July 22, 1873

First Train Reaches Provincetown

Region:
Southeast

On this day in 1873, the first train arrived at the tip of Cape Cod. The streets were bedecked with flags and streamers as 13 bright yellow coach cars, filled to capacity, pulled into Provincetown. The Cape's traditional economy was in decline. Residents were counting on the railroad to bring better times. Summer visitors from Boston could now spend five hours on a comfortable train, instead of risking a choppy ride by steamer or enduring a two-day stagecoach trip. And they could stay in the large hotels that were built in towns all over the Cape. The heyday of the Cape as a railroad resort came to an end when cars became the preferred mode of transportation.

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