1951 in Provincetown Cape Cod


This colorful vintage postcard was mailed to Troy, New York  the summer of 1951 and says, “This is really wonderful here. Just finished a shore dinner.”.  Look closely at this picture and you will see the sign for “The Lobster Pot” restaurant in the very same spot it is today 62 years later, although the sign does look different. Wonder if that is where “Mary, Jack, and Jimmy” enjoyed their shore dinner.
Love the classic cars! If you enjoy remembering Provincetown the way it used to be a few decades ago, check out Remaining in Provincetown by S.N.Cook, available at your favorite local bookstores including the Provincetown Bookshop on Commercial Street (autographed) and also online as a trade paperback and ebook. Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.

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Downtown Provincetown Freeman Street History


During the busy summer months its easy to miss all the lovely side streets in Provincetown which join the main two thoroughfares–Bradford Street and Commercial Street. The above postcard, a color lithographic print from the late 19th century is entitled “Glimpse of Freeman Street”. What you don’t see is the building , donated by Nathan Freeman in 1873, which once served as the Provincetown Public Library. The Freeman Street library opened to the public in June of 1874.  In the mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook, set in approximately 1990, the library is at that location on the corner of Freeman and Commercial Streets. Today the library resides in what was once the Center Methodist Episcopal Church built in 1860.  During the time period in which Remaining in Provincetown takes place, the building (once the Chrysler Art Museum) is still the Provincetown Heritage Museum. In 2005 it…

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Railroad Wharf Provincetown Cape Cod Sailing Vessels


This postcard, a hand colored photograph, was mailed from Provincetown Massachusetts to Bethehem  New Hampshire in 1908. Titled  “Fishing & Pleasure Boats, Railroad Wharf, Provincetown, Mass” it was published by The Robinson Brothers in Boston and was printed in Germany and distributed by the Metropolitan News Company.
It is a lovely picture which shows the gracefulness of the sailboats used for recreation and the handsome schooners used for fishing. Before there was  a Macmillan Wharf, the main downtown wharf in Provincetown was known as Railroad Wharf because the railroad tracks ran all the way down to the end in order to easily load fish off the fishing boats for shipping (with some ice of course) straight to major cities that included New York. It was back in the days when men wore bowler derby hats and a child might carry a parasol. Horses and carts were still being used, along…

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Provincetown Cape Cod Seining Fish


This antique Provincetown postcard is entitled “Seining Fish” and was published by the Provincetown Advocate in the late 19th century. The American Indians used weirs, stationary nets to capture fish and fishing weirs were still a common sight in parts of Cape Cod  Bay in the 20th century. But another fishing technique, popular in the 19th century as depicted in this antique Provincetown postcard, was seine fishing. Seine fishing uses nets that are hung vertically in the water, set in place to catch a school of fish and then removed. The bottom edge of the net is held down by weights while the top of the net edge is held aloft by floats.  Purse seine fishing uses rings on the edges of the nets to gather the net together like a purse. That’s where it gets its name—purse seine.

Names can be very descriptive. What is the…

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U.S. Lifesaving Service at Race Point, Provincetown


The United States Lifesaving Service was founded in 1871 after an alarming number of fatalities occurred along the Atlantic coast during the winters of 1870 and 1871.

The stations were manned by expert surf men and boat handlers who patrolled the coast at night and during foggy and stormy days.  The buildings where equipment was stored were painted red so they could be seen from the sea and a sixty foot flagstaff signaled  passing ships by International code.

Nine lifesaving stations were built on Cape Cod in 1872. Captain Samuel O. Fisher was one of the Race Point station’s keepers and he had a horse that would help the crew by dragging the heavy boats and equipment across the sand.  Postcards that show the work of the early Cape Cod Lifesaving Service are highly desirable. It was a these types of antique postcards that Sonny Carreiro was looking at before…

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Provincetown Play Day

Peaks and Passports

We spent our last full day on Cape Cod roaming around Provincetown, the town at the very tip of the Cape.  There must be something liberating about living at the end of a point of land, because Provincetown reminded me of Key West in a lot of ways.  It is a funky, liberal, artsy town with a thriving gay and lesbian community.  It also had much more of a party vibe than the other towns on the Cape we’d visited.

Provincetown Harbor

We arrived hungry for a seafood lunch, and our wanderings paired with Yelp reviews lead us to the Lobster Pot.

The Lobster Pot Ptown

As soon as we walked into this busy, multi-level restaurant I thought about turning around because the atmosphere screamed “tourist trap.”  Before I could listen to that voice in my head, we were directed to a table upstairs overlooking the Provincetown harbor.  It was definitely one of the best…

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The Tranquil East End of Provincetown, Massachusetts


Dreaming of an all-American, bunting and burgers kind of summer beach vacation this year? Then the hurdy-gurdy, loud lewdness of Commercial Street in Provincetown, Massachusetts is for you. Join the throngs of foot traffic that daily battle the throngs of car-laden, lost tourists on the one lane, one way main street that dissects downtown PTown from east to west. The West End beckons the party boys and their boozy BFF girlfriendz, the Bears, the Muscle Boys and yes even some well-heeled Cape Cod Tourists and Boston Ferry Day-Trippers, kids and strollers in tow, sharing some casual West End Herring Cove or Racepoint Beach time with a saucy drag queen in this, the first and original summer beach resort in America, perched on the very tip of Cape Cod.

East End: Galleries, Gardens and Grub

I prefer the tranquil East End of PTown, where Commercial Street is less gaudy, less busy but nonetheless inviting…

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Boston Boat to Provincetown 1911


This antique postcard was mailed from Provincetown, Massachusetts to Binghamton, New York in 1911.  Provincetown harbor is filled with handsome sailing vessels. Awaiting the arrival of the steamer ferry from Boston are a host of tourists and residents, dressed for a summer’s day with broad brimmed hats and parasols.  Visitors still travel back and forth from Boston to Provincetown on the Fast Ferry.  Some of the characters in the new murder mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown once lived in Boston but decided to relocate to Provincetown. Why? Does it have anything to do with the mystery of who killed Sonny Carreiro? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Now available in bookstores and online. Purchase your copy in paperback or as an ebook. Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.

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Provincetown Artists on the beach at low tide


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…

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