whale Sea Cape Cod by Michael Mosier » Provincetown; “discovered” circa 1602

Sea Cape Cod by Michael Mosier

Coming soon: Link to Waterfront Photography, in historic downtown Hyannis, Massachusetts, Cape Cod, USA 02651

July 31, 2015

Provincetown; “discovered” circa 1602

Filed under: Blog — Michael @ 12:22 pm

Greetings and salutations from the sand, sun and surf of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and the sunny, very warm, humid island of Nantucket! Great to be with you on this Friday–the 31st day of July, 2015–another hot high noon–coming to you LIVE from the Hyannis/Hyannis Port Waterfront(s); ever hoping you and yours are safe and sound, keeping cool as it is…

It is a “Better Know Your District” (credit Stephen Colbert “The Late Show”), double header today, Sea Cape Cod bringing you this 7th installment of a 25 part series of ‘Better know your Cape Town or Island’! A pure rip off from the old “Colbert Report” where one of the funniest people on planet Earth poked fun at our politicians as well as himself on a daily basis.

Provincetown is the most popular destination for tourists visiting this little sand bar created 11,500 years ago by the Last Great Ice Age, indeed, it’s history is rich and deep, beginning with Bartholomew Gosnold making landfall from the west on May 15th, 1602. The captain assuming it an island he named it “Shoal Hope”, but later that day, after catching “a great store of Cod Fish”, renamed it “Cape Cod”, the outermost tip of land on this long strip of sand.  Only after many moon rises did that name become synonymous with the entire region.  In 1620, the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sighted Cape Cod while en route to Virginia, but after two days of failed attempts to sail south against strong winter seas, they returned safely to the harbor, known today as Provincetown Harbor, and set anchor.  The “Mayflower Compact” created a self-governing community, though those same Pilgrims chose to settle across Cape Cod Bay in Plymouth.  Cape Cod enjoyed an early reputation for its valuable fishing grounds, and for its harbor.  A naturally deep, protected basin that was considered the best along the coast.  In 1654, the Governor of ‘the Plymouth County’, purchased this land from the Chief of the Nausetts, the indigenous tribe closely related to the Wampanoag, sharing the same Algonquin dialect of “Massachusett”.  The selling price being two brass kettles, six coats, 12 knives, 12 axes, and a ‘box’.

Following the American Revolution, Provincetown grew as a fishing and whaling center and by the 1890’s the town was booming, developing a resident population of writers and artists, as well as creating a summer destination for people now from all over the world.  In 1898 Charles Webster Hawthorne opened the Cape Cod School of Art; a growing connection between Greenwich Village (New York City), and this wild and untamed nautical community grew stronger, many intellectuals, writers and artists considering this place home.

Today, Provincetown is well known for the infinite beaches (Cape Cod National Seashore), the harbor, Commercial Street, always bubbling and bustling with many, many unique and quite non-corporate shops that titillate the soul, plus many other attractions.  It is also well known for its status as a vacation destination for the LGBT community.

The water surrounding this unique geographical area has the effect of moderating temperatures year round–the USDA ‘plant zone hardiness’ a 7A–as well as delaying the onset of seasons, thus Spring comes a little later and Winter comes a little later…

The Pilgrim Monument–designed by Willard T. Sears after the Torre del Mangia in Italy; built 1907-1910–was erected to commemorate that first landfall of the Pilgrims from Great Britain in 1620; escaping religious persecution by a tyrannical King, as well as the signing of that remarkable Mayflower Compact at the Provincetown Harbor.  Standing 252 feet in height, it is the tallest all-granite structure in the United States, and one cannot miss it when approaching Provincetown.  One can climb to the top and the view from that tower is one you will remember…

Some notable residents of Provincetown over the years are many, including Arctic explorer Donald B. MacMillan, Pulitzer Prize winning author Norman Mailer and Michael Cunningham. Pulitzer prize winner, author and poet Mary Oliver, playwrights Tennessee Williams and David Drake among many others, such as former United States Poet Laureate Stanely Kunitz. Film maker John Waters and Al Jaffee of Mad Magazine round out this very long list of distinguished and defined artists of their day living in this very unique and always alive town on the very tip of a sand bar, lest we forget, created by the retreat of glaciers some 11,500 years ago, ever reminding US that this life on planet earth is forever changing, adapting and moving forward.

Life bows to no man.

Nature always with the final word…

Have a nice week end!


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