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Cape Cod 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 then to announce some news.

There was a time when the business of the town crier was dead serious. But that was before radios and newspapers and railroads. There were no fancy costumes then. Provincetown was the last town to retain a crier because there was no paper, and the railroad didn’t reach there until 1873. Even then the custom held on, mainly because the crier needed the job.

Walter Smith was the last crier. He retired in 1930. But the grandest of them all was his predecessor George Washington Ready, alias the “Professor.” He astonished the world by announcing that he had seen a serpent off the Cape. It was the most colorful and glorious serpent that anyone has ever seen. No one else ever saw it, but Ready signed an affidavit that it was truly there and he was not under the influence of liquor when he saw it.

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 02/13/06
Categories: HistoryProvincetown
Keywords: provincetown, history, town crier


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