Cape Cod National Seashore | Long Point

Cape Cod Oil Works

Cape Cod Oil Works (1891), courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Cape Cod Oil Works (1891), courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Aerial view of Cape Cod Oil Works remnants, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

Aerial view of Cape Cod Oil Works remnants, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s