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History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts
edited by Simeon L. Deyo.
1890. New York: H. W. Blake & Co
Exploration by the Pilgrims. — Proprietors of the Pamet Lands. — Incorporation of Truro. — Boundaries. — Natural Features. — King's Highway. — Pounds. — Industries. — The Wreck of the Somerset. — The Revolution. — Gale of 1841. — Various Town Affairs. — Civil History. — Churches. — Burying Grounds. — Schools. — Villages. — Biographical Sketches.
THE territory comprised in this town was the home of the Pamets —a tribe of the Nauset nation. Its importance is advanced when the reader realizes that the Mayflower made her first anchorage within sight of its wooded hills, and that upon its diversified surface Miles Standish and his followers made their first explorations. November 15, 1620, after signing the compact in the cabin of the vessel, the captain, with fifteen men, went on shore, camping that night near Stout's creek, or perhaps nearer the Wading place where the eastern causeway now stands. The next morning they went to East harbor, marching around the Head of the meadow, and as their journal says "through boughs and bushes and under hills and valleys which tore our very armor in pieces." In this place they saw deer and found springs of fresh water, from which they refreshed themselves. The spring now near the marsh, just north of the head of the meadow, is supposed to be the place where these Pilgrims slaked their thirst. From East harbor they went to the valley now called North Truro, and at the south of this were the corn lands, embracing fifty acres, on the table land just west of the old burying ground. From here the Pilgrims went to the shore, thence to the mouth of Pamet river, on the north side, and then retraced their steps, halting at the pond in North Truro for the night.
On the morning of the 17th they went easterly to near where the present life saving station is, and here is where William Bradford, one of the company, was so suddenly caught up in the deer trap set by the Indians. A few days after their return to the Mayflower, the shallop containing in all thirty-four men, started for the mouth of Pamet river, up which the shallop went following the men who were on the shore, and spending the night in an improvised camp at or near where Rev. Noble subsequently lived. The next day the expedition,
daunted by the hills and snow, returned to the mouth of the river where, on the north side, eighteen of the men encamped and the remainder returned to the vessel. The next day Long-nook was traversed before the return to the Mayflower; and from the many favorable impressions received a council was called as to settling there. Reasons for and against the settling of the colony were given, but a decision to look further led the Pilgrims to Plymouth. Thus near did Tom's hill and Truro approach toward being the hallowed ground of New England. To one act of these explorers the Truro people can point with pride, because of the plentiful supply of grain, for upon these trips the Pilgrims took from pits or graves in the ground not only nice corn for their present needs, but their first seed corn; and this was done by them, intending to recompense the poor Indians with trinkets when they could make a better acquaintance. The territory thus trodden by the Pilgrim band was not settled as early as that nearer to Plymouth, and was really unoccupied until after the incorporation of Eastham, and then formed the seventh town of the county.
The purchase and settlement of Eastham first called the attention of the pioneers to the body of land beyond the north bounds of what was known to the Pilgrims as Nauset, and at the time the northern bounds of the latter were being fixed by the settlers and Indians, the territory of Pamet was formally declared by the whites as belonging to them. The first settlers of Nauset were subsequently the original purchasers of Truro. As early as 1689 these proprietors purchased as much of the territory of Truro as the Indians would sell, and from the first these proprietors of Eastham resolved to control the sale of its lands, as was declared in a meeting of these men, at which Thomas Paine was made an agent to purchase of the Indians from time to time all the lands obtainable. In 1696, "ordered by the proprietors of Pamet lands, that henceforth there be no cordwood or timber cut upon any of the common or undivided land belonging to Pamet, to be carried off from said land " under a penalty of 15s. for every cord or proportionable for other timber—and payable to any proprietor who may sue therefor." The names of the proprietors who subscribed to this were: Jonathan Paine, Stephen Snow, Thomas Paine, Caleb Hopkins, Ephraim Doane, John Savage and Israel Cole. These meetings were held at Eastham, where as yet these original proprietors resided.
A record of several divisions of upland and meadow had been made several years previously and very soon after its purchase from the natives, as we find in the same year a division of ten lots: one to Ensign Jonathan Bangs, on the southerly side of Eastern harbor; another to William Twining, on the south of Bangs' lot; the third to
Constant Freeman, and to be next south of Twining's; Israel Cole was to have the fourth, and next south of Freeman's; south of the last was that of Thomas Paine; south of this was the lot of Thomas Clark; Lieutenant Joseph Rogers had the seventh, next south of Clark's; John Snow, the next lot south; Thomas Paine, the next one south, and Caleb Hopkins had the tenth, and next south of the last. These lots extended from the bay easterly, and they are the first recorded of a division of any portion of the lands of Truro. Not until July 24, 1697, did these proprietors—still residents of Eastham—hold a meeting to arrange for a removal to this territory, and a settlement of the bounds of their purchases, at which meeting the bounds were set from Bound brook to Eastern harbor, and described as well as they could be in that day. A compact was also made with the Indians that the proprietors should have one-eighth of all the drift whales of both shores.
There is no doubt but that purchases were made of the Indians prior to 1689, but it was by individuals. The proprietors of Pamet were tendered a certain sum in a purchase made by Thomas Smith in 1644, which controversy was satisfactorily arranged the next day by a bid from Mr. Smith of thirty pounds for the right to the land.
June 4, 1700, the proprietors made their first declaration to remove to Pamet, the following being the record : "At a meeting of the proprietors held this day it was agreed that what land at Pamet might be conveniently divided should be divided, and that they would go thither (God willing) on the last Monday of October next ensuing, and divide accordingly." That there were people on the territory previous to this resolution of removal by the proprietors, is shown by a further agreement at the same meeting which was to give "five-and-twenty shillings " to any of the people of Pamet who would "make a sufficient fence below Eastern harbor pond to stop the sand and keep the tide out of said pond." The Eastham purchasers were the first settlers who gave to the territory its first municipal government, those previously there being fishermen principally, and all under the jurisdiction of Eastham.
No record of the removal of the proprietors was made, or, if so, it was lost; but by the records of meetings in October, 1700, it seems that they were in Pamet before the time fixed in their June meeting; and among the first acts of these sterling men lands for the support of the ministry were laid off at Tashmuit, and near Eastern harbor; a committee was also appointed to sell lands in behalf of the proprietors. The lands for the support of a learned minister were increased for three successive years, selections being subsequently made at what is now North Truro, also at Longnook.
At the proprietors' meeting of June 15, 1703, Jedediah Lombard,
jr., John Snow and Thomas Paine were appointed to run bounds between the great lots and fix the bounds; also to record the same in the Pamet books of record. The same committee laid out the first road of the town, which appears on the records of 1703, the road running from the "head of the pond to the head of Pamet." This was called a "Drift Highway," and was laid out in July of that year. The same year a division of lands near Hog's Back was made, which reveals the fact that this knoll had been previously named and was a well-known landmark. Jedediah Lombard, sr., had his lot laid out between Thomas Mulford's two lots, one of which was near Hog's Back and the other toward the pond south of Pamet great river.
The shells of the shellfish being needed for the manufacture of lime, in 1705 these proprietors enacted that after June first next no shellfish should be dug by any person not a resident of Pamet. In 1711 the proprietors voted that no wood be cut within the limits of the common lands for the burning of lime, except by the rightful owners.
October 29, 1705, the territory of Pamet was allowed by the general court the privilege of choosing its own officers, and was called Dangerfield—a name given by early navigators, but one which was not recognized by the residents in any of the records. On the 16th of July, 1709, Pamet, as it had been previously known, was incorporated as Truro, with full powers of a town of the county, but a stringent proviso was added—that they support and maintain suitably a "learned orthodox minister."
The records of the proprietors, distinctive from the records of Eastham, commenced in 1700, and in the meetings as recorded, and in the admission of freemen from time to time we find the following named persons were residents when the town was incorporated: Jedediah Lombard, senior and junior, Thomas Lombard, Dr. William Dyer, Benjamin Smalley, Thomas Newcomb, Isaac Snow, Jonathan Collins, Nathaniel Harding, Joseph Young, David Peter. John Snow, Constant Freeman, Thomas Paine, senior and junior, Nathaniel Atkins, Francis Small, Lieutenant Jonathan Bangs, John Rogers, John Steele, Thomas Mulford, Hezekiah Doane, Samuel Treat, jr., Hezekiah Purington, Humphrey Scammon, Beriah Smith, Richard Stevens, John Myrick, Moses Paine, Jonathan Vickery, Micah Atwood, Josiah Cook, Ebenezer Hurd, Samuel Small, Samuel Young, Jonathan Paine, Edward Crowell, Ebenezer Smith, Jonathan Dyer, John Savage, Israel Cole and Thomas Smith.
In 1711 we find additional settlers, as may be seen by the names of the residents who were the only cattle owners in Truro that year: Ebenezer Doane, William Dyer, sr., Jonathan Collins, Jeremy Bickford, Josias Cook, Jedediah Lumbert (perhaps Lombard), Jonathan
Vickery, Constant Freeman, Samuel Treat, John Snow, Thomas Lombard, Hezekiah Purington, Thomas Rogers, Benjamin Smalley, Richard Webber, Thomas Smith, Daniel Smalley, Christopher Stewart, George Stewart and William Clark.
May 6, 1712, the selectmen of Eastham and Truro met to review the bounds between the towns and perfect the boundary line which had been but partially made; and in 1714 the following line was set between the province lands and Truro: "Beginning at the easterly end of a cliff near the cape harbor, called Cormorant hill at a jaw bone of a whale set in the ground, thence northwesterly to a high hill on the back side, and thence to the ocean." The province lands prior to this had been under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Truro, and these lands west of the line were, in 1717, constituted as the precinct of Cape Cod.
The following year the people of Truro, from frequent difficulties arising out of the uncertain municipal powers of the new precinct of the province lands, asked the general court by Constant Freeman, their representative, to declare the new precinct either a part or not a part of Truro, that the town could know how to proceed in regard to some persons; but not until 1727, when Provincetown was incorporated a town, was the difficulty entirely overcome. Subsequently the settlers of the eastern part of Provincetown found themselves extending the long street of that town into Truro, and after frequent petitions to the general court, the present boundary between the towns was established, giving Provincetown a greater extent of territory.
The town of Truro is now bounded east by the Atlantic, south by Wellfleet, west by the bay, and north by Provincetown and the ocean. Its distance from Boston in a direct line is only fifty-seven miles, but by railroad it is 112. The form of the township from the curving of its shores, is nearly a spherical triangle, being about eleven miles between the base and apex, with a base three miles wide. The surface is very uneven, being what Professor Hitchcock calls a moraine, running nearly north and south; but its elevated ridge has been washed into conical hills two or three hundred feet high, giving a singular landscape. The township is free from rocks, and the soil is generally sandy, the ancient Tashmuit, the middle eastern portion, being the richest part.
Like other towns of the Cape, the land has been heavily wooded and fertile. The eastern shore is fringed with salt marshes, and these extend far up on the sides of the rivers and coves that exist on that coast of the town. The east shore is high above the ocean, and all waters run westerly to the bay. Small ponds having no visible outlets abound. Long pond, of twenty-eight acres; Newcomb's, of thirty-two; Higgins, of seventeen; and one of fourteen, north of the last, are
the chief ones. Mill pond, of seventeen acres, has the Pamet river for its outlet. In the extreme northwest corner of the town is East harbor, a small, shoal tide-harbor, but by drifting sands its usefulness has ceased, and the extensive salt marshes around it have been greatly diminished from the same cause. Over the dyke which the government built along the beach to the westward of the harbor the present railroad runs, effectually cutting off as an anchorage this body of water from the bay. High Head, southeast of this harbor, was a conspicuous settlement in the early history of the town, but now contains only three residences. East Harbor village, also a prominent community a century ago, was adjacent at the south, but not a residence remains. From this little village of twenty-three houses twenty-eight brave men were killed or died in the service of the colonies during the revolutionary war. South of the last ancient village is the former Pond village, now called North Truro. One mile south of this is Great Hollow—another small community, and still southward is the Pamet river and the community known as Truro village. In the southwest part is another little village known as South Truro, where may be found the heaviest wood land in the town. The healthfulness of the town compares favorably with any of the Cape, and with the accommodations and advantages presented at the Highlands, the influx of visitors increases.
In 1715 the present King's highway was laid out through Truro— to connect from Eastham to and through the province lands. It was really the continuation of the old county road along the Cape. It ran along the back side of the town, around the heads of the rivers, and, although only used in portions at the present day, its tortuous course is well known through the town.
In 1718 the town ordered the erection of a pound in a central place, and Joseph Young was appointed its keeper. This institution, unlike the stocks and whipping post erected about the same time, has been kept up to the present, there being at this writing three separate pounds, one at each village.
The early industries of the settlers were fishing and agriculture. It is claimed by some writers that Truro was the first and most prominent town in the whaling business, but that after a few years Falmouth, Wellfleet and Provincetown excelled. The whalemen of Truro were distinguished for their success and enterprise, and as late as the beginning of the present century the town had nine large vessels in the business, one of which was the Lydia and Sophia, built in Truro, on the Pamet river, and her timbers were cut from the land of the town. The town records of 1720 speak of Joshua Atwood's lance " that he hath made on purpose to kill fin-backs," describing the pecularities and mark. Captains David Smith and Gamaliel Collins
are recorded as the first whalemen from here who pursued the whale near the Falkland islands. The Truro captains were also largely employed in the merchant service. Fishing—the present status of which is given in the village histories, has since been largely engaged in. The bay coast has been the scene of the slaughter of the blackfish in considerable schools, the largest being that of 1874, when 1,405 were driven ashore. They lay along the shore for a mile between Great hollow and the Pond landing, and the school yielded twenty-seven thousand gallons of oil.
At a meeting of the town of Truro, December 11, 1711, it was agreed that if Thomas Paine would set up a grist mill within said town, he could take three quarts in toll for Indian corn and two for "English corn " (probably the other grains), and the town would give him sixty pounds toward the construction of the mill. The town subsequently had three other wind mills built—one on the hill where the present town hall stands, owned by Freeman Atkins, Allen Hinckley and Samuel Rider, one at South Truro near the Wellfleet line, and another at the Highlands. The latter still exists as a connecting link between the past and present, being built by Isaac Small and owned later by his sons, James and Joshua. It is a dismantled relic used as a lookout. Its creation does not date back to that of the ocean, but their first companionship dates back of the memory of man—the huge sails of the mill serving for a welcome sight to the watching mariners of past generations, and its hulk of a tower now serving the present for an elevated sight of ocean and land. Some of the old residents have a dim tradition of yet another wind mill at East harbor, which was erected by Gamaliel Smith, and was demolished before the dawn of the present century. Later than these wind mills—in the later part of last century—a water mill, for grinding, was erected on the south side of Pamet river, and in 1844 a better one was erected upon the site, which in its turn was abandoned before 1860 and taken down. The dam is now, in part, a profitable cranberry bog.
The town in 1754 gave permission to Jonathan Paine to build the first wharf of the town, on the shore of Indian neck, at the foot of the Thomas Paine lot. The wharves erected since at the mouth of Pamet river, have been ample for the uses of the people, and a century ago the harborage here was good. In 1837 a stock company built the North wharf, which was in active use for many years, and previous to this, in 1830, the Union wharf on the south side of the river had been built. Of the latter some of the piers yet remain. Lower wharf was subsequently built into the harbor at the mouth of the river, and about 1837, where the Old Colony railroad bridge now crosses Pamet harbor, these wharves were at the height of their usefulness, crowded
with fishing vessels, fifty of which have been seen moored to the wharves during a single season.
The stores, sheds and flakes gave this portion of the town a village-like appearance. All told, the town had sixty-three vessels in the cod and mackerel fishing, which yielded annually 20,000 quintals of cod and over 15,000 barrels of mackerel, giving employment to over five hundred men. Here at the mouth of the river fifteen brigs and schooners were built between the years 1837 and 1851. Henry Rogers was the master builder, assisted by Nathaniel Hopkins, the former a resident of Boston and the latter of Provincetown. The Malvina, built in 1837, was lost with all on board within one year. The names of the fourteen others were: brigs, Eschol, John A. Paine, Odeon, E. Paine. 2d, N. I. Night, David Lombard, Laurena, B. A. Baker, L. B. Snow, Tremont, E. M. Shaw, Mary Ellen, Modena and Allegany. The Modena, built in 1850, was framed from oaks cut within the town, and more or less of the timber used in the others was cut there. Standing now on the railroad bridge over the very site of the busy wharves, and where the fifteen fishing and coasting vessels were built, and seeing the present sandy, desolate shores and choked harbor, it requires a stretch of imagination to realize that so great a change could occur in a single half century.
Soon after the war of 1812 the packet lines to Boston were thought to be a wonderful advance of improvement in communication; but in 1858 the Cape Cod Telegraph Company was a greater step, and soon after the Marine Telegraph Company was organized, which flashed to the Boston merchant the news of the safe return of vessels as soon as they were visible from the Highland.
In 1839 the Truro Breakwater Company was incorporated with an idea to benefit the harbor ; but failing to secure aid from Congress, the undertaking was abandoned. The harbor at Pond village received the attention of the government and the Truro people very early, and as late as 1806 another attempt was made to improve it, but the drifting sands rendered every expenditure useless. The dyke across East harbor is now used by the railroad, and the high embankments of the road erected in 1873 across the heads of the remaining harbors of the bay shore seriously interfere with the usefulness of the inside anchorage. The government provided a light for Pamet harbor in 1849, which was discontinued in 1855 ; and during the latter year rebuilt the Highland lights. The life saving station near these lights was erected in 1872. In the south part of the town is another station.
Salt was manufactured along the bay side of Truro, and was an extensive industry in its day. Among the first to manufacture was Dr. Jason Ayres, who erected works south of the pond at north
Truro, which were subsequently owned by Samuel Coan. Captain Elisha Paine had works next to Coan on the south, and John Smith erected a plant next north, also purchasing that of John Grozier adjoining. Next north were the works of Edward Armstrong, and still further north Colonel Joshua Small owned a plant which is said to have been the first in town. On the bay shore south of Elisha Paine's were the works of Sylvanus Nye, and adjoining were those of Jonah Stevens. On the north side of Little harbor meadows were located the works of Michael and Thomas Hopkins, the latter works passing into the possession of Doane Rich, who owned a plant on the south side of the meadows, and both of which were subsequently sold to Solomon Paine. South of Paine's were Reuben and Jesse Snow, and on the north of the Pamet river, near the present railroad depot, were the extensive works of Michael Snow. Along up the north side of Pamet river were Lewis Lombard, Ephraim D. Rich, John Kenney, David Lombard, Shubael Snow, David Smith, Elisha Paine, Levi Stevens, Hinks Gross, Jonathan Whorf, Joseph Collins, Freeman Atkins and Samuel Ryder. On the south side of the river, commencing near the depot, were Allen Hinckley, Michael Collins, Benjamin Hinckley and Leonard P. Baker; and further up the river, John Smith, Ephraim Baker and Solomon Davis. On the bay between Pamet river and South Truro Elisha Newcomb had works, also Benjamin Hinckley; Perez Bangs' works were about half way between the river and South Truro, and Nehemiah Rich had a very extensive plant at the latter place. In 1837 Truro had thirty-nine of these works, and the decline of the business commenced soon after.
Along the King's highway were the usual taverns of last century, also the old-fashioned stores of that time, where the few necessaries, of a solid and liquid nature, were kept.
The early fishing was profitable, and the manner in which it was conducted engaged more men and vessels than now. The vessels now engaged are few and small. Weir or trap fishing has become more profitable and along the bay shore are twelve large weirs. The most northern weir is at Beach point, and S. B. Rich is the agent. There are six very extensive ones along the shore to the south, the business of which, as well as positions, centers at North Truro. Of these No. 1—off from the present depot—was built in 1881, and is owned by Atkins Hughes, John G. Thompson and T. L. Mayo & Co. In 1882 No. 2 was erected by the same parties one mile north of the depot. Ten shareholders in 1883 erected No. 3, one mile south of No. 1; and the same year No. 4 was erected one mile north of No. 2. In 1885 No. 5 was erected between the first and third, and is owned by over a score of stockholders; and No. 6 was sandwiched between the others, forming a combination of companies under the superintendence
of Atkins Hughes, who, with J. G. Thompson, is a shareholder in each. These weirs, the cost of each of which was about six thousand dollars, are each 2,500 feet long, extending into deep water. The pound increased the expense to $8,000. Some wonderful catches are reported from these weirs, and no doubt the same occasional good luck attends others on the Cape. From No. 5 of these traps, one morning in the season of 1887, forty tons of pollock were taken, and on another lucky occasion the same weir furnished in one day 330 barrels of mackerel. South along the bay are four more weirs, of which Richard A. Rich, S. B. Atwood, N. K. Persons and William F. Baker are respectively the captains. At South Truro is still another, of which D. B. Rich is agent. These weirs give employment to seven persons each, and the salting and packing houses, and boats, with the necessary appendages for the business, give a more active appearance to the shore than any other part of the town; and it is well to say that at the present time this fishing is the town's most important industry.
The ocean side of Truro is probably the most dangerous shore to mariners that the Cape presents, and into the history of Truro many shipwrecks of home and foreign vessels could be interwoven. That of the British man-of-war, Somerset, in 1778, will not be forgotten by the residents, for the hulk occasionally is unearthed by the action of the waves upon the sands; and canes and other relics are made from the oaken timbers. The 480 men captured from this unfortunate vessel were marched through Truro on their way to Boston. She previously lay at anchor half way between the Pond landing and Provincetown for nearly two years, and the residents had been distressed by the exactions of the men, so that when the vessel was finally cast ashore on the other side of the town, the opportunity for remuneration for past injuries was welcomed by the Truro people. General Otis said it was the occasion of riotous work at the wreck. The state took proper measures and the sheriff sold the effects, reserving the cannon.
Truro was greatly bereaved by the gale of October, 1841. The records say: "On the night of that memorable day, October 3, fifty-seven of our brave seamen were swept from the shores of time, their remains sinking into one common watery grave." These were young and middle-aged fishermen, mostly engaged at the time of the storm on the George's bank. They undertook to sail to the Highland, but were carried to the southeast upon the Nantucket shoals.
A breakwater and wharf was petitioned for in 1848, the first to be 800 feet long and 550 feet from high water mark, and the wharf 400 feet long. This would have afforded shelter for boats and small vessels, but a portion only of the work was constructed, when it was
found that the wood work was being almost immediately destroyed by worms, and the work was abandoned. Pamet harbor in 1853 received a supposed benefit by the driving of spiles, that the current might deepen the channel; but after an expenditure of two thousand dollars, this project was also abandoned.
After years of discussion, in 1840 cart bridges were built across Great and Little Pamet rivers, and have since been kept up and greatly improved. These and other advantages of access led to the arrangement for a town hall at Truro village, the church having been previously used for public gatherings. Sometime prior to 1850 a society of Odd Fellows erected a hall by the formation of a stock company, and this was purchased by the town for town purposes. The records yet recognize in the clerk's minutes the old name of Union Hall. It stands on the north bank of the Pamet river, near the churches—a good landmark for seamen and landsmen.
The poor house now in use, erected between 1840 and 1845, is also on the north side of Pamet river. The house previously used by the town was a dwelling, at South Truro, which was sold to John B. Cooper after a larger one was completed, and he now resides in it. These town buildings and the office of the clerk and treasurer are situated at Truro village, where the town business has centered. When the fishing business was at its height, the enterprising citizens of Truro, in the winter of 1840-41, instituted the Truro Marine Insurance Company. The losses in the gale of October, 1841, seriously crippled the association, and after another year of unprofitable business, the affairs were wound up. The Truro Benevolent Society, established in 1835, has had better fortune and still exists, with a fund of several hundred dollars in its treasury. It is similar to an insurance in principle, and by the payment of a small sum annually, the member has a certain amount in sickness, or at death. This society, well administered, has done much good.
The first colonial census, in 1765, gave 924 souls in Truro, and that of 1776 increased the number to 1,227. The United States census of 1790 gave 1,193, and in 1800 the population had decreased forty-one. In 1810 the salt and fishing interests had increased the number to 1,200, and then the growth of the population was more rapid. In 1830 it was 1,547, in 1840 it was 1,920, reaching its highest number, 2,051, in the census of 1850. From this date the decline was as rapid as the increase; being 1,583 in 1860, only 1,269 in 1870, and in the state census of 1885—the last general enumeration of the inhabitants—the number was 972.
The descendants of the early proprietors still occupy similar positions in the affairs of the town, and in part, the same estates of those sterling ancestors. In 1800 there were twenty-six families of the
name of Rich, fifteen of Lombard, fifteen of Snow, ten of Paine, and ten of Dyer. There are many old houses of these settlers still extant, although newly covered and perhaps modernized beyond recognition, the oldest being one on the northerly side of Longnook, built in 1710 by Lieutenant Jonathan Paine, and now the John Atkins place. Here Lieutenant Paine resided when he sold, in 1726, his negro boy, Hector, to Benjamin Collins, which was the last bill of sale of slaves made in Truro. The present valuation of the town is about three hundred thousand dollars, of which two-thirds is real estate. The yearly expenses of the town are over five thousand dollars. It contains 262 dwelling houses, and an appearance of thrift, without ostentation, prevails. The financial condition of the town for the year ending December 31, 1889, was very favorable and pleasing. The close of the year 1886 showed a town debt of $1,724.74, with a tax of twenty dollars on the one thousand dollars. In 1887 the debt was reduced to $286.05, on the same tax rate. On the last day of December, 1888, the debt had been cancelled and the town had money in the treasury, on a tax rate of $16.20 on one thousand dollars. The report of December, 1889, showed a balance of $808.06 in the treasury, and tax rate reduced to $14.50.
Civil History.—The action of the proprietors prior to 1705 cannot be considered as the acts of the body politic, so that the civil history of Truro really dates from 1709, when, by incorporation, the town commenced its municipal government. Many acts had been voted by the proprietors prior to the incorporation for the preservation of shell fish, the sedge from the salt marshes and the setting off of lands for the support of the ministry; but the order of the general court, that town officers be elected on August first of that year, commenced the civil history of the town. At the February town meeting, 1710, several freemen were admitted, and Jedediah Lombard and Thomas Paine were appointed as a committee "to buy all the lands of the Indians when, and so often as any of said Indians shall see cause to sell." The crows and blackbirds were voted out of the pale of Puritan society because they pulled up and destroyed the young corn, and in 1711 every housekeeper was compelled to bring eight blackbirds' heads and two crows' heads to the selectmen or pay a fine of three shillings, for the benefit of the poor; a premium upon the heads of additional birds was also voted. The same year several roads were laid out throughout the town. In 1713 the first bounty on a wolf's head was voted, and three pounds per head was a sum that greatly tended to diminish the number of these thieves in the town.
The first burial ground—mentioned with the churches—was ordered in 1714. The entry was, that "a convenient piece of ground on the north side of the meeting house be cleared for a burial
ground." In 1715 Thomas Paine and Thomas Mulford were appointed by the town to meet a committee from Eastham to settle the bounds between the towns, and in 1716 voted " not to send a representative to general court." In 1721 the town meeting voted "that the swine belonging to said town might go at large under such regulations as the law has provided." The receipt of the bills of credit loaned the town by the province was voted upon in 1728, and a committee of three was appointed to receive and loan it out again.
In 1732 there were thirty-six freemen in the town, and it will be remembered that all heads of families were not freemen, or voters. The bounty on wolf scalps had been continued, and this pest had been diminished in number; but the value of the last wolf or two was the foundation of the vote in 1739, for a large reward to any one who "shall kill the wolf that of late has been prowling about." It seems that as early as 1745 the boys were not attentive listeners to the long sermons of the day, for that year the town appointed a committee, in open town meeting, "to take care of the boys that they don't play in meeting on the Sabbath." This important town office was continued and filled by various personages for many years, and the power to castigate these restless young sprouts was subsequently given to these officers.
The use of the common lands for keeping and feeding cattle was made a topic of discussion and vote in 1745, and the cutting of trees at East harbor within 160 rods of the high water mark was prohibited. Many of these town enactments look quite superfluous to the reader, but the time and circumstances made them necessary. Why any boy under ten years of age should not be engaged to drive blackfish or porpoises seems a strange law, but the town ordered it so in 1753.
Year after year the regular and special town meetings provided for the schools, the roads, the election of officers and the proper care of the meeting house until 1773-1774, when the taxes of the mother country became a matter of discussion and vote, and the town appointed Captain Joshua Atkins, Isaiah Atkins, Dea. Joshua Freeman, Dr. Samuel Adams, Ephraim Harding, Thacher Rich, Nathaniel Harding, Benjamin Atkins and Hezakiah Harding, a committee to prepare a proper resolve concerning the introduction of teas subject to duty. This committee reported a long preamble and resolution which stand on the records as a lasting memorial of the loyalty of the town during the dark days of the revolutionary war. It is worthy of the town to know that this strong resolution was passed without a dissenting voice. The town in its meetings organized military companies appointed watches and guards, provided powder and other munitions of war.
The seamen of Truro filled an important part in the capture of British privateers during the revolutionary war, and many Truro men were captured and imprisoned by the enemy. The fleet of the enemy constantly menaced the town, which must be protected by its own citizens. One incident worthy of record occurred near Pond landing. One day the enemy were about to land a body of men to plunder the town, when the exempts and town militia resorted to stratagem to ward off a blow which could not otherwise be averted. A small body of these citizens marched to the shore, keeping behind an elevation of land until prepared to carry out the ruse, which was to continuously march around the knoll, giving the impression to the marauding party that a large force of soldiers were congregating to oppose them. The apparent assembling of company after company had the desired effect upon the British commander, who judged it prudent not to land. The town was among the most loyal to instruct its representative "to fall in with the Continental Congress."
The records of the town are filled with the resolves and proceedings of the town meetings during the war of 1812, and the war of the rebellion; and the standing of the town in the scale of duty during these struggles is one of which the present generation may justly be proud.
The town was not represented in general court until five years after its incorporation, and during the period it was entitled to a representative it did not always send one. The following list gives the names of the representatives the first year of election, and the number of years each served if more than one: 1714, Thomas Paine, 5 years; 1715, Constant Freeman; 1717, Thomas Mulford, 2; 1721, John Snow, 3; 1723, Jonathan Paine, 3; 1757, Barnabas Paine; 1761, Isaiah Atkins; 1774; Benjamin Atkins; 1775, Samuel Harding; 1776, Reuben Higgins, 2; 1779, Sylvanus Snow, 2; William Thayer, 2; 1785, Ephraim Harding, 3; 1791, Anthony Snow, jr., 6; 1800, Levi Stevens; 1810, Israel Lombard, jr.; 1824, James Small, 8; 1831, John Kenney, 2; 1833, Shubael Snow, 4; 1834, Eben L. Davis, 2; 1835, Joshua Small 2; 1836, Henry Stevens, 2; and Solomon Davis 2; 1837, Jonas Stevens, 2; 1838, Freeman Atkins, 2; 1839, Jedediah Shedd, 3; 1840, Michael Snow; 1842, John Kenney, jr.; 1843, Hugh Hopkins; 1844, Richard Stevens; 1845, Ebenezer Davis, 3; 1848, Levi Stevens; 1849, Daniel Paine, 2; 1852, James Small; 1853, John Smith; 1855, Samuel H. Smith, jr.; and in 1856, Adin H. Newton.
In August, 1709, selectmen for the remainder of the year were first elected by the town, and the following list contains the names of those who have since served in that capacity, giving the year of the first election of each and the time of service when over one year: In 1709, John Snow for 12 years, Thomas Mulford for 9, and Jedediah
Lombard, 5; 1710, Benjamin Small, Isaac Snow and H. Scammon; 1711, Eben Doane; 1712, Thomas Rogers, and Thomas Paine, 6; 1713, Nathaniel Atkins, and Josiah Cooke; 1714, Hezekiah Purinton; 1715, Constant Freeman, 7; 1720, Francis Small, 10, Andrew Newcomb, 3, and Richard Stevens; 1723, John Myrick, 15; Jonathan Vickery 3: 1726, Samuel Eldred, and Jonathan Paine, 30; 1727. Elkanah Paine, 10, Ezekiel Cushing and William Sargent; 1730, Jeremiah Bickford; 1731, Thomas Smith, 3; 1734, Edward Covel; 1744, Samuel Rich, 4; 1748, Thomas Cobb, 2, Barnabas Paine, 7, and Eben Dyer, 3; 1750, Zaccheus Rich, 11; 1751, Isaiah Atkins, 20, and Jonathan Dyer, 2; 1753, Joshua Atkins, James Lombard, and John Rich, 2; 1754, Paul Knowles, Anthony Snow, 3; 1763, Job Arey, 3; 1766, Ephraim Lombard, 3, Eben Rich, 7; 1767, Daniel Paine, 2 ; 1769, Ambrose Dyer, 7, and Benjamin Collins, 7; 1776, Ephraim Harding, 13, and Jedediah Paine, 5; 1777, Barzillai Smith; 1778, Israel Gross, 3; 1781, Benjamin Atkins,Thomas Paine, 2; 1782, Timothy Nye, 4; 1783, Sylvanus Snow, 5; 1785, Benjamin Hinckley, 2; 1787, Fulk Dyer, Nathaniel Atkins, 9; and Jesse Rich, 8; 1795, David Dyer, 3; 1796, Caleb Hopkins, 8, and Benjamin A. Upham; 1797, Ambrose Snow, 13, and Levi Stevens, 9; 1802, Jonathan Rich, John Gross, 2, and Isaac Small; 1804, Joseph Small, 3; 1807, Barnabas Paine, 11; 1809, Paul Dyer, 5; 1810, Israel Lombard, 4; 1811, John Rich, 14; 1812, Allen Hinckley, 2; 1814, Sylvanus Nye, 3; 1816, James Collins, 4, and Eben Atkins, 4; 1818, Reuben O. Paine, 2, and Benjamin Hinckley, jr.; 1819, Barnabas Paine, 4, and James Small, 10; 1822, Joshua Small, 5; 1823, Asa Sellew, 9; 1824, John Kenney, 24; 1833, John Smith, 4; 1835, Freeman Atkins, 2 ; 1836, Jonas Stevens, 9; 1837, Jedediah Shedd, 11; 1839, Nehemiah Rich, 2; 1841, Solomon Davis, 9; 1843, Daniel Paine, 4; 1846, Solomon Paine, jr.: James Hughes, 13; 1847, Samuel Dyer, 2; 1849, Atwood Rich, 5; 1855, Sears Rich, 3; 1858, Freeman Cobb, 3; 1861, William T. Newcomb, 2; 1863, Abraham C. Small, and Amasa Paine; 1864, John Kenney, 5, James Collins 3, and Nathan K. Whorf; 1866, Smith K. Hopkins, 7, and Ephraim Rich, 8; 1869, Thomas H. Kenney, 6; Elkanah Paine; 1874, Isaac M. Small, 5; 1875, Jesse S. Pendergast, 2; Samuel Dyer, 5, and Obadiah S. Brown, 2; 1877, Benjamin Coan, 2, and Isaac C. Freeman, 5; 1879, Jeremiah Hopkins, 2; 1880, Josiah F. Rich, 11; 1881, Joseph Hatch, 4; 1887, Asa C. Paine; 1888, Samuel Dyer, jr., 2; 1890, Henry B. Holsbery and Edward L. Small.
The town treasurers from first to last are given with the year of election, each serving until his successor was elected: 1709, Constant Freeman; 1710, Thomas Paine; 1721, another Thomas Paine; 1724, John Snow; 1726, Moses Paine; 1745, Joshua Atkins; 1755, Ephraim Lombard, 1763; Richard Collins; 1767, Job Avery; 1770, Israel Gross, 1777; Richard Stevens; 1779, Benjamin Rich; 1780, Elisha Dyer; 1782,
Joshua Freeman; 1787, Sylvanus Snow; 1791, Anthony Snow; 1817, Lewis Lombard; 1835, Barnabas Paine; 1848, Samuel C. Paine; 1879, John B. Dyer.
The town clerks have sometimes filled the office of treasurer, but as it has not always been so the following list of clerks is given, each serving until the election of his successor: 1709, John Snow; 1710, Thomas Paine; 1721, another Thomas Paine; 1745, Moses Paine; 1764, Barnabas Paine; 1769, Daniel Paine; 1785, Sylvanus Snow; 1788, Benjamin A. Upham; 1797, Levi Stevens; 1799, Anthony Snow; 1817, Lewis Lombard; 1835, Barnabas Paine; 1849, Samuel C. Paine; 1880, John B. Dyer.
Churches.—When the people of Truro asked the general court for the privileges of a town incorporation, it was granted upon condition that " they procure and settle a learned and godly minister." This condition was fulfilled as soon as possible, and the year of the incorporation of the town Rev. John Avery came, and was ordained November 1, 111, at which time the Congregational society was organized with seven members. Some historians assert that the first meeting house was erected at North Truro (known formerly as Pond village) near the site of the present Union church. This matter we have thoroughly investigated, and find that the graves near the Union church, which are so well remembered by old settlers, were those made before a regular burial place was laid out, and from all the facts in the case we conclude that the first meeting house was at the south of North Truro, on the hill of storms, in the southwest corner of the present burying ground. Here a primitive meeting house had been erected, which was succeeded by a new and better one, commenced in 1720 and completed the following year. In the new meeting house spaces for pews were sold at prices varying from £5, 10s. to £1, 15s. In 1765 this meeting house was enlarged and remodeled and the pews were sold at enormous prices. In 1792 more pews were built in the gallery, and here upon the hill, as a beacon for the tempest-tossed mariner, the old church remained until 1840, when, after several years of disuse, it was taken down. The old burying ground with its first head stone of 1713, remains to mark the site of the first meeting house and first laid-out ground of Truro.
Mr. Avery preached in the house until his death in 1754, and was succeeded by Rev. Caleb Upham, ordained October 29, 1755, who was pastor forty-two years, departing this life in November, 1828 [9 Apr 1786 in fact, thus minister 30 years, and followed in office by Jude Damon until 23 Nov 1828]. Rev. Stephen Bailey supplied about five years until the ordination of Silas Baker, in March, 1832. Mr. Baker was dismissed in 1834, and was succeeded in March, 1836, by Charles Boyter until 1843.
In 1827 a new church edifice was erected at Truro village, southwest of the old meeting house, and in which the present distinctive
Congregational society worships and claims to be a continuation of the old. Edward W. Noble was ordained in December, 1849, and continued until 1883, succeeded by Joseph Hammond for three years. Hiram L. Howard and J. K. Closson successively supplied each a term, and in the autumn of 1889 Rev. T. S. Robie was settled as pastor.
A portion of the original society organized themselves into a new society, May 22, 1842, calling themselves the Second Congregational church, but the society soon after united with the Methodists in building a meeting house and the two societies were formed into one, called the Christian Union Society, the pulpit to be supplied one half the time by a pastor of each of the original societies. This was done according to the terms of the union, but during the last twenty years the pulpit has been mostly filled by a Methodist pastor. The pastors have been: 1840, Seth H. Beals; 1842, Benjamin M. Southgate, and Osborn Myrick; 1845, John D. King; 1847, Arnold Adams, and Thomas Smith; 1849, George W. Rogers; 1851, Samuel J. M. Lord; 1855, Franklin Sears; 1856, Job Cushman; 1859, Abram Holway; 1860, Malcomb D. Herrick; 1861, Joseph C. Barlett; 1863, Philander Bates; 1866, Charles Stokes; 1869, Jacob W. Price; 1871, Henry W. S. Packard; 1873, Joel Martin; 1874, Isaac Sherman; 1878, Charles Morgan; 1882, Samuel Morrison; 1884, Benjamin K. Bosworth; 1887, Frederick C. Crafts; 1888, Christopher P. Flanders.
The present meeting house, owned by the Methodist Episcopal Society of Truro, was erected on the high ground on the north side of Pamet river in 1826, by the society already organized. In 1845 the house was remodeled, and again about fifteen years ago the galleries were removed and the inside of the house more or less changed. Since 1876 this society and that of South Truro have been served by the same pastor. The names of the ministers and the year they commenced are: 1827, Warren Wilbur; 1828, Benjamin Keith; 1829, Abraham Holway; 1830, William R. Stone; 1832, William Ramsdell; 1834, Enoch Bradley; 1836, Thomas W. Giles; 1838, J. R. Barstow; 1840, Levi Woods; 1841, Reuben Bowen; 1843, Thomas Patten; 1844, Charles A. Carter; 1846, Henry Mayo; 1847, Samuel Beadle; 1849, O. Robbins; 1850, T. B. Gurney; 1851, Thomas D. Blake; 1853, E. B. Hinckley; 1854, L. E. Dunham; 1855, John W. Willett; 1857, William E. Sheldon; 1858, N. P. Selee; 1860, J. B. Washburn; 1863, Lawton Cady; 1864, A. H. Newton; 1865, Joseph Geery; 1866, H. S. Smith; 1867; Jason Gill; 1870, Isaac G. Price; 1871, Isaac Sherman; 1874, Richard Burn; 1876, Virgil W. Mattoon; 1879, Charles N. Hinckley; 1880, J. S. Fish; 1883, Charles T. Hatch; 1886, John Q. Adams; 1889, John S. Bell.
The Universalists in 1846 had acquired sufficient strength to
undertake the erection of a suitable building for their services, but a severe storm completely demolished the newly-raised building and the project was abandoned.
Very early the members of the Methodist faith were actively engaged in Truro, and after the days of circuit preachers one society embraced all of that faith. After the erection of the meeting house at Truro, the members of the society at South Truro found it inconvenient to go regularly there for worship. This led to the organization of the South Truro Methodist Episcopal Society on the 29th day of April, 1829. A church edifice was dedicated December 15, 1831, by Presiding Elder Benjamin F. Lombard. In 1851 the society had outgrown the house, and a new one erected just west of the first, is the one now occupying a prominent position upon the hill north of the little village of South Truro. Since 1876 this society and the First society at Truro have been supplied by the same pastor.
The first pastor, Rev. Benjamin Keith, was largely instrumental in the organization of Methodism in Truro, and after many years of service on the circuit was settled as the pastor of this church in 1831; but a modest monument in the old burial place of this society, and near by the site of the old house in which he had so faithfully labored, marks the place of his burial in 1834. He was succeeded in 1833 by Joseph B. Brown; in 1834 by Thomas Dodge for three years, 1839 by Joel Steele; 1841, James Bignall; 1842, Henry H. Smith; 1845, Lozian Pierce; 1846, William Leonard; 1848, Adin H. Newton; 1850, Ira M. Bidwell; 1851, Anthony Palmer; 1852, William Keller; 1854, William Leonard; 1856, F. A. Loomis; 1857, Josiah C. Allen; 1860, A. Lathan; 1861, S. B. Chase; 1862, George S. Alexander; 1864, E. M. Anthony; 1866, Messrs. Bowditch and Ayer; 1867, B. L. Sayer; 1870, Wetherbee, Miller and Macomber; 1876, Mr. Butler; the pastors who have since served are given in the list of the Truro church.
Of the early preachers and exhorters in the rise of Methodism in Truro many pleasing things are recorded. Earnestness and, perhaps, eccentricity were marked in their labors. The local exhorter was a prominent factor in the life of the primitive church, and with these the Truro society was well supplied. Ephraim Doane Rich, Ebenezer L. Davis, Stephen Collins and others will not be forgotten for their good works in the cause of Methodism. The logic of these plain exhorters was incontrovertible, although presented in a rude and uncultivated manner.
After the camp meeting of 1819 at Wellfleet the societies of that town and Truro united in 1826 in pitching their tents in Truro, a short distance south of the bridge, on the hill where was a beautiful grove, and where Joshua Smith afterward built a house. These meet-
ings resulted in the incorporation of the Eastham Camp Meeting Association, and still later of the present Yarmouth association.
Burying Grounds.—The oldest burial place of the town is that south of North Truro, where the first Congregational meeting house was erected. This religious society later opened one at Truro, and more recently have opened still another there. The Methodists have one at Truro, and the South Truro society have another at South Truro. The Catholics instituted a burial place at Truro a few years ago, being the sixth in the town.
Schools.—The first mention of any provision for the support of schools in Truro was in the town meeting of 1715, when it was voted "that Rev. Mr. Avery and the selectmen be a committee to procure a suitable person to keep a town school." This order was not successful in its result, for the very next year the town was presented for its delinquency in not providing a teacher, and Jonathan Paine was appointed to appear at the court of general sessions in the town's behalf. In 1716 the town school began, the sum appropriated being twenty pounds for a half year. The teacher, Samuel Spear, was hired for the year 1717, having given satisfaction the first six months. His salary was forty pounds and " board himself."
To the credit of the town, let it be recorded that the citizens preferred a school for the young, to sending a representative to general court, and as the expense of both was thought to be onerous the school went on and the representative remained at home. In 1719 Samuel Winter was hired for twelve months for forty pounds, and the school was to be moved around. The first three months it was taught in the house of William Dyer, jr.; the next six months at Captain Constant Freeman's or in his neighborhood, and the last three months of the year at a suitable place near East harbor. No school houses were yet erected, and for many years the schools were kept in private houses.
In 1821 Mr. Winter was engaged for one year and three months, the term to commence after his engagement for 1720. The prosperity of the schools and the increase in pupils led to the purchase, in 1724, of two school house sites, one near the residence of Richard Stevens, and the other at the northerly side of Longnook. School houses were built on these lots, and the last named site at Longnook was used for school houses until 1855.
From the 26th of June, 1728, Solomon Lombard was the teacher for a year, and after a term of years Mr. Gibson was hired, as we find a complimentary vote in 1737 in the town records which explains itself: "Voted to give Mr. Gibson the rate of £55 a year in consideration of his support of the ancient people with whom he lived the winter past." In 1747 sixty pounds was voted for the schools.
In 1757 Mr. Woomley was employed, and although the times were stringent the schools progressed. In 1765 it was thought expedient to ask the general court to be excused from providing a grammar school, and to be permitted to substitute a good school for reading and common branches; but after a few years this error was corrected by a vote that Barnabas Paine, Joshua Atkins and Ebenezer Dyer be agents "to get a learned grammar master at once." In 1798 two hundred dollars was paid for schools and forty dollars for singing to be taught.
In 1840 the school fund from the state gave fresh impulse to the school interests and §750 was appropriated for schools. From this a visible improvement was discernable, the appropriation in 1853 being $1,300, and $1,450 in 1855. The next year $1,500 was set apart for their support, suitable rules were made for the better regulation and attendance of the seven schools then kept in as many nice houses throughout the town. Six of these houses had double rooms, were commodious, and better provided with teachers than when left to each district to build the houses and provide the necessary equipments. The interest has continued. Gradation followed, and the eleven districts were reduced to seven, and from seven to the present system of four houses in the town. North Truro has one of two departments; Truro one with two rooms; Longnook has a good house and South Truro another. The annual appropriation is now $1,600. The committee in charge are efficient school men, and the standing of the schools is a worthy result of the continued care and expense bestowed.
Villages.—The town has no large villages, but in the past, as well as present, the several communities have possessed the elements of New England villages. The East Harbor village was situated south of the harbor of that name, and last century it was the important one of the town. From East harbor southerly to the Pond this settlement extended, and there in the enjoyment of rural avocations, a large community of peaceful, contented citizens dwelt. As soon as the fishing interests clustered at the Pond, and a post office was established there, then Pond village was the center of the northern part of the town; and north of that there are but few residences at the present time. It is now called North Truro. The high banks along the bay are intersected by a valley, making from the shore, and this dividing into two parts, forms a pretty and secluded spot for a village. Early in the century the entrance to the valley afforded a convenient landing from the bay, and the circuitous bend of land that forms the harbor of Provincetown sheltered this landing place from the winds, making a chosen spot for the fishing vessels. At this point the Cape is very narrow, and across to the ocean shore the cheerful
homes of the villagers extend, so that the lights and the life saving station may be considered as in the village of North Truro. The situation and surroundings of this pleasant hamlet excel any other of the town. The first graveyard of the town, and the site of the first church are visible to the south, and from the surrounding hills may be seen Provincetown and Plymouth.
In 1835 a post office was established here, the entire town having had but one office prior to that, and which was in the center of the town. David Ayres, appointed June 18, 1835, was the first postmaster, keeping the office at his residence. Isaiah M. Atkins was appointed September 26, 1836, followed October 25th of the same year by James Small, who kept the office at the Highlands. July 29, 1841, Edward Armstrong was appointed, removing the office to his house, opposite the present office. He died, and his widow, Hannah, was appointed April 24, 1846. John Grozier was appointed June 8, 1847, and kept the office about a quarter of a century in his residence, near the pond. June 23, 1873, Captain Edwin P. Worthen was appointed, and he kept it several years in his house, then in a store building just west of his present home. In October, 1889, Lillian J. Small, the present incumbent, was appointed, who removed it to her store, where, with an addition to the building for its accommodation, the new case of boxes and drawers are neatly kept.
The original store building in which the post office is kept was erected in 1856 by A. C. Small, who in 1857 began trade in groceries, continuing until 1881, when his daughter, Lillian J. Small, commenced in dry goods, drugs and fancy articles. The post office is in the front part—all new except a standing desk that has been in use in the office for fifty years. Marshall Ayers had an old store when he was postmaster. It stood near Mr. Thompson's present store, and was moved to where John Francis lives. Anna Small kept an old store in it after it was moved. That part of the village south of and near the present Union church contained several stores early in the history of the village. Johana Mercy had one in her house where Jeremiah Hopkins lives, near the church. Sylvanus Nye had another in the house now the residence of Atkins Hughes, and prior to that he kept one where Caleb Eastman lives. Frank Small had one south of the present village, and Eleazer Collins another where Charles Collins lives.
David D. Smith began, in 1846, a store in a small building near John G. Thompson's present place of business. In 1851 he erected Thompson's store, where he continued business till April, 1864, when he sold to Samuel Knowles. In 1865 Sylvanus Hughes purchased the property, and began a store in June, 1866, which he sold out to John G. Thompson in September of the same year. It was in 1849 that
Frank Small opened his store opposite the church, which he continued twenty-one years, and then sold to J. W. Small, who, after a year, moved the building across next to the church. In 1873 John G. Thompson purchased the goods and moved them to his store. Mr. Thompson has recently erected a large grain and flour store-house nearly opposite his store, and is conducting the largest trade in the north part of the town.
Taverns were formerly kept on the King's highway, in the eastern part of the village, but the keepers' names cannot be recalled. The present hotel, owned by I. Morton Small, is more especially for summer visitors, and has been liberally patronized. It is properly named the Highland House, from its elevated site on the clay pounds near the lights. Hiram Hatch was engaged as proprietor for 1890. Near the depot a summer hotel is kept by Mrs. Atwood, and just east Mrs. Green has opened another.
The railroad track runs across the mouth of the valley that opens into the hills, and the high embankment has cut off the tides that formerly made the Pond a safe anchorage for small craft. On the north side of the valley stands the neat depot of the Old Colony railroad, of which Isaac Green was the first agent until his death, when Isaac Smith, his son-in-law, the present agent, was appointed.
The village has a neat and thrifty appearance, and since the establishment of the several fishing weirs, of which Atkins Hughes is agent, it has assumed considerable commercial importance.
Truro village, sometimes called Truro Center, is the principal community of the town. The town house, two churches, clerk and treasurer's office, and the continuation of the oldest post office of the town have centered here, and give to the scattering community the sobriquet of a village. The valley and banks of the Pamet river, Indian neck, and Longnook are considered within the limits of the village, and constitute an area of several square miles of hills and downs, traversed by sandy, winding roads. The dyke over which the public road passes has stopped the influx of the tide: and above this the marshes along the river bear English hay, and afford better farming land. On the old stage route around the head of the marshes were taverns, but none are extant. Of the old stores in which molasses, rum and tobacco were the staples, none are left, those of the fore part of this century being the connecting link between the past and present.
In 1820 Daniel Paine started a store at Longnook where he had the post office. Captain Samuel Ryder prior to 1830 had a store on the bank north-east of the present post office, which he closed in 1851 when he went west. In 1833 Josiah Wilder started a store near the lower foot bridge, on the south side of the river, and years afterward
moved the building to where Daniel W. Oliver lives, where he continued until 1864. John Smith in 1837 started a store near the present depot, and on the north bank near the embankment Snow & Paine started another. These were fitting-out stores in connection with the fisheries. Lewis Lombard and Solomon Paine, jr., continued these' stores until the decline of the fishing business. John M. Gill had a tin and hardware store near Union wharf in 1840, and Nathan K. Whorf also kept a variety store there. Near this wharf two sail lofts and one rigger shop were run successfully for years, for it was here that vessels were built, and here were wharves for vessel and boat building other than has been mentioned in the town history of Truro. The harbor was excellent between the years 1830 and 1845, tut in 1860 the sand had so choked it that the industries clustered there were discontinued. Then the business naturally moved a mile up the river, where it is continued, but not so extensively as formerly.
Samuel C. Paine started a store at Longnook in 1855, and in December, 1860, moved the building and goods to his present place at the north end of the dyke, where in March, 1861, he opened his present business in drugs and medicines.
About 1855 Benjamin Dyer opened a grocery store near the present post office, in which he was succeeded by Amasa Paine and Nathaniel Dyer as the firm of A. Paine & Co. In 1879 William I. Paine, son of Amasa, took the business, which he continued until 1886, when he was succeeded by J. L. Dyer, who continues business.
In 1888 Daniel W. Oliver moved the school house from the place called Castle to his present place of business—the south end of the dyke. The store had been a skating rink when that craze spread over the Cape, and it made an excellent grocery and dry-good store in which he continues business.
The last stores at the wharves, where the railroad embankment is, were company stores, the very latest being run by Elkanah Paine under the name of E. Paine & Co. He was succeeded in 1856 by a company composed of Nathaniel Dyer, Amasa Paine and Sears Rich, as N. Dyer & Co., which dissolved after a short time. These gentlemen, as did the company composed of Josiah Wilder and Joseph Whorf, moved up the river, and in some individual cases opened other places of business at the present center. The high embankment now overlooks the sites of these busy wharves and stores of fifty years ago, and hardly a vestige of the former industries remain. The railroad passed through in 1873, when George S. Hamilton was appointed the depot agent, which position he filled until 1885, when Isaac C. Freeman was appointed.
The first postmaster of Truro was Ephraim Harding, appointed April 1, 1798. July 1, 1803, he was succeeded by Benjamin Harding,
who was followed by Sylvanus Nye, at the Highlands, February 25, 1809. The next incumbent was Daniel Paine, appointed December 16, 1820. He kept the office at Longnook. December 24,1830, Hincks Gross was appointed, succeeded March 8, 1847, by Josiah Wilder, at his store. April 9, 1859, Edward Winslow was made postmaster, but he resigned in 1861 to enter the army, and Samuel C. Paine was appointed. Mr. Paine kept the office at his store until 1888, when Daniel W. Oliver was appointed, and he removed the office to his store. In June, 1889, Samuel C. Paine was re-appointed, and the office was removed to the old place.
The Union Hall Association was instituted May 1, 1848, by the usual legal warrant issued by Barnabas Paine. Ninety-six of the one hundred shares of stock issued were taken and by an assessment of $22.78 on each share the Union Hall was erected. The lower floor was constructed for public use and the upper for the Odd Fellows, Sons of Temperance, and Cadets, all of which societies were discontinued after a few years. This building was sold to the town as has been stated.
The social circles are well attended and of these this village has its proportion. The Iron Hall, Branch 984, organized February 15, 1889, has fifty members.
The Truro Library Association, with a good collection of books, and its literary entertainments given in public, is indicative of the taste of the residents. The societies and associations, although meeting at the center, are composed of members from the entire town.
South Truro has been so designated only since the advent of the railroad, and since the citizens of the south part of the town asked for and received postal facilities. It is situated in the southwest corner of the town, adjoining Bound brook, and has some commercial importance in the affairs of the town. The pleasant little depot of the Old Colony railroad is now kept by S. W. Rich, who was appointed in 1882. Walter N. Elliott was the agent for several months previous, and John Elliott was the first appointee, serving from 1873 to 1881. A post office was asked for, and in March, 1874, the South Truro office was instituted with John Elliott as postmaster, who kept it at the depot while he was agent and then at his store. It is now kept by him in his store a few rods from the depot.
There had been a small community here from the early settlement of the town, but the first store within the memory of the present residents was that of Nehemiah Rich, who started it prior to 1835 and continued to about the year 1848. In 1849 some thirty citizens formed a stock association and opened the Union store, which was continued until about 1860, when Joseph Whorf, Elisha Rich, Ephraim Rich and Samuel Rich purchased the business. In 1862 Samuel Rich 60
bought out the others and ran the store until 1864, then moved the building to Provincetown. About 1854 the Union Store Company built a wharf on the bay shore where a fishing business was carried on, but when the company business at the store was discontinued the wharf was taken up and reconstructed at Provincetown. Three of the members of the Union Store Company—Atwood, Ephraim, and Elisha Rich—each had a small store at their houses subsequent to the dissolution of the company business.
In 1846 Joseph S. Cole started a store in a room at his house, and after three years erected a small store building where Richard T. Cobb lives. After about two years the store was moved across to his residence, then to the site of the Union store, and a few years ago he again moved the building to the present site near his house, where he continues his business.
This post hamlet enjoys a daily mail, and has the religious advantages of the Methodist Episcopal church half way between this and the center.
Sylvester B. Atwood, son of Peter L. and Mary C. (Collins) Atwood, and grandson of Joel Atwood, was born in Wellfleet in 1847. He followed the sea from 1859 until 1885, when he took charge of weir fishing. He was for eight years master of coasting and fishing vessels. He married Sarah, daughter of Samuel and Mercy D. (Snow) Paine. They have two sons: Frederick A. and George F.
Benjamin Coan, born in 1824, is a son of Samuel and Hannah (Avery) Coan, grandson of Samuel, and great-grandson of Abraham Coan, who came from Long Island, N. Y., to Truro. He followed the sea from 1833 until 1874, twenty years of the time as master of vessels. He has been clerk and treasurer of the Christian Union church of North Truro several years. He married Sally K., daughter of Francis and Annie Small. Their two children, Benjamin and Annie, are both dead.
Elisha Cobb, born in 1817, is the eldest of six children of Freeman and Nancy (Rich) Cobb, grandson of Richard, and great-grandson of Joseph Cobb. He followed the sea for fifty years prior to 1876, as master of fishing vessels twenty-eight years. He married Thankful W., daughter of Joseph and Ruth (Atwood) Cobb, granddaughter of Mulford, and great-granddaughter of Joseph Cobb. Their children are: Joseph A., Mary E. and Julia F.
Joseph S. Cole, born in 1812 in Wellfleet, is the only surviving child of Daniel and Polly (Snow) Cole, and grandson of Daniel Cole. He was several seasons in the fishing business. In 1845 he came to South Truro. He was first married to Rachel Y. Pierce. After her
death he married for his second wife Eliza Rich. She died and of their three children only one is living—Mary, Mrs. B. F. Rich. His third marriage was with Ruth A., daughter of Joseph and Ruth (Atwood) Cobb.
Amasa S. Dyer, son of William and Phebe (Small) Dyer, was bom in Provincetown in 1837. He followed the sea as a whale fisherman from 1855 until 1882. He has been keeper of the Highland light since February, 1888, having been transferred from Duxbury Pier light, where he had been keeper thirteen months. He married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Eli Seavey of Maine.
John Elliott, son of Phillip and Betsey (Newton) Elliott, was born in 1826. He followed the sea from the age of fourteen until 1876, since which time he has kept a store at South Truro. He married Eliza A., daughter of Samuel Rich, who was a son of Samuel, grandson of James, and great-grandson of Joseph Rich. Their four children are: Charles C., John W., Mary E. (Mrs. J. F. Rich), and Walter N.
Caleb U. Grosier, born in 1822, is a son of John Grosier, born May, 1791. His mother was Mercy, daughter of Constant Hopkins. He began following the sea, fishing, at the age of fourteen. He was master of vessels from 1857 until 1878 in the merchant service. His first wife was Hannah Slew, daughter of Thomas Slew, and his second wife was Azubah, daughter of Ebenezer Paine.
William Hamson, son of William and Hannah Hamson, was born in 1819 in Charlestown. He came to Truro at the age of nine, and two years later he began going to sea, continuing until 1879. He was engaged in weir fishing for a few years, and is now retired. He married Nancy C, daughter of Leonard and Mary W. (Collins) Snow, and granddaughter of Stephen Snow. Their children are: Leonard S. of Syracuse, N. Y., and Mary E. (Mrs. N. D. Freeman) of Dorchester, Mass.
William Holden, born in 1834, is a son of William and Sarah (Myrick) Holden. He followed the sea for about thirteen years, since which time he has been a farmer, owning his father's homestead at High Head. He married Mary R., daughter of Henry Johnson. Their two children are: Seymour E. and Julia J.
Atkins Hughes, born August 14, 1828, is a son of James and Jane (Avery) Hughes, and grandson of John and Rachel (Dyer) Hughes. Mr. Hughes married-Betsey Lewis Paine, March 26, 1850. Their living children are: Amelia E., Phebe N., Idella L., Georgia W. and Bessie J. Mr. Hughes began his seafaring life in 1840, and thirty-two of the thirty-nine years that he spent at sea he was master of vessels, mostly in foreign trade. Since 1879 he has been manager and agent for fish weirs. He was representative in 1881 and 1882.
David Lombard.—The Lombard family, which has long figured conspicuously in the affairs of Truro, is to-day represented in the town by David Lombard, who was born October 9, 1825, in the homestead he now owns. His father, a son of James, was Captain David Lombard, who was born November 9, 1796, and on December 10, 1820, married Anna, daughter of Jaazaniah Gross, the widow of his older brother, James Lombard.
Their other children were: James, born February 4, 1823, died December, 1878, leaving two children, Florence and Arthur; Lewis, born November 18, 1827, married Mehitable A. Stevens; Melvina A., born November 2, 1829, is now the widow of Nathaniel L. Harding; Angelia M., deceased, was born October 26, 1831, and married Horace A. Hughes, also deceased.
Captain David Lombard, shortly before 1841, became the first packer of mackerel at Truro, and continued the business with profit for many years. He was a liberal supporter of churches, and although his sons are all republicans, he was himself a life-long democrat. He was interested in navigation, and at one time had a hill full of salt works. Prior to his death, February 3, 1888, he was the oldest living representative of the name here.
The present David Lombard, when eighteen years of age, obtained in Boston a clerkship, and was subsequently interested for three or four years with his father in the mackerel business. He then was with Uriah Mayo twenty-one years in the fish packing business in East Boston. He returned to Truro in 1877, and after the death of his mother in October, 1879, with his sister, Mrs. Harding, maintained a home for their father until his death. The homestead where the parents died was erected by Captain Lombard the year of their marriage and for sixty-eight years the original shingles remained.
The David Lombard of this sketch now lives retired at Truro amid the scenes of his boyhood, surrounded by his books.
Daniel W. Oliver, born in 1840, is a son of Benjamin and Abigail C. (Young) Oliver. He followed the sea from 1849 until 1887, being in command of vessels in the West India trade twenty-three years. He married Deborah, daughter of Richard A. Atwood. They have one son, Richard S.
Daniel E. Paine, born in 1848, is the only surviving child of Daniel6 and Jane A. (Snow) Paine (Barnabas5, Daniel4, Jonathan3, Thomas2, Thomas Paine1). He is a meat and provision merchant, having succeeded his father in 1871, in the business which was established in 1846 by Daniel and Richard Paine. He married Elizabeth D., daughter of Thomas Ryder. Their only son is Daniel, one son, John R., having died. He is a deacon of the Congregational church, having succeeded his father at his death in 1871.
Samuel C. Paine7, born in 1824, is a son of Barnabas6 and Hannah (Coan) Paine (Barnabas5, Daniel4, Jonathan3, Thomas2, Thomas Paine1). He was nine years a member of the school board and school superintendent one year. He married Henrietta, daughter of Daniel Paine.
Nathan K. Parsons, born in 1835 in Orleans, is a son of James and Urecta (Kenney) Parsons. He came to Truro at the age of seventeen and has since been engaged in the fishing business. He was master of fishing vessels thirteen years prior to 1880, and since that time has been weir fishing. He married Lucy, daughter of James and Jerusha (Rich) Grove. They have two children: Jesse K. and Urecta K., one son having died.
John H. Rich, son of Isaac, grandson of Isaac, and great-grandson of Isaac Rich, was born in 1850. He followed the sea in the fishing business from 1862 until he retired to go into the life saving service. He was surf man at the Pamet River life saving station from January, 1873, until 1888, since which time he has been keeper. He married Edith E., daughter of Sewell S. Mayo. Their children are Arthur B. and Marilla F.
John L. Rich, son of Michael, grandson of Obadiah, and great-grandson of Richard Rich, was born in 1839. He followed the sea for twenty-five years. He was on the Highland life saving station eight years, since which time he has been engaged in weir fishing. He married Mary E., daughter of Jesse Paine. Their children are: Millard F. and Frederick C, and two sons that died in infancy.
Josiah F. Rich, born in 1829, is the eldest son of Henry, and grandson of Henry and Rebecca (Thomas) Rich. His mother was Winifred, daughter of Paul and Mary (Higgins) Atkins. He followed the sea from 1840 to 1859, and since that time has kept a general store in Truro. He was assessor in 1877, and is now chairman of the board of selectmen, having been a member of that body for ten years. He married January 1, 1852, Rebecca, daughter of Benjamin and Rebecca Paine, and granddaughter of Samuel Paine. Their children are: Henry F., born November 5, 1852; Samuel B., born July 1, 1854; Anna C., born February 18, 1857, died May 16, 1885; Rebecca P., born August 15, 1860, died December 11, 1864; Rebecca P., born April 11, 1866; and Sherman G., born October 15, 1868.
Michael A. Rich, born in 1849, is a son of Michael A. and Betsey L. (Snow) Rich. He is a farmer at North Truro. He married Amelia E., daughter of Atkins Hughes. They have two children—Nellie A. and Alton E. They lost one daughter in infancy.
Richard A. Rich, son of Richard and Sally R. (Atwood) Rich, grandson of Ephraim D., and great-grandson of Richard Rich, was born October 19, 1844. He followed the sea in the fishing business through the summer months from 1859 until 1878, as master after
1860. Since 1878 he has been engaged in weir fishing. He has been for several years a member of the school committee, and has taught school during the winter season for several years. He was elected in 1889 to represent his district in the legislature.
I. Morton Small, born in 1846, is a son of James and Jerusha (Hughes) Small, grandson of Isaac, great-grandson of Francis, and great-great-grandson of Samuel Small. He has been marine telegraph operator at the Highland station since 1860. He has owned the Highland House since 1873, having succeeded his father, who had kept a summer boarding house for eleven years. He married Sarah E., daughter of John Small. She died leaving three children: Willard M., James S. and Lillian M.
Thomas F. Small, born in 1813, was the eldest son of James and Polly (Dyer) Small, grandson of Isaac, and great-grandson of Francis, whose father was Samuel Small. Mr. Small was a farmer at Truro until his death, April 8, 1890. He married Elizabeth P., daughter of John and Hannah (Paine) Hughes, granddaughter of John and great-granddaughter of John Hughes. Their two children: Eliza F., who married John Horton, and Warren W., who married Sally A. Dyer.
Isaiah Snow, born in 1842, is one of ten children of Ephraim and Jemima (Knowles) Snow, grandson of Shubael and great-grandson of Anthony Snow. He was seven years in business in Philadelphia. Since February, 1881, he has been traveling salesman for a wholesale house. He served in the civil war in Company E, Forty-third Massachusetts Volunteers. He is trustee, treasurer and recording steward of the Methodist Episcopal church, also superintendent of the Sunday school. He married Hattie R., daughter of Edward Hopkins and granddaughter of Edward Hopkins. They have lost two children: Frank I. and Dean H.
John G. Thompson, born in 1837, is the only surviving child of Alexander and Bethiah (Grozier) Thompson. He followed the sea from 1855 until 1866, and has since been a merchant at North Truro. He married Sally C, daughter of James Hughes. They have two children living—Albert H. and Mary A.—and lost one—Emma H.
Edwin P. Worthen, son of Jacob Worthen, was born in 1837 in Charlestown, Mass. He came to Truro at the age of seven and followed the sea from that time until 1872, seven years as master. He has been keeper of the Highland life saving station since December, 1872. He married Julia E., daughter of John Francis.