Town of Wellfleet
Intersected by Route 6A, Brewster was once home to many wealthy sea captains. Some of their homes still stand today and serve as inns and B&B’s. Nickerson Park, with its ponds, picnic areas, camping and miles of bike trails, offers a great alternative to a beach day for visitors.
Wellfleet History and Information
Previously called Billingsgate, Wellfleet was separated from Eastham and incorporated in 1763. The name was thought to have come from “whale fleet,” reflecting Wellfleet’s main economic resource during the days before the Revolution or from the Wallfleet oyster beds of England. Whaling was halted because of the blockading of Wellfleet Harbor and after the war commercial fishing became the business of Wellfleet citizens. These days if one were to mention Wellfleet in conversation, the famous Wellfleet oyster is probably associated as they are world renown as some of the best oysters you can find. Wellfleet was first introduced to the tourist industry by banana importer, Lorenzo Dow Baker, who built the Chequessett Inn on Mercantile Wharf around 1885. In present day during the summer, the population swells to an estimated 17,000 persons enjoying the town’s miles of ocean and bay-side beaches; numerous beautiful, clear, spring-fed, ponds; many fine art galleries, shops and restaurants; and the magnificent Wellfleet Harbor offering a constantly changing panorama of sail boats, motor yachts, sport fishing boats and trawlers. An extremely diverse community with an intriguing history of an extraordinary nautical atmosphere, the friendly charm of the Central Village provides the pedestrian with a vast array of browsing, dining, picture-taking and sightseeing opportunities within a relatively short walk. Through the years, Wellfleet has gained a reputation as the Cape’s “art gallery town” with this large concentration of artistic exhibits and talent. For the nature lovers the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, with 1,000 acres of moors, salt marshes, sandy beaches and woods, is a popular nature area protected by the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
Points of Interest
1 Marconi Wireless Station – Communications history was made here less than a century ago. A memorial honors Guglielmo Marconi and his wireless telegraph invention. In 1901, he tried unsuccessfully to transmit a wireless message across the Atlantic. Finally succeeding on January 18, 1903, he sent the results of the America’s Cup to Wales, England. Located on Lecount Hollow Road off Route 6.
2 Samuel Rider House – Samuel Rider, a church deacon, in the mid-1700s, built this 18th Century farmhouse. Now operated by the Wellfleet Historical Society, it has been completely restored as a historical landmark. The homestead also features seasonal exhibits. Located on Gull Pond Road off Route 6.
3 Uncle Tim’s Bridge – Surrounded by natural scenery, this wooden boardwalk follows a marsh before opening up to a small tree-covered hill. A hidden treasure – perfect for picnics or for a quiet getaway. Located on Commercial Street.
4 Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary – Consisting of pine groves and salt marshes, this 650-acre reserve is home to many indigenous Cape Cod birds. The Massachusetts Audubon Society offers guided tours of the area. Located just off Route 6.
5 Historical Society Museum – Antique maps, flags, firearms, documents, photographs and clothing comprise this museum’s exhibits. Also featured here are vintage quarterboards and miscellaneous marine apparatus. Here visitors can gain real insight into 18th Century Wellfleet life. Exhibits change monthly. Located on Main Street off Route 6.
6 Wellfleet Pier – This pier has various shops and ice cream parlors next to its parking lot. Numerous boats and fishing vessels line the wooden structure’s moorings. Many evening events are held here, including town band concerts. Take Main Street to Commercial Street to Kendrick Avenue to Chequessett Knolls Dr. and follow to the end.
7 First Congregational Church – The perfect church for a traditional wedding. Mahogany wood accents its interior, and a Tiffany stained-glass window illuminates Sunday morning services. The church clock is the only one in the world keeping ship’s time. Located on Main Street off Route 6.
Beaches- Nonresidents can purchase stickers at a specially marked booth on the town pier during July and August or call the Wellfleet Town Clerk Ph#
(508) 349-0301. For all Cape Cod National Seashore beaches call (508) 349-3785.
- Cahoon Hollow Beach- A popular beach with the younger crowd. The Beachcomber Bar is located here.
- Marconi Beach- Part of the National Seashore and with staggering views from it’s dunes.
- White Crest Beach
- Duck Harbor Beach
- Duck Pond Beach
- Great Pond Beach
- Gull Pond Beach
- Higgins Pond Beach
- Indian Neck Beach- Views of the Harbor and Great Island.
- LeCount Hollow Beach
- Long Pond Beach
- Mayo Beach
- Newcomb Hollow Beach
Chequessett Yacht and Country Club 508-349-3704