Provincetown of the Past

Excellent times benefited Cape Cod in the early 19th century, and by the late 1800’s Provincetown was the richest port in Massachusetts. Huge incomes were made by hardy men harvesting whales and salting the abundant codfish from which the peninsula got its name.

However, fishing brought more than affluence to Provincetown.

Early on it brought the employment of Azorean’s to crew fishing vessels, and established a diverse community that was no longer populated solely by descendants of English colonists. This infusion of culture developed a spirit helping to spark the artistic and liberal traditions of today.

One of these hardy men, a prominent captain, built a house on Cook Street overlooking the harbor using a New England variation on the Greek Revival design. This signature styled building has today been converted into a Bed’n’Breakfast just oozing history.

A Welcoming B&B in Provincetown

Following a narrow lane into Provincetown's east-side Art District, I'm greeted by a signpost set among the fragrant landscaping leading to the front door. Prominently displayed is the colonial symbol of welcome and hospitality, a pineapple, a continuation of a custom that began when captains returned home from West Indies islands bearing gifts of this exotic fruit.

The Keepers of the Inn, John and Patrick, know hospitality very well and welcome me into their home. Completely restored and retrofitted, expect modern amenities such as flat-screen TV's and full bathrooms. I choose the upstairs Yardley Room with an outdoor balcony overlooking the Koi pond and lush gardens below. The interior woodwork and steeply banistered stairways exhibit the craftsmanship and shipbuilding techniques borrowed from great oceangoing vessels of yore.

Today's P’town

My mornings are spent engaged in conversation and coffee with others gathered around the breakfast table, catching up on the latest news and formulating today's plans. John and Patrick's knowledgeable recommendations for dining, places to see, and things to do quickly shape my itinerary.

After a gourmet and cooked-to-order breakfast, including a fruit bowl with the Inn's signature fruit, my day's been set in motion to discover the best that P’town has on offer.

When you go:

Written by: Steve Smith

steve smith pic Steve inherited the wanderlust and has always needed to see what’s around the next corner. In his college years he enjoyed many memorable (and cheap) forays into Mexico sleeping under the stars, but today that’ all changed. Since 2006 he’s contributed stories and photographs to In The Know Traveler, and in 2014 he assumed an editor role with the same. Published both in digital and print formats, his international assignments have taken him to the Middle East, Asia, North/Latin/South America, Europe, and the Caribbean. Follow how both his photography and road travels intersect with digital storytelling using dynamic space-age mapping technology.

Provincetown map built by Steve Smith

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