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Pilgrim Monument, line drawing by Ewa Nogiec
Provincetown History: Long Point

Across the harbor, at the tip of the Cape, is a narrow peninsula called Long Point. The lighthouse was built in 1816, and two years later some Provincetown fishermen moved there with their families to be close to the fishing grounds and seines.

John Atwood, Sr. was the first settler, followed by Prince Freeman, then Eldridge Smith. On November 7, 1822 the first child was born, Prince Freeman, Jr. By 1846, there were enough children for a schoolhouse to be built; it doubled as a church. Sixty-one families lived in the village.

Most of the fishing was from the shore with seep seines, although the twenty small cod fishing boats averaged 40 to 60 quintals per boat on good spring tides.

There was no drinkable water on Long Point (rain water was collected in plank cisterns), but there was plenty of salt water and one time there were nearly 8,000 square feet of salt works there, with six windmills pumping seawater. The salt was extracted by solar evaporation. The annual Long Point output was approximately 600 hogsheads of salt.

By the time of the Civil War the settlement was completely abandoned, and the houses were floated across the harbor, most of them to sites in the extreme West End of Town. It is claimed that homes were moved with families living in them, carrying on with the household chores.

[from Walking Tour #1, The Center of Provincetown, originally published by the Provincetown Historical Association, re-printed by the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, in collaboration with the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce and the Seamen's Bank.]

 

Long Point Lighthouse

Accessibility: The grounds are open to the public, but the lighthouse is not. Long Point is accessible in summer from Provincetown via a boat shuttle run by Flyer's.

The lighthouse can also be reached after a long strenuous hike across a breakwater to Wood End, then across sand to Long Point.

Station established: 1826; Current lighthouse tower built: 1875; Automated: 1952

Construction material: Brick

Tower height: 38 feet; Height of focal plane: 36 feet

Original optic: Fifth order Fresnel; Present optic: 300mm (solar powered)
Characteristic: Fixed green; Fog signal: One blast every 15 seconds

Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation, tower is maintained by American Lighthouse Foundation, P.O. Box 889, Wells, ME 04090

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Fishing Boat line drawing by Ewa Nogiec

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