friendly and a great place to visit if you have a pet. There are many dog friendly inns and hotels in the area and placse to eat outside looking towards the bay you can sit with your favorite four legged honey.  And of course everyone with dogs know they love to run across the sand bars when the tide is low. The characters in the new novel Remaining in Provincetown, due to be released April 15th, like to walk along the beach with or without a dog. It’s a great place to think and reflect on just who the murderer in town might be. Want to find out more about the book? Visit our new facebook page, just launched, to see the cover. (click on it to see the entire image).  Like the page. We’ll be giving away some FREE copies to our facebook fans. So keep following.

Like our facebook fan page and you may be selected to receive a FREE advance cppy!

Like our facebook fan page and you may be selected to receive a FREE advance cppy!

Atlantic House or A-House, a historically gay place

Atlantic House, Provincetown, Massachusetts and owner Frank Potter Smith

Atlantic House, Provincetown, Massachusetts and owner Frank Potter Smith

The Atlantic House, now affectionately known as the A-House, was given its current name by Portuguese sailor Frank Potter Smith, pictured in this antique postcard printed in the late 19th century. Smith (probably not his original family name) purchased the tavern in the early 1870s. Provincetown’s first Postmaster Daniel Pease built the historic building at 5 Masonic Place in 1798.

Before trains ran out to Provincetown you could reach the small town on the tip of Cape Cod by stagecoach. You could get on the stagecoach in Orleans and arrive in the center of Provincetown to be let off at what was then called the Alllstrum House (now the A-House).  You had literally reached “the end of the line.”

Considered by many social historians to be the oldest Gay Bar in the United States, among the memorabilia and art that grace the walls is a nude photograph of Tennessee Williams strolling on the beach.  Williams was one of many famous patrons in the 1940s.

Under the management of Reggie Cabral, who purchased the building with his sister and brother-in –law Mr. And Mrs. Frank Hurst in 1950 and subsequently took over full ownership, the business continued to become a favorite gathering place for locals and visitors, with its several intimate bars and happening dance floor.  Having a good time is definitely on the mind of several of the characters in Remaining in Provincetown. Will it cloud their judgment? When you live in a small town its hard to remain anonymous.

Provincetown night life at the Pilgrim House

Pilgrim House, Provincetown Massachusetts built in 1781

Pilgrim House, Provincetown Massachusetts built in 1781

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!

Provincetown’s Old Hotel Still in Operation

The Gifford House back at the start of the 20th Century.

The Gifford House back at the start of the 20th Century.

Provincetown has undergone many changes during the past 100 years but you can still recognize plenty of old businesses. The Gifford House has changed somewhat in physical appearance and the clientele is different. Wouldn’t it be nice though to see some of those elegant touring automobiles parked in front?  Was it the kind of  gay party place it is today when summer rolls around?