Today is wasn’t raining – yet. It is a free day, so we can do whatever we want to enjoy Cape Cod. We had seen the normal sights when we were here in 2004 – Martha’s Vineyard, Hyannis, light houses, beaches and sand dunes… We also didn’t want to fight the summertime traffic, so instead, we headed back to Plymouth and caught a fast boat to Provincetown.
You can see that it is a quick boat ride, about 1 1/2 hours. To drive, in no traffic (and there is ALWAYS traffic…) is 1 1/2 hours. It was an easy call…
The weather in Plymouth was a little foggy, but nothing to obstruct the views. The little temple on the shore is the “canopy” over Plymouth Rock:
In the outer harbor are houses and a lighthouse along a tiny sand spit:
The entrance to Provincetown Harbor:
Looming over the town is this giant tower:
It is the Pilgrim Monument:
The Pilgrim Monument was built between 1907 and 1910 to commemorate the first landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims in Provincetown on November 21, 1620. It was dedicated by President Taft.
Yes! The Pilgrims in the Mayflower landed at Provincetown, not Plymouth! It is where the Mayflower Compact was written and signed. We’ve been lied to all these years! After they landed at Provincetown, and saw that there was no fresh water, and that the sand was no good for farming, they set out in a small boat to explore Cape Cod Bay. They found Plymouth, with a natural harbor, fresh water in a flowing creek, and land good for farming, at least once you clear away the rocks. Lots of rocks!
It claims to be the tallest all-granite structure in the United States. The tower is 252 feet, 7.5 inches (77 meters) tall and rises 350 feet above sea level. So, of course, we had to climb the tower. It was raining at the top:
Provincetown prospered as a fishing village and as a whaling center. Whale oil had always been the principal light source in the United States. Kerosene was cheaper, but it was smelly and smokey. John D. Rockefeller (see my earlier posts) hired research chemists from Yale to develop a cleaner burning kerosene. They succeeded. In the late nineteenth century the whaling industry died as kerosene replaced whale oil as a lighting source. Another New England industry bites the dust, and John D. Rockefeller gets rich.
(As electric lights became available, kerosene became another dead industry. Luckily, by that time JDR was refining gasoline for the new-fangled automobiles…)
We spent the day wandering the delightfully crowded and narrow streets, peeking into shops, and enjoying the day. We had a late lunch and followed up with an ice cream cone… The boat ride back to Plymouth was uneventful. I may have dosed off a bit. An enjoyable time was had by all…