Baxter’s Pier

Baxter's Pier, Whydah Pirate Museum, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Baxter’s Pier, Whydah Pirate Museum, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Barry Clifford, by Margot Clifford, courtesy of the Rev. Jim Cunningham.

Barry Clifford, by Margot Clifford, courtesy of the Rev. Jim Cunningham.

The oldest building at MacMillan Wharf is not on MacMillan Wharf. Instead, the Whydah Pirate Museum and related enterprises of the underseas explorer Barry Clifford occupy Baxter’s Pier, a structure on its own pilings, connected to — but not part of — the main causeway. It was built in 1946 by the fish dealer Benjamin Baxter. The gambrel roof of the original shed is still recognizable. After its fish-handling days ended, the shed housed the Billy Bones Raw Bar. It was purchased in 1995 by Clifford and his financial partner, Robert Lazier; in part to house artifacts salvaged from the Whydah (named for the African kingdom of Ouidah), a three-masted galley built in 1715 for the slave trade, commandeered in 1717 by the pirate “Black Sam” Bellamy, and sunk that year off Eastham. In season, the pier perimeter serves as a private marina.


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

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