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Provincetown and Harbor at the Beginning of the 20th Century

Fine large birdseye view of Provincetown from the northeast, published by George H Walker in Boston.

Walker's view is centered on Pilgrim's Monument, which was completed in 1909. Capturing the northernmost part of Cape Cod, Provincetown was then transforming from a fishing village (complete with over a dozen piers) to a summer resort destination for artists, writers and affluent city dwellers fleeing the summer heat. The line of the New York, New Haven & Hartford rail line appears running across the view to the largest of the piers.

The 252-foot Pilgrim Monument, commemorating the 5-week stay of the Mayflower at the tip of Cape Cod prior to its final arrival at Plymouth Bay., towers over the bustling town and harbor.  On the horizon, Boston, the Boston Light and Boston Light Ship, Minot's Light, Plymouth, Gurnet Light, Standish Monument, the Duxbury wireless station are all visible.

As noted in the description on the Boston Public Library website:

The view also provides evidence of the community's changing economy. Numerous wharves, a mixture of steam and sailing ships in the harbor, and three cold storage plants for processing fish (Consolidated Weir, Provincetown Cold Storage, and Fisherman's Cold Storage) reflect the towns reliance on maritime industries during the 19th century. On the other hand, the identification in the legend of several hotels (Pilgrim, New Central, Atlantic, Gifford, and Mt. Pleasant Houses) and the Star Theater foreshadows the town's developing tourist industry during the 20th century.

States of the View and Rarity

The view exists in two states, a smaller folding pocket version and this much larger version on heavy paper.

This larger version is rare on the market.  We note only a single example in AMPR (Martayan Lan, 2017) and no auction records recorded in RBH.

Condition Description
Professionally repaired tear at left. Presents as VG+
Reps 1609; Garver, J. J. Surveying the Shore, pp. 188-89, pl. 85; Leventhal Map Center, Boston & Beyond, pp. 138-39, pl. 48.