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  • Tommy Cod Houses
    An early August stroller on Cape Cod’s beaches will stoop down, and with a puzzled look, see near the tide line, a sand ring, shaped like a small stand-up collar, like those worn by grandpa in…
  • Clam Shell Horse Hair Plaster
    Imagination, ingenuity, and clever hands were needed in the early days of Cape Cod, when the houses, some of which stand sturdily today, were built to stand against the elements of winter winds and…
  • Warship Sank Ten Whalers
    Down to the bottom went, in a single day of the year 1865, ten whalers of our local ports. The Civil War between North and South had in fact ended before that day, but the Confederate warship Shenandoah…
  • Ye Olde Towne Crier
    The Town Crier makes his headquarters in the Board of Trade Building, Provincetown. He marches up and down the streets, dressed in a fancy Pilgrim costume, ringing his bell, and pausing every now and…
  • The Cape Is Young
    The surface of Cape Cod is young geologically. Scientists believe that it may be less than 15,000 years since the Great Glacier retreated, leaving behind the rock, sand, and gravel which form the Cape…
  • Old Sandwich, New Sandwich
    Sixty-five miles southeast of London, England, there is a little town only two miles in a straight line from the sea, or four miles if one follows the winding little river Stour. It is of no importance…
  • Blackfish Ashore
    When the legislators of Massachusetts became all tangled up during the summer of 1955 in a debate on whether blackfish are really fish or a type of whale, the Provincetown Advocate waxed eloquent…
  • Land Use 1951-1990
    I have lived on the Cape for 30 some odd years and have seen quite a change in the amount of development that has taken place here. The
  • Cape Codders to the Fore
    From the time the Pilgrims first in 1620 stretched their legs on the friendly soil of Cape Cod, at Provincetown, to the Revolution that began in the year 1775, men and women of Cape Cod played a vital,…
  • What the Whalers Ate
    Cooks aboard the whalers served the men strong vittles. Keeping in mind that the whaling ships were often at sea for “a couple years”, the main items on the whaleship menu were:
  • Early Colonial Farmers
    A good idea of the life of the people who settled along the shores of Buzzards Bay is to be had from the diary of Isreal Fearing. He was the largest landowner in the region.
  • Cape Cod Water Cure
    A century and a half ago, according to records brought to light by the clerk of courts, Barnstable County, it was reported “that the Cape Cod Hydropathic or Water Cure Institute is now ready for…
  • Timothy Quaint
    In 1854, the Home Journal of that period contained the recorded sentiments of one Timothy Quaint on the merits of Martha’s Vineyard as he saw it. Timothy had visited the island on a fishing…
  • Dashing Cape Robbers
    One of the Cape’s most handsome birds is a robber. With a flash of blue through the air and a swift swoop upon his “prey,” this fellow gets what he is after.
  • How Much Was Whale Oil Worth?
    When ships were outfitted, crews engaged, and long voyages undertaken in pursuit of whales for their oil, it…
  • Early Forests and Trees
    When the Pilgrims first entered the wooded areas all along the shores of the Cape, they found there a wide variety…
  • What Came of These Prisoners?
    In the year 1778, while our country and Britain were engaged in mortal combat, the large armed and hostile British frigate Somerset had the hard luck to be blown ashore and wrecked off Provincetown.…
  • Sandwich Has Oldest House
    Sandwich is a lovely Cape town, with shaded streets and well kept homes. Be certain and observe the view of the church spires as you pass along Route 6A and better yet take the bypass into the center…
  • Riding In The Old Surrey
    In the good old days of yesteryear on the Cape, people sometimes went driving or riding to meetin’ or elsewhere in a fringed-top surrey. The surrey was a light pleasure carriage, the two forward…
  • Old Wreck Hauled Ashore
    On November 28, 1951, the dragger C. R. and M. fouled its nets in the wreckage of an old wreck…
  • Life From the Sea
    From the very beginnings of modern life on Cape Cod, the sea has furnished food, earnings, and recreation for the dwellers there. It has also battered the land, changed its beaches and contour, wrecked…
  • A Cow for the Poor
    In 1644 Andrew Hallett of Yarmouth offered a cow or a heifer in calve for the benefit of the poor of Yarmouth. The gift had to be first approved by the Court.
  • Wild Animals on Cape Cod
    In 1713, the town of Eastham, much vexed by the depredations of wolves, foxes, and deer, voted that “Three pounds bounty be paid in addition to what is allowed by the Province Law for every head…
  • Schooling on Old Cape Cod
    Every town of the Cape, like those of the rest of Massachusetts, was required by law of the Commonwealth in 1825, to maintain one school master or school mistress if it had fifty families.
  • Yarmouth Was Choosey
    Just anybody couldn’t become a citizen of Yarmouth. Those who founded the town were choosey about admitting newcomers. Only the sturdiest families were allowed to come in.
  • French Cable Comes to Eastham
    It is only a little less than one hundred twenty-six years since one of the great events of the nineteenth century occurred on Cape Cod. This was the bringing in of the shore end of the new French cable…
  • Rejoicing in Hyannis
    When the whaling business came to Hyannis, in 1854, the townspeople were thrilled at the prospect of prosperity’s being “just round the corner.” The ship Enterprise, owned by…
  • The Dogvane
    On any number of the commercial fishing boats that you will see coming and going about Cape Cod’s harbors, you may notice a small vane or flag of bunting or like material flying from a mast or…
  • The Beach was Main Street
    “In the early days of Provincetown,” says J. D. B., in the Provincetown Advocate, “the beach between high and low water was the main thoroughfare of the town.” Anyone…
  • The Red Headed Mermaid
    “Any man who would go to sea for pleasure would go to hell for pastime.” This was what one Yarmouth skipper had to say about the “romantic” sea. But it couldn’t have been…
  • Prodigal Town
    So cosmopolitan that is seems completely un-New England, is the town on the tip of the Cape. Given over to the jurisdiction of Truro in 1714, Provincetown’s free and merry way of living caused…
  • Standish Was A Man of Property
    Myles Standish left certain property in England to his heir, as well as the Duxbury homestead. Myles Standish’s descendants have, from time to time, claimed this English land.
  • Paid Minister in Cord Wood
    The inhabitants of Truro, in September 1786, joined with the Town authorities in “calling and settling” the Rev. Jude Damon “in the work of the Gospel Ministry” there.
  • Cape Cod Foreclosure Rate Way Up
    Originally Posted: 2/5/06, Updated Below: The number of foreclosure notices filed against Massachusetts homeowners last year reached their highest level since the housing bust of the early 1990s,…
  • Barnstable County Registry of Deeds Online Search
    The Barnstable Registry of Deeds records can now be searched online. Once completed, the database will extend back to 1703, although that date is a bit misleading due to an event that occurred nearly…
  • Fogs, Storms, and Tossing Billows
    Were the frequent experiences of one of Cape Cod’s deep-sea skippers. Captain Manuel Enos was one of the Cape’s able mariners or deep-sea sailormen, a group that has vanished into history.
  • A Quaker Shrewd and True
    In the 1600’s, Sandwich counted in its population one Daniel Wing. Daniel was a Quaker, and Quakers, while tolerated, were not admired on the Cape in those days. And no wonder. Daniel’s…
  • The Pilgrims had Shortcomings
    Old records show that the Pilgrims were no better or no worse than other people. At nearly every court session, fines were imposed for drunkenness and idleness. (Yes, it was a sin to be idle in those…
  • Fishermen Take Note
    Like the air we breathe, saltwater fishing is free. You do not need a license to fish in the salt waters of Cape Cod.
  • The Sea Around Us
    The familiar title of Rachel Carson’s book, The Sea Around Us, aptly describes the Cape Codder’s situation. For Cape Cod, once a peninsula and now (because of the Canal) an island,…
  • A Big City Take on PTown
    A reporter from the Chicago Tribune visited Provincetown in 1900 and wrote the following: “Fish is bartered at the grocery stores, shoe shops and bread stores for all the commodities of life…”…
  • Truro’s Captain Stevens
    Captain Levi Stevens was a shining example of the kind of young men reared on Cape Cod a century or two ago and his life illustrates the opportunities that were then at hand for such men, ready and…
  • The Fleet’s In
    One hundred twenty-five years ago, the last Grand Bank fishing vessel of a fleet of forty-two craft arrived at Provincetown. The total catch was 58,500 quintals (100 pounds to the quintal) of codfish.…
  • Runaway Horse Leads to Rich Find
    A little over one hundred-fifty summers ago, a resident of Wellfleet, Captain Daniel Rich, had an unusual experience. One of his horses ran away, and in pursuing the animal in its pasture, Capt. Rich…
  • Ship Afire In Snowstorm
    On the morning of December 28, 1803, a small schooner cast off from a wharf in Boston and, under command of Capt. J. P. Schott, Jr., got underway for the West Indies. By afternoon, having arrived at…
  • Cape Cod Houses Faced the South
    Cape Codders years ago made common use of the architectural idea, common today, that the living room of the house should face the south.
  • Lost in the Snow, The Portland Gale
    When the steamship Portland was lost in a great blizzard five miles off Cape Cod’s Point on November 27, 1898, there was another vessel that came to grief at the same time and place—the…
  • Wind and Weather
    The winds that assure us good weather blow to us from the northwest, west, or southwest. In fact, it is said that, except for thunderstorms, no bad weather ever comes to us from the west.
  • Cape Cranberries Led the Way
    Cape Cod cranberries were one of the first of the so-called “convenience foods” which now represent such a large portion of the nation’s ready-to-serve food supplies.
  • Who Was the First White Native Cape Codder?
    For every fact about Cape Cod there seem to be a dozen fancies — stories and legends of happenings which may have occurred, or not, and which no one under the sun can possible prove or disprove.…
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