How did a sleepy New England fishing village become a gay mecca? In this dynamic history, Karen Christel Krahulik explains why Provincetown, Massachusetts-alternately kwn as Land's End, Cape-tip, Cape-end, and, to some, Queersville, U.S.A -has meant many things to many people. Provincetown tells the story of this beguiling coastal town, from its early history as a mid-nineteenth century colonial village to its current stature as a bustling gay tourist destination. It details the many cultures and groups-Yankee artists, Portuguese fishermen, tourists-that have comprised and influenced Provincetown, and explains how all of them, in conjunction with larger ecomic and political forces, come together to create a gay and lesbian mecca. Through personal stories and historical accounts, Provincetown reveals the fascinating features that have made Provincetown such a textured and colorful destination: its fame as the landfall of the Mayflower Pilgrims, charm as an eccentric artists' colony, and allure as a Dionysian playground. It also hints at one of Provincetown's most dramatic ecomic changes: its turn from fishing village to resort town. From a history of fishing ecomies to a history of tourism, Provincetown, in the end, is as eclectic and vibrant as the city itself.
Karen Christel Krahulik is an Associate Dean of the College at Brown University.