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Provincetown, resort town (1990 pop. 3,374), Barnstable co., SE Mass., on the tip of Cape Cod, with a harbor on Cape Cod Bay; inc. 1727. The principal industries are tourism and fishing. The Pilgrims landed there in 1620 and stayed about a month. Permanent settlement was not made until c.1700. Fishing was the staple industry, but whaling, salt making, rum-running, and smuggling were practiced. In the 20th cent. it gained fame as a resort favored by artists and later became a popular gay vacation spot. Points of interest include the Pilgrim Monument and Museum (1910); the Cape Cod National Seashore's visitor center; the Provincetown Playhouse; and the Expedition Whydah, a museum preserving the remains of a pirate ship.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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