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Wellfleet is a town in Massachusetts, on Cape Cod halfway between the "fist" and the "elbow". The population is under 3,000, although the summertime population can be around 16,000.

Wellfleet was first known as Billingsgate, in the 1600s. The harbor was called such because the fish were so plentiful, it reminded residents of the fish market in London of the same name. When Wellfleet was incorporated in 1763, the Wellfleet name was used because of the bounty of oysters in the harbor, which it was hoped would connect the local oysters with the famous Wellfleet oysters in the waters off of eastern England. Whaling and mackerel fishing also flourished in Wellfleet in the 1700s and 1800s, respectively.

Tourism boomed in Wellfleet beginning in the late 19th century, when the Chequesset Inn was built on the pilings of Mercantile Wharf. Today, Wellfleet is a retirement community, and also has the second-highest number of art galleries on Cape Cod, giving Wellfleet a booming tourism and hospitality economy.


A house on Main Street.



Businesses on Main Street.



Businesses on Main Street.



A house on Briar Lane.



Buildings on Main Street.



A house on Main Street.



A former house on Main Street, now in use as a funeral home.



The Wellfleet Preservation Hall, on Main Street. The hall was formerly the Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, and was built in 1912. The church was converted to its current use in 2011.



Businesses on Main Street.



The Wellfleet Town Hall, on Main Street. Originally the Second Congregational Church, located in South Wellfleet. The church was built in 1834, and moved into central Wellfleet in 1919, where it became Memorial Hall. After it became decrepit by 1940, it was renovated into town offices in 1950.



Buildings on Main Street. On the right is Wellfleet United Methodist Church, built in 1892.



Buildings on Main Street. On the right is the First Congregational Church, built in 1850.



The Congregational Church's clock is notable for telling ship's time, ringing at half-past the hour instead of on the hour.

 
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