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.

CCNS Long Point | Cape Cod Oil Works

 

Atwood’s wharf 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 Atwood wharf. Picture essay and more history »

Cape Cod National Seashore | Long Point

Darby Memorial

Darby Memorial and Long Point Light, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

Darby Memorial and Long Point Light, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

Charles Darby arrived in Provincetown by motorcycle in the 1930s, as Amy Whorf McGuiggan tells the story. In short time, he became a year-rounder, an exhibiting painter and a beloved member of the Beachcombers. Drafted in 1942, he was a radio operator with the 77th Troop Carrier Squadron. On 17 October 1944, returning from a supply mission, his plane crashed into a hillside in southern England. The crew was killed instantly. Darby’s grief-stricken father proposed to the Beachcombers that a plaque, fastened to a stone, might be set on a dune overlooking the sea. “It would, in some small way, tie more closely Charles to his beloved Provincetown,” he said. A cross was built of an old railroad tie by the artists Philip Malicoat, Roger Rilleau, and John Whorf (McGuiggan’s grandfather). It stood outside the Art Association at first, but was moved to Long Point in the early 1960s, fulfilling the father’s wish.


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.

Cape Cod National Seashore | Long Point

Civil War batteries

Civil War batteries on Long Point, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

Civil War batteries on Long Point, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

During the Civil War, concerned about the Confederate navy trying to blockade the harbor, the federal government erected a three-gun earthwork battery at the tip of Long Point and a five-gun earthwork battery about 1,800 feet to the southwest. Because the Long Point batteries never saw wartime duty, townsfolk called them Fort Useless and Fort Ridiculous. They were under the charge of Sgt. John Rosenthal and were not decommissioned until 1873, after which the barracks were brought over to 473 Commercial. Both fortifications are discernible as flat-topped mounds. The battery near the lighthouse is where the Beachcombers erected their memorial to Staff Sgt. Charles Darby.


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.

CCNS Long Point | Forts Useless and Ridiculous

 

During the Civil War, concerned about the Confederate navy trying to blockade the harbor, the federal government erected a three-gun earthwork battery at the tip of Long Point and a five-gun earthwork battery about 1,800 feet to the southwest. Because the Long Point Batteries never saw wartime duty, townsfolk called them Fort Useless and Fort Ridiculous. More pictures and history »