Wellfleet's Waterfront Revealed

Wellfleet Waterfront Revealed, our new summer exhibition, tells the story of the people of Wellfleet and how their livelihoods interacted with the geography over the last 178 years. The story is told through a carefully chosen collection of maps, photographs, ship models and objects essential to waterfront activities. The 1841 map reveals Griffins, Great and Beach as the islands they once were. A detailed illustration and model of a typical saltworks describes the wind-driven, solar evaporation process that produced up to 40,000 bushels of salt in 1855. The exhibition includes an exquisitely detailed 3D model of the grand Chequesset Inn that sat prominently on the end of the Mercantile Wharf and photographs to transport you back in time. Stop in the museum and help us identify the people in the photos of the Oyster shacks along Duck Creek and those sitting around the cribbage board from the infamous Spit n’Chatter Club. Photographs of the lighthouses on Mayo’s Beach and Billingsgate Island along with a photo of Sarah Cleverly Atwood, the first official woman light keeper, help explain Wellfleet’s glory days as an important harbor. After viewing this exhibition you become sensitive to the ever changing forces at work, both human and natural, and how the collaboration of land and sea alters our coastline over time.

Third Billingsgate Lighthouse (built in 1858) replaced the first two which were claimed by the sea.

Third Billingsgate Lighthouse (built in 1858) replaced the first two which were claimed by the sea.