The Wampanoag rendered Wôpanâak, are an American Indian people in North America. They were a loose confederacy made up of several tribes in the 17th century, but today many Wampanoag people are enrolled in two federally recognized tribes: the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head in Massachusetts; the Wampanoag lived in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the beginning of the 17th century, at the time of first contact with the English colonists, a territory that included Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket islands. Their population numbered in the thousands due to the richness of the environment and their cultivation of corn and squash. From 1615 to 1619, the Wampanoag suffered an epidemic, long suspected to be smallpox. Modern research, has suggested that it was leptospirosis, a bacterial infection known as Weil's syndrome or 7-day fever, it decimated the Wampanoag population. Researchers suggest that the losses from the epidemic were so large that English colonists were able to establish their settlements in the Massachusetts Bay Colony more easily.
More than 50 years King Philip's War of Indian allies against the English colonists resulted in the death of 40 percent of the surviving tribe. Many male Wampanoag were sold into slavery in Bermuda or the West Indies, some women and children were enslaved by colonists in New England; the tribe disappeared from historical records after the late 18th century, although its people and descendants persisted. Survivors continued to live in their traditional areas and maintained many aspects of their culture, while absorbing other peoples by marriage and adapting to changing economic and cultural needs in the larger society; the last speakers of the Massachusett language Wôpanâak died more than 100 years ago, although some Wampanoag people have been working on a language revival project since 1993. The project is working on curriculum and teacher development. Wampanoag means "Easterners" or "People of the Dawn." The word Wapanoos was first documented on Adriaen Block's 1614 map, the earliest European representation of Wampanoag territory.
Other interpretations include "Wapenock," "Massasoit", the exonym "Philip's Indians." In 1616, John Smith erroneously referred to the entire Wampanoag confederacy as the Pokanoket, one of the tribes. Pokanoket was used in the earliest colonial reports; the Pokanoket tribal seat was located near Rhode Island. The Wampanoag people were semi-sedentary, with seasonal movements between sites in southern New England; the men traveled far north and south along the Eastern seaboard for seasonal fishing expeditions, sometimes stayed in those distant locations for weeks and months at a time. The women cultivated varieties of the "three sisters" as the staples of their diet, supplemented by fish and game caught by the men; each community had authority over a well-defined territory from which the people derived their livelihood through a seasonal round of fishing, planting and hunting. Southern New England was populated by various tribes, so hunting grounds had defined boundaries; the Wampanoag have a matrilineal system, like many indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands, in which women controlled property and hereditary status was passed through the maternal line.
They were matrifocal. Women elders could approve selection of sachems. Men acted in most of the political roles for relations with other bands and tribes, as well as warfare. Women with claims to plots of land used for farming or hunting passed those claims to their female descendants, regardless of their marital status; the production of food among the Wampanoag was similar to that of many American Indian societies, food habits were divided along gender lines. Men and women had specific tasks. Women played an active role in many of the stages of food production, so they had important socio-political and spiritual roles in their communities. Wampanoag men were responsible for hunting and fishing, while women took care of farming and gathering wild fruits, nuts and shellfish. Women were responsible for up to 75 percent of all food production in Wampanoag societies; the Wampanoag were organized into a confederation where a head sachem presided over a number of other sachems. The colonists referred to the sachem as "king," but the position of a sachem differed in many ways from what they knew of a king.
Sachems were bound to consult their own councilors within their tribe, but any of the "petty sachems" in the region. They were responsible for arranging trade privileges, as well as protecting their allies in exchange for material tribute. Both women and men could hold the position of sachem, women were sometimes chosen over close male relatives. Pre-marital sexual experimentation was accepted, although once couples opted to marry, the Wampanoag expected fidelity within unions. Roger Williams stated that "single fornication they count no sin, but after Marriage… they count it heinous for either of them to be false." In addition, polygamy was practiced among the Wampanoag. Some elite men could take several wives for political or social reasons, multiple wives were a symbol of wealth because women were the producers and distributors of corn and other food products. Marriage and conjugal unions were not as important as ties of kinship; the Wampanoag spoke Wôpanâak, a dialect of the Massachusett language which belongs to the Algonquian languages family.
The first Bible published in Ame
Orleans is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts situated along Cape Cod. The population was 5,890 at the 2010 census. For geographic and demographic information on the census-designated place Orleans, please see the article Orleans, Massachusetts. Orleans was first settled in 1693 by Pilgrims from the Plymouth Colony who were dissatisfied with the poor soil and small tracts of land granted to them; the southern parish of neighboring Eastham, Orleans was incorporated in 1797. Orleans was named in honor of Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, in recognition of France's support for the 13 colonies during the American Revolution, because the town did not want an English name, as they had been captured twice by the British during the war. Early history, like much of the Cape, revolved around fishing and agriculture; as the fishing industry grew, salt works sprang up in the town to help preserve the catches. However, the town's growth helped deplete the town of lumber, a situation that did not begin to be remedied until the railroad came and brought lumber from the mainland in the mid-to-late 19th century.
The rail helped bring tourism to the town. In 1898, the French Cable Company built a 3,200-mile-long transatlantic cable to Orleans, which operated from the French Cable Station; the town's historical society is located in the 1834 Universalist Meeting House. In July 1918, Orleans was shelled by a German submarine. S during World War I; the town's tourism industry was helped in 1961 with the creation of the Cape Cod National Seashore by President John F. Kennedy. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.7 square miles, of which 14.1 square miles is land and 8.5 square miles, or 37.59%, is water. Orleans is bordered by Eastham to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Pleasant Bay and the town of Chatham to the south, Harwich to the southwest, Brewster to the west, Cape Cod Bay to the northwest. Orleans is 27 miles south of Provincetown, 22 miles east of Barnstable, 36 miles east of the Sagamore Bridge, 90 miles southeast of Boston. Orleans is located on the inner "elbow" section of Cape Cod.
The town is dotted with bogs and ponds in the western part of town, with many inlets and harbors along the eastern coast of the town, including Town Cove, Nauset Harbor, Pleasant Bay, Little Pleasant Bay. Rock Harbor, bounded by and shared with the town of Eastham, is located in the "crease" of the inner elbow and provides boating access to Cape Cod Bay. Cape Cod National Seashore lies along the coast as well; the town line between Eastham and Orleans is the site of the termini of Massachusetts Routes 6A and 28. The two routes join in the Orleans town center and end at a rotary with Route 6 at the Eastham town line. Massachusetts Route 39, which traces a portion of the Brewster town line, ends in the southern part of Orleans at Route 28. Other than two small non-outleted lanes, only Route 6 and Bridge Road pass northward into Eastham. Orleans has no air service in town; the nearest regional air service can be reached in nearby Chatham, the nearest national and international airport is Logan International Airport in Boston.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,341 people, 3,087 households, 1,771 families residing in the town. The population density was 447.3 people per square mile. There were 5,073 housing units at an average density of 357.9 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 97.57% White, 0.58% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.14% from other races, 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.77% of the population. There were 3,087 households out of which 14.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 6.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 42.6% were non-families. 37.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.9% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.00 and the average family size was 2.55. In the town, the population was spread out with 13.8% under the age of 18, 3.5% from 18 to 24, 17.3% from 25 to 44, 29.4% from 45 to 64, 36.0% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 56 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males. The median income for a household in the town was $42,594, the median income for a family was $62,909. Males had a median income of $44,246 versus $30,017 for females; the per capita income for the town was $29,553. About 2.7% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.6% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over. Orleans is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the Fourth Barnstable district, which includes all the towns east and north of Harwich on the Cape; the town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Cape and Islands District, which includes all of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket except the towns of Bourne, Sandwich and a portion of Barnstable. The town is patrolled by the Second Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police. On the national level, Orleans is a part of Massachusetts's 9th congressional district, is represented by William R. Keating.
The state's senior member of the United States Senate, elected in 2012, is Elizabeth Warren. The junior member, elected in 2013, is Ed Markey. Orleans is governed by the open town meeting form of government, is led by a town secretary and a board of se
Osterville is one of seven villages within the town of Barnstable, United States. The village of Osterville is located on the south side of Barnstable on Nantucket Sound. Osterville is a residential community that includes marshes, ponds, a small lake, a small business district. Osterville was named Cotacheset, based on the Native American name for the area. Over time it was renamed Oysterville. A map misspelled the name as Osterville and the village became so; the following is from the memoirs of Sarah Hallet Boult, Osterville, MA, age 93, as of March 1, 1955: Membership in the Osterville Historical Society is not limited but village-wide and open to all who are making history today swarming over the pleasant acres that “Paupinanack sold for a copper kettle and some fencing done.” How many years ago? About 1648 The range of “Cotacheset” was along East Bay and the Centerville River, when a man said he was going down to Kocochoice, he meant where Crosby’s boat shop is now, along West Bay; the part of the David Estate that adjoins Marstons Mills was known as Mystic.
The Shawme Indians being neighbors to Roger Goodspeed, the first to venture into this territory. The Historical Society all began when a small group of three people recalling old tales of older generations. Promptly the group increased and interest as well, in back tracking to the first, few that planted another firm foothold on Cape Cod sand. Osterville's business district includes a public library, gift stores, women's fashions, restaurants, a small market, banks with ATMs, a pizza place, package store, a U. S. Post Office, a hardware store, art galleries and beauty shops, real estate brokers. During July and August, Osterville's population swells due to seasonal residents. Many summer residents maintain a second house in Osterville while residing most of the year in the Greater Boston area; the village is known for its oceanfront estates. The cemetery for the village of Osterville is the Hillside Cemetery on Old Mill Road; the Osterville Historical Museum, established in 1931, preserves the history of Osterville for all of those who love her, past and future.
The museum includes the largest collection of wooden boats in Massachusetts and is home to the Crosby Boats. The Crosbys are America's oldest active, wooden boat building family; the Cammett House, the oldest house in Osterville, the Captain Jonathan Parker House, owned by a 1820s coastal schooner captain, are located on the museum campus. A series of boat shops includes the 1850 original Herbert F. Crosby boat shop; every Friday mid-June to mid-September, the museum hosts the Osterville Farmers' Market. Armstrong-Kelley Park, the oldest and largest owned park on Cape Cod, is located in Osterville. Crosby Boat Yard is port to the Crosby catboat, the Wianno senior, the latter a favorite of nearby Hyannisport resident President John F. Kennedy. A steel drawbridge connects the village to Little Island and Grand Island, a gated community featuring many luxury houses and a private country club; the neighborhood of Wianno abuts the East Bay section of Osterville. There are two private country clubs in Osterville: the Oyster Harbors Club.
Each club has a private 18 hole golf course, private tennis facilities, a private beach. The Wianno Yacht Club, a private club on West Bay, offers children's sailing lessons. Dowses Beach in Osterville is a town of Barnstable beach, there are toilet facilities with showers and a beach house for changing in privacy. Lifeguards are present during the summer months only. Osterville is home to Cape Cod Academy. Charles Bilezikian, businessman, co-founder of Christmas Tree Shops Jack Birmingham, former NASCAR Winston Cup Series owner from 1999 to 2001. James M. Gavin, World War II general, US ambassador to France. Andy Hallett and singer who appeared on the WB's Angel. David Hartman, the first host of ABC's Good Morning America. Adam Oates, retired Boston Bruins player and former Washington Capitals Coach Gene Rayburn, host of the popular 1970s game show "The Match Game". Lee Remick, actress Richard B. Sellars, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. Bob Vila, former host of This Old House. John Thomas Underwood, founder of the Underwood Typewriter Company, lived in "Blink Bonnie" in Wianno Kurt Vonnegut, 20th century American Writer.
Https://books.google.com/books?id=ogYaAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=osterville+postcard+history&source=bl&ots=7ymyGhhdq9&sig=KFVO62MNStrgx7nju5jZmd-MRe8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwim_7Xp9ojUAhUJ9YMKHfUkDU84ChDoAQhDMAE#v=onepage&q=osterville%20postcard%20history&f=false Osterville Historical Museum Armstrong-Kelley Park Hillside Cemetery Osterville Free Library
Cape Cod National Seashore
The Cape Cod National Seashore, created on August 7, 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, encompasses 43,607 acres on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, it includes ponds and beachfront of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion. The CCNS includes nearly 40 miles of seashore along the Atlantic-facing eastern shore of Cape Cod, in the towns of Provincetown, Wellfleet, Eastham and Chatham, it is administered by the National Park Service. Notable sites encompassed by the CCNS include Marconi Station, the Highlands Center for the Arts, the Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District, the glacial erratic known as Doane Rock. A former United States Coast Guard station on the ocean in Truro is now operated as a 42-bed youth hostel by Hostelling International USA. There are several paved bike trails: Nauset Bike Trail - Eastham Head of the Meadow Trail - Truro Province Lands Trails - ProvincetownThere are several excellent beaches along the coastline with public facilities available seasonally; these include Coast Guard Beach in Eastham.
Both of these have made "top beaches in the US" lists over the years. As part of the NPS Centennial Initiative, the Herring River estuary will be restored to its natural state through removal of dikes and drains that date back to 1909. In 2010, the North of Highland Campground was protected with a conservation easement; the Trust for Public Land, the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, the Truro Conservation Trust, other groups led a grassroots campaign to support the funding for the purchase price of the conservation easement from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, secured by U. S. Senator John Kerry, U. S. Representative Bill Delahunt, former Senator Ted Kennedy; the Biddle Property, home of the late Francis Biddle, the U. S. attorney general during WW II and served as the primary American judge during the post-war Nuremberg trials, was added to the Cape Cod National Seashore in 2011. Using funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Trust for Public Land purchased the property and conveyed it to the National Park Service.
National Register of Historic Places listings in Cape Cod National Seashore Coast Guard Beach East Harbor Nauset Light Beach Race Point Cape Cod National Seashore. National Park Service website. Coastal Landforms and Processes at the Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts: A Primer U. S. Geological Survey Park map showing roads and trails. National Park Service map pdf. "The Penniman House: A Whaling Story". A National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan. Portnoy, J. W. et al, Kettle Pond Data Atlas for Cape Cod National Seashore: Paleoecology and Modern Water Chemistry April 2001, 118 pp. Retrieved June 23, 2018. Cape Cod National Seashore travel guide from Wikivoyage
Eastham is a town in Barnstable County, United States, Barnstable County being coextensive with Cape Cod. The population was 4,956 at the 2010 census. For geographic and demographic information about the village of North Eastham, please see North Eastham, Massachusetts. Settled by the Nauset tribe, Eastham was the site where in 1620 a hunting expedition landed, comprised from the crew of the sailing vessel Mayflower, which had stopped in Provincetown harbor on Cape Cod Bay after a rough crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, which led to the first encounter of the Pilgrims and the local Nauset people at First Encounter Beach; the area would not be settled by Europeans, until 1644. The original lands included what are now the towns of Truro, Eastham, Orleans and a small portion of Chatham. Eastham town was incorporated in 1651. Eastham is the birthplace of Freeman Hatch, who in 1853 set the world record for a single-hull wooden sailing vessel from San Francisco around Cape Horn to Boston aboard the clipper ship Northern Light.
Fishing and farming were early industries in the town, writers and artists came to the town. Gustavus Franklin Swift, born in Sagamore, MA, began his first meatpacking business in Eastham which moved to Brighton, MA, Albany, NY, started the meatpacking industry in Chicago, it was in Eastham. The town is discussed at some length in Henry David Thoreau's Cape Cod as the somewhat rugged site of one of New England's largest summer "camp-meeting" evangelistic gatherings in the mid-19th century; the gatherings were at times attended by at least "one hundred and fifty ministers, five thousand hearers" at a site called Millennium Grove, in the northwest part of town. Today, Eastham is known as the "Gate" to the Cape Cod National Seashore, founded in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to protect Cape Cod's coast from erosion and overpopulation; the town is the site of many beaches, both on the Atlantic and bay sides, as well as the Nauset Light, moved to the town in 1923 from its old location in Chatham, the Three Sisters Lighthouses, which have since been moved away from their now-eroded perches on the coast to a field just west of Nauset Light.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 25.7 square miles, of which 14.0 square miles is land and 11.7 square miles, or 45.68%, is water. It is bordered by Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean on its western and eastern sides, respectively. Eastham is bordered by the towns of Wellfleet and Orleans on its northern and southern sides, respectively. Eastham is located on the "forearm" of Cape Cod, is 23 miles south of Provincetown, the same distance east-northeast of Barnstable, 38 miles east of the Sagamore Bridge, 92 miles southeast of Boston. One-third of the town is located within the Cape Cod National Seashore. There are several freshwater ponds near the center of town, the largest being called Great Pond, which has two public beaches. Powerboats with 50 and under horsepower motors are allowed on Great Pond and Herring Pond, with water skiing only permitted at Great Pond on numbered days. Along the Atlantic coast, portions of the CCNS include several islands, divided by channels which lead from Nauset Bay and Salt Pond Bay to the ocean.
The town shares Town Cove with neighboring Orleans. Several creeks and the Herring River run inland from the bay side. U. S. Route 6 passes from south to north through the town; the Cape Cod Rail Trail, as well as several other bicycle routes, pass through the town. There is no air service in town. Eastham is served by an inexpensive regional bus service, The Flex; as of the census of 2010, there were 4,956 people, 2,396 households, 1,634 families residing in the town. The population density was 389.8 people per square mile. There were 5,535 housing units at an average density of 395.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 96.31% White, 1.49% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, 1.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population. There were 2,396 households out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.8% were non-families.
25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.66. In the town, the population was spread out with 17.7% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, 26.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males. The median income for a household in the town was $42,618, the median income for a family was $51,269. Males had a median income of $36,642 versus $32,109 for females; the per capita income for the town was $24,642. About 4.5% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.5% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over. East
Wellfleet is a town in Barnstable County, United States, is located halfway between the "tip" and "elbow" of Cape Cod. The town had a population of 2,750 at the 2010 census, which swells nearly sixfold during the summer. A total of 70% of the town's land area is under protection, nearly half of it is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Wellfleet is famous for its oysters, which are celebrated in the annual October Wellfleet OysterFest. Settled in the 1650s by the Europeans as Billingsgate, Wellfleet was part of neighboring Eastham until 1763, when it achieved town status after nearly 30 years of petitioning. Wellfleet's oyster beds drove the early economy, as did fishing; the town was home to 30 whaling ships at the time of the American Revolution. However, because of the decline of whaling and the mackerel catch in the late 19th century, the fleet declined, being free of schooners by 1900; the oyster fleet continues to this day, harvesting many other types of shellfish as well. Guglielmo Marconi built America's first transatlantic radio transmitter station on a coastal bluff in South Wellfleet in 1901–02.
The first radio telegraph transmission from America to England was sent from this station on January 18, 1903, a ceremonial telegram from President Theodore Roosevelt to King Edward VII. Most of the transmitter site is gone, however, as three quarters of the land it encompassed has been eroded into the sea; the South Wellfleet station's first call sign was "CC" for Cape Cod. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy created the Cape Cod National Seashore, which encompasses most of the Atlantic shoreline of Cape Cod. In Wellfleet the territory circles the town, from Jeremy Point through the marshes and "islands" along the Herring River, includes Cahoon Hollow Beach, extends the length of the Atlantic shore of the town. Construction of the Chequesset Inn in the late 19th century contributed to the development of a tourist economy in Wellfleet; the town has the second greatest concentration of art galleries on Cape Cod, right after Provincetown. It is a popular retirement spot. In 1717, the pirate "Black Sam" Bellamy was sailing near what is now Wellfleet when his ship, the Whydah, sank off shore, together with over 4.5 short tons of gold and silver and all but two of its 145 men.
The wreck was discovered in 1984, the first of only two confirmed pirate shipwrecks to have been discovered. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 35.4 square miles, of which 19.8 square miles is land and 15.6 square miles, or 44.11%, is water. Wellfleet is bordered by Truro to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Eastham to the south, Cape Cod Bay to the west. Wellfleet is 14 miles south of Provincetown, 33 miles northeast of Barnstable, 48 miles from the Sagamore Bridge, 100 miles southeast of Boston; the lands of Wellfleet wrap around Wellfleet Harbor, extending from the main portion of the Cape around the harbor to Jeremy Point. At one time, Wellfleet Harbor included an island known as Billingsgate Island, which sat at the harbor's mouth, to the south of the point. Once a flourishing small community with a lighthouse, the island was destroyed by coastal erosion and now exists as a shoal, exposed at low tide; the Billingsgate shoals are split between neighboring Eastham.
Several other inlets extend inland from the harbor, at the mouth of the Herring River, Duck Creek, Blackfish Creek and Fresh Brook which leads to several brooks. In addition to the Seashore, Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, run by Massachusetts Audubon, surrounds much of The Run, including part of Small Island. Between the sanctuary and other small parks and beaches, seventy percent of the town's area is protected. A small whaling community was founded on the land, now Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, was known as Silver Spring, after Silver Spring Brook. What remains of it is a marsh, once its harbor, known as the Silver Spring Brook Marshes; this land is now protected by the Massachusetts Audubon Society in its Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary. U. S. Route 6 passes from north to south through the town; the town's commercial center lies west of the route, along the shores of the harbor. The route was straightened in the mid-20th century, some maps still consider the "old" Route 6 to be a portion of Route 6A.
The town has no air service. The last train left the area in the 1930s, the train station was razed and the tracks were torn up through Provincetown; the nearest municipal airports are about 18 miles from town. There is limited bus service between Wellfleet and Hyannis, from there on to Boston and Logan Airport, on the Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company, a Plymouth-based bus service; the CCRTA, which runs between Hyannis and Provincetown makes stops in Wellfleet. As of the census of 2000, there were 2,749 people, 1,301 households, 724 families residing in the town; the population density was 138.6 inhabitants per square mile. There were 3,998 housing units at an average density of 201.6 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 96.58% White, 0.95% African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races, 1.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.69% of the population. There were 1,301 households out of which 20.0% had
Provincetown is a New England town located at the extreme tip of Cape Cod in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, in the United States. A small coastal resort town with a year-round population of just under 3,000, Provincetown has a summer population of as high as 60,000. Called "P-town" or "P'town", the town is known for its beaches, artists, tourist industry, its status as a vacation destination for the LGBTQ community. At the time of European encounter, the area was long settled by the historic Nauset tribe, who had a settlement known as "Meeshawn", they spoke Massachusett, a Southern New England Algonquian language dialect that they shared in common with their related neighbors, the Wampanoag. On May 15, 1602, having made landfall from the west and believing it to be an island, Bartholomew Gosnold named this area "Shoal Hope"; that day, after catching a "great store of codfish", he chose instead to name this outermost tip of land "Cape Cod". Notably, that name referred to the area of modern-day Provincetown.
On November 9, 1620, the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sighted Cape Cod while en route to the Colony of Virginia. After two days of failed attempts to sail south against the strong winter seas, they returned to the safety of the harbor, known today as Provincetown Harbor, set anchor, it signed. They agreed to settle and build a self-governing community, came ashore in the West End. Though the Pilgrims chose to settle across the bay in Plymouth, Cape Cod enjoyed an early reputation for its valuable fishing grounds, for its harbor: a deep, protected basin, considered the best along the coast. In 1654, the Governor of the Plymouth Colony purchased this land from the Chief of the Nausets, for a selling price of two brass kettles, six coats, 12 hoes, 12 axes, 12 knives and a box; that land, which spanned from East Harbor – near the present-day border between Provincetown and Truro – to Long Point, was kept for the benefit of Plymouth Colony, which began leasing fishing rights to roving fishermen.
The collected fees were used to defray the costs of schools and other projects throughout the colony. In 1678, the fishing grounds were opened up to allow the inclusion of fishermen from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1692, a new Royal Charter combined the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies into the Province of Massachusetts Bay. "Cape Cod" was thus renamed the "Province Lands". The first record of a municipal government with jurisdiction over the Province Lands was in 1714, with an Act that declared it the "Precinct of Cape Cod", annexed under control of Truro. On June 14, 1727, after harboring ships for more than a century, the Precinct of Cape Cod was incorporated as a township; the name chosen by its inhabitants was "Herringtown", rejected by the Massachusetts General Court in favor of "Provincetown". The act of incorporation provided that inhabitants of Provincetown could be land holders, but not land owners, they received a quit claim to their property. The land was to be used as it had been from the beginning of the colony — a place for the making of fish.
All resources, including the trees, could be used for that purpose. In 1893 the Massachusetts General Court changed the Town's charter, giving the townspeople deeds to the properties they held, while still reserving unoccupied areas; the population of Provincetown remained small through most of the 18th century. The town was affected by the American Revolution the same way most of Cape Cod was: the effective British blockade shut down most fish production and shipping and the town dwindled, it was, by happenstance, the location of the wreck of a British warship, HMS Somerset at the Peaked Hill Bars off the Atlantic Coast of Provincetown in 1778. Following the American Revolution, Provincetown grew as a fishing and whaling center; the population was bolstered by numerous Portuguese sailors, many of whom were from the Azores, settled in Provincetown after being hired to work on US ships. By the 1890s, Provincetown was booming, began to develop a resident population of writers and artists, as well as a summer tourist industry.
After the 1898 Portland Gale damaged the town's fishing industry, members of the town's art community took over many of the abandoned buildings. By the early decades of the 20th century, the town had acquired an international reputation for its artistic and literary productions; the Provincetown Players was an important experimental theatre company formed during this period. Many of its members lived during other parts of the year in Greenwich Village in New York, intellectual and artistic connections were woven between the places. In 1898 Charles Webster Hawthorne opened the Cape Cod School of Art, said to be the first outdoor school for figure painting, in Provincetown. Film of his class from 1916 has been preserved; the town includes eight buildings and two historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places: Provincetown Historic District and Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District. In the mid-1960s, Provincetown saw population growth; the town's rural character appealed to the hippies of the era.
Many of those who came raised families. Commercial Street, the town's equivalent to "Main Street", gained numerous cafés, leather shops, head shops – various hip small businesses blossomed and many flourished. By the 1970s Provincetown had a significant gay population during the summer tourist season, when restaurants, bars