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Charlotte Collection



The storyline of the trap boat "Charlotte" is, essentially, the history of trap boat fishing in Provincetown as seen through the entity of a single trap boat, the trajectory of its working life and, eventually, its brief resurrection and then permanent demise. Trap boat fishing was an environmentally sound concept and had its origins in the methods used for snaring and netting a catch of fish as devised by the indigenous American Indian who successfully fished Cape Cod's waters long before the white man followed in his footsteps. Using a stationary net with complicated arrangements for loading and then capturing whole schools of fish in significant numbers, it did not depend on methods of disturbing the bottom of fishing grounds nor on long trips offshore to coastal shelves where certain species congregate. In their heyday, trap boats hauled fish out of the traps by the thousands of pounds and the durable and sturdy trap boats, loaded to the gunnels with their catch, delivered them to the ice houses which cut and prepared and froze the catch for delivery to the markets. Furthermore, trap boat fishing constituted a healthy way of life and allowed the fisherman to follow a reasonable daily schedule: whereas, dragging for fish often provoked a taxing encounter with nature and sometimes a very deleterious one for both man and the environment upon which he depended for a living. [More...]

Showing all archives in the Charlotte collection
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  • Trap Boat Charlotte Historical References
    Statistics of the "Charlotte" original crew of 1918; other crew members; historical...
    Collection: Charlotte
    Format: Text
    Subjects: Atlantic Fisherman, Boats and boating, Captains, Del Deo, Josephine, Fish trade--Massachusetts--Provincetown, Fish trapping, Fisheries--Massachusetts--Provincetown--History, Fishing villages, Harbors--Provincetown--Mass, Industries, Names, Provincetown (Mass.)--History--20th century, Provincetown Heritage Museum, and Weirs
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