WALKER LITH., PUB. CO.

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Sweeping Bird's-Eye View of Provincetown
[Boston, 1910]



Provincetown, Massachusetts.  Walker Lith. & Pub Co.  ]Boston: 1910] Walker’s Bird’s_Eye View of Provincetown… 10 ½ x 16 ¾ inches. Two-stone, folding lithograph on banknote paper, in original heavy paper covers, with street plan on front cover. Light glue stain at left else an excellent example.       


In this dramatic aerial view, Provincetown is here seen as a vibrant, thriving town that was then transitioning from a community dependent on fishing to one whose economy and culture were increasingly tied to the annual influx of summer residents, many of them artists and writers.   Evidence of its already established popularity at the time can be seen in the New York, New Haven & Hartford rail line, now defunct, which ran directly to the town's main wharf.  However, its still thriving fishing industry is reflected in the far greater number of piers in the view than exist today.  At the center of the view and the town is Pilgrim's Monument, which was completed the year the view was published.  Still Provincetown's most striking architectural feature, the Pilgrim Monument, a 252-foot Italianate tower, had its cornerstone laid by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907 and was dedicated by President William Taft on its completion in 1910. To buttress the town's historic significance, the monument commemorates the Mayflower's five-week stay at the tip of Cape Cod before the Pilgrims decided to shift their base to Plymouth Bay.


The high aerial perspective of the view provides a vivid sense of Provincetown’s unique landscape with its rolling dunes in the embrace of both the ocean and bay. Numerous steam and sailing ships, both commercial and recreational, ply the harbor in the view. Three cold storage plants for processing fish (Consolidated Weir, Provincetown Cold Storage, and Fisherman's Cold Storage) reflect the towns reliance on maritime industries during the 19th century. On the other hand, several hotels (the Pilgrim, New Central, Atlantic, Gifford, and Mt. Pleasant Houses, some of which still exist) and the Star Theater suggest the town's developing tourist industry of the early 20th century.


Reps 1608, see also 1609 for a larger version of the same view; cf. Garver, J. J. Surveying the Shore, pp. 188-89, pl. 85; cf. Leventhal Map Center, Boston & Beyond, pp. 138-39, pl. 48.

Price: $450.00

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