Cape Cod National Seashore | Province Lands

Province Lands bound stones

Province Lands bound stone B, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

Province Lands bound stone B, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

In 1692, the Province of Massachusetts Bay subsumed Plymouth Colony, including the colony’s common acreage on Cape Cod, which came to be known as the Province Lands. Provincetown was established within the Province Lands in 1727. Its residents were soon buying and selling parcels of property, ignoring the minor detail that the state owned the land inalienably — at least in theory. After decades of tension, the matter was resolved by the Statutes of 1893, Chapter 470, which effectively split the settled town from a 3,200-acre area north and west. The irregular border was marked at 15 intervals by tall granite markers, incised with the legend “STAT. 1893 CHAP. 470,″ “P. L.” and a letter designation. Two of the easiest to find are Bound B, at the entrance to the National Seashore on Province Lands Road, just behind the National Park Service sign; and Bound I, in the yard at 111 Race Point Road.

More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on 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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