Provincetown, Massachusetts

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Provincetown is a town located at the extreme tip of Cape Cod in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,431 at the 2000 census, with an estimated 2007 population of 3,174.[2] Sometimes called "P-town",[3][4] the town is known for its beaches, harbor, artists, tourist industry, and its status as a gay village.



The area was originally settled by the Nauset tribe, who had a settlement known as Meeshawn. Provincetown was incorporated by English settlers in 1727 after harboring ships for more than a century. Bartholomew Gosnold named Cape Cod in Provincetown Harbor in 1602.[5] In 1620, the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact when they arrived at the harbor. They agreed to settle and build a self-governing community, and then came ashore in the West End.[6] Though the Pilgrims chose to settle across the bay in Plymouth, Provincetown enjoyed an early reputation for its fishing grounds. The "Province Lands" were first formally recognized by the union of Plymouth colony and Massachusetts Bay colony in 1692, and its first municipal government was established in 1714.[7] The population of Provincetown remained small through most of the 18th century.

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