Many of the antique postcards that depict Provincetown, the wonderful small town on the tip of Cape Cod, with sailors walking the streets. The reason for this is because one of the most important events in the town during both 1907 and 1910 was the construction and subsequent dedication of the Pilgrim Monument. In 1907 when the first cornerstone was laid, President Theodore Roosevelt was in attendance. Subsequently in 1910 when the monument was dedicated, the ceremonies were presided over by President William Howard Taft. At both events the entire Atlantic Fleet of the United States Navy was in Provincetown harbor for the ceremonies. That’s a lot of sailors. The above postcard shows sailors landing at Railroad Wharf. No sailors walk the streets in the new murder mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook but several of the characters are interested in history and tradition. Pick up a copy at your favorite bookstore or order it online at Amazon.com in trade paperback or on kindle. Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.
President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt came to Provincetown, Massachusetts on August 20th, 1907 to lay the cornerstone for the Pilgrim Monument as shown in the above antique postcard. It was a joyous occasion for the Cape Cod town and the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association founded in 1892 to honor Provincetown as the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing place in 1620. Crowds gathered and the bands played to mark the start of construction that was completed three years later in 1910.
While Plymouth often gets much of the glory for being the first settlement of the pilgrims, it was in Provincetown and Truro that the Pilgrims, sailing to the New World on The Mayflower, spent five weeks before they sailed to the base of the Cape. It was in Provincetown Harbor that they drew up the Mayflower Compact, which established the basic rules of governance for their new home.
The Pilgrim Monument situated up on a hill looking out over the town, stands 252 feet in height. The design of the all granite monument that sits 350 feet above sea level, was modeled after a classic stone monument in Italy, Torre Del Mangia in Siena. Whether you approach Provincetown by boat, car, or airplane, the Pilgrim Monument immediately grabs your attention as an important landmark. Which is why the Pilgrim Monument is a focal point on the cover of the just released novel Remaining in Provincetown now available at Amazon.com. If you’ve been enjoying this blog, you’ll want to read the book.