Cape Cod Oil Works
Atwood’s Wharf in the Long Point settlement saw second duty as part of the Cape Cod Oil Works, established by Jonathan Cook in 1875, which extracted everything usable from the carcasses and excreta of whales and fish. To this day, the ruin of a brig hull, as elegant in its skeletal outline as an elongated wishbone, can be seen alongside the few remaining pilings of the wharf. It forms a ghostly shape against the sand in the aerial photo directly above. The historical photo (top), brought to my attention by Dieter Groll, shows the vessel fitted out as a fertilizer screening house in 1891. The note at the bottom says: “Condemned by Dr. Moore 2/6/19.”
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.