annotated WellfleetCapeCodHistory home
18th and 19th century literature
emailcontact: webmaster[at]
revised May 2011

my files have this link button
outside files have this button  blue swirl
lines without link buttons haven't been finished yet


an ongoing genealogy project. (corrections, additions and anecdotes welcome)
Many vital records of Wellfleet.
1717  murder in Billingsgate?
 1778 Wellfleet shirks its duty
1790 census
1791. poem, Horse of Orange
1800 census (PDF file)
1794. A Topographical Description of Wellfleet
1802. Mass Historical Society reports on the Cape
1827. Capt. William D. Freeman, trial for murder
1826, 1827. Needlework samplers by Morilla Bacon
1844, Wellfleet chapter of Enoch Pratt's History of Eastham, Wellfleet and Orleans
 1850 census (Excel file)
1859, the murder of Eben S. Ward by his son-in-law Samuel Rich
1869, the topical verse of Dr Thomas Newcomb Stone (1818-1876)
 1870, A Visit to Wellfleet. Barnstable Patriot, 22 Feb 1870
1871, Lovell's Directory,. part of Antigonish County, Nova Scotia
1874, Wellfleet page of Nason's Massachusetts Gazetteer
  1877, A Brief History of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Wellfleet, Massachusetts
 mystery photos with a Wellfleet connection. Who were these people?
1890, Wellfleet chapter of Simeon L. Deyo's History of Barnstable County
1890, index to Deyo's Wellfleet chapter
1890, Wellfleet page of Nason & Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer
1898, obit for Dr William N. Stone, Jr (1845-1898), in School Committee report
1898 by-laws. The laws reflect the issues of concern of the era.
1898. Sweet Rosemary and Forget-Me-Nots. Betsey Libby.
1911-1913, George M. D. Gardinier's life of crime.
  1920. Everett I. Nye. History of Wellfleet, from early days to present time.
    1920. Old Home Week Committee.
1920, Cape Cod-focused sections from David L. Belding's  Report upon the Alewife Fisheries of Massachusetts
       Greed, incompetence and myopia are an old story when it comes to maintaining public resources.
1932 School Committee report, facing the Depression.
        My grandfather was part of the School Committee then, and I'm proud to see the opinions in its Report.
1938, History and Lore of South Wellfleet Massachusetts. Margaret T. Dooley.
1941, Wellfleet Methodist Church Fiftieth Anniversary.
 1962. At the Wellfleet Historical Society, during a Moderate Tempest. Charles Philbrick
1965, "That Was the Island That Was" in Cape Cod Compass. Clarece B. Daniels. (about  Billingsgate Island.)
1983, Leroy and Elmer Wiles interviewed
1984, "The Diking of the Herring River" in Sanctuary. Richard LeBlonde.
        The town nitwits and scoundrels have been stalling recovery for decades!
1998, Wellfleet Methodist Church in trouble at its 200th anniversary
 2008, Greedy pigs are destoying the Cape Cod National Seashore. webmaster
  18xx - 19xx, the Wiles family in the news (just begun)

Wellfleet Library history
Duck Creek Harbor archaeology
Lower Cape cemeteries at
 David Belding's pictures of the town shellfish industry in 1911    broken link, dec 2012
The History of Battery "A", 137 Anti-Aircraft Artillery Gun Bn.  [dead link, dec 2012]  minor link
 Mayo's Beach Light
 Billingsgate Light
Report of the Herring River Technical Committee, 2006
Wellfleet Harbor tides


Nauset towns 1887
Nauset towns, 1893
Wellfleet, 1944
Wellfleet, 1930s - tourist map, courtesy Cynthia Blakeley

Art & Literature

The Wellfleet Oysterman - HD Thoreau, 1864
"New Leeds" - Mary McCarthy's catty view of Wellfleet, 1954
Provincetown Profiles,1958,  features several Wellfleet-connected artists and writers
Wellfleet in literature - Book 2001 [dead link]
Edmund Wilson & family - Virginia Quarterly Review 2004
Peggy Bacon, The Highbrows, 1952
The Highbrows, Peggy Bacon, 1952

Wellfleet in published literature
(This isn't an exhaustive list, just what I came up with in a short search.)
Bob Arnold. Wellfleet Times. (photos on 2 CDs)
Nea Colton D'Amelio & George Yater. Sept 1958. Wellfleet - Jewel on the Cape, in Ford Times vol. 50 (9): 44-47 cover painting
Margaret T. Dooley. 1938. History and Lore of South Wellfleet Massachusetts. South Wellfleet Neighborhood Assoc. posted
Durand Echevarria. 1991. History of Billingsgate. WHS
Brent Harold. Wellfleet and the World. Thmes of a cherished and threatened place. 2003. Wellfleet: Kinnacum Press
John V. Hinshaw. 1969. Marconi and his South Wellfleet Wireless. Cape Cod History Guide, vol. 1. Chatham Press & CCNS
Betsey Libby. Sweet Rosemary and Forget-Me-Nots. 1898. posted
Daniel Lombardo. 2000. Wellfleet. A Cape Cod Village. Arcadia Pub.
Everett I. Nye. 1920. History of Wellfleet, from early days to present
Rev. Albert P. Palmer. 1877. A Brief History of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Franklin Press posted
Earle Rich. 1973. Cape Cod Echoes. Salt Meadow Pub.
Earle Rich. 1978. More Cape Cod echoes : further reminiscences of early days on the Cape. Salt Meadow Pub.
Rich Family Association & Wellfleet Historical Society. 1986. Pleasant Hill and Oak Dale Cemeteries.  RFA & WHS
    There are also undated transcriptions of the Duck Creek and South Wellfleet cemeteries published by RFA. They have many errors.
Ruth E. Rickmers. 1981-1993. Wellfleet remembered : past to present in pictures. Blue Butterfly Pub. (7 pamphlets)
Norma Simon. 1997. Looking Back at Wellfleet. A Children's Walking Tour. WHS and Wellfleet Elementary School
Judy Stetson. 1963. Wellfleet. A Pictorial History. Wellfleet Historical Society
Wellfleet Congregational Church. 1723-1973. Two Hundred and Fifty Years of Worship.
Wellfleet Historical Commission. 2005. A Guide to Monuments, Memorials, and Burying Grounds.
Michael E. Whately. 1987. Marconi wireless on Cape Cod : South Wellfleet, Massachusetts, 1901-1917. WHS ?
Alec Wilkinson. 1982. Midnights. A Year with the Wellfleert Police. Random House note
David B. Wright. 2008. The Famous Beds of Wellfleet. A shellfishing history. WHS
Eva & HenryIrene M. Paine. 2010. Eva & Henry: a Cape Cod Marriage. Amazon link

Several of these are for sale by the Wellfleet Historical Society.

Current events - web cams, antique postcards, current photos, weather and tide links, discussion forum
Wellfleet Historical Society
Wellfleet Library
Wellfleet Shellfish Department - tides, weather, research, regulations
Wellfleet Town Hall
Massachusetts Audubon's Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Cape Cod National Seashore
Nauset Public Schools
 Wellfleet Harbor Actors' Theater
friends Friends of the Herring River
friends Wellfleet 250th Anniversary Committee
friends Herring River Restoration Project

Billingsgate Button & Harpoon Manufactory

Picture page

There aren't nearly as many postcards depicting Wellfleet as Provincetown, but lots more than for Truro, Eastham or Orleans. I've collected a few, but Wellfleet seems to be trendy, and prices are getting absurd.
Great Pond
Great Pond - part of my favorite place
NE Pond
North East Pond - another part of my favorite place