Whydah Pirate Museum

Anchor.

Whydah Pirate Museum

By Patricia L. O’Connell

Whydah Pirate Museum Cape Cod
Ship model at the Whydah Pirate Museum in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, USA.

The Whydah Pirate Museum is located in West Yarmouth, on Cape Cod. The museum is about an hour’s drive from the Palmer House Inn and is a new, fully interactive Pirate Museum filled with real pirate artifacts and treasure from the pirate Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy’s flagship the Whydah.

Originally constructed as a fully rigged galley passenger, cargo and slave ship, this three-masted 110 foot long ship, embarked on her maiden voyage out of the port of London, England in 1716. She sailed what was called the triangle trade route. When she left London on the first leg of the triangle, she was carrying a variety of goods from different business to exchange for delivery of trade and slaves in Western Africa, in what is known today as Senegal, Nigeria and Benin. She left west Africa on the second leg of her voyage with about 500 captives, gold, including jewelry and ivory. She traveled to the Caribbean where the captives were sold or traded for precious metals, sugar, indigo, rum, logwood, pimento, ginger and medical ingredients. The third leg of the voyage was to deliver the goods to London. The Whydah, however, would never return to England for a second voyage.

The ship was captured by pirate Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy of the pirate ship Sultana in February of 1717. After taking over the ship, Bellamy and his crew ripped through the Caribbean, pirating over 50 ships and loading the Whydah with stolen treasures. Bellamy and the Whydah then set sail for New England with other ships that he had captured.

Whydah Pirate Museum exhibit
Pirate exhibit.

Samuel Bellamy was known as “Black Sam” because of his black hair. He was born in England but moved to New England where he met and fell in love with Maria Hallett of Eastham, MA on Cape Cod. Her father refused her hand in marriage because Bellamy was poor. He decided to turn to piracy to remedy that situation.

During the voyage north the Whydah was heavily damaged in a storm. The damage included a broken mast. The crew was able to do makeshift repairs that enabled them to each Nantucket Sound. It is believed that the repairs were completed in either Block Island or Rhode Island. Two months later Bellamy and his fleet headed north toward the elbow of Cape Cod. On April 25, 1717 they captured the ship “Mary Anne”. She was carrying a cargo of Madeira wine.

Just after midnight on April 26, 1717 the two ships were struck by hurricane force winds and 30 to 40 foot waves. She ran bow first into a sandbar 500 feet from what is now known as Marconi Beach in the town of Wellfleet. She then capsized sending 4.5 short tons of gold and silver, 60 cannons and 144 people to the ocean’s floor. The Whydah’s contents was spread over  a 4 square mile area. All but 2 sailors were killed. The Mary Anne also sank in that storm.

After the wreck was reported to the governor of Massachusetts, Samuel Shute, he sent Captain Cypian Southack, a local salvager and cartographer, to recover the bullion. However, when Southack arrived on the scene in May, all that he found was that some of the ship was still visible below the water’s surface. At that time Southack created a map of the site.

The wreckage and treasure would remain buried for close to 300 years. Fascinated by the stories of the Whydah since childhood, Provincetown native Barry Clifford decided to look for the ship’s wreckage. He began his search in 1983. In 1984, Clifford, with the help of Southack’s map, began to find the first artifacts from the Whydah just 500 feet offshore. It wasn’t until 1985, however, that authentication of the treasure would be proven, when Clifford unearthed the Whydah’s bell that is inscribed with the name. Also, in 2013 a small placard was found that had the ship’s name and was inscribed with her maiden voyage date.

The Whydah Pirate Museum features replicas of the ship. All of the artifacts discovered so far are on display for viewing. Visitors are also able to learn about the excavation process and the technology used to restore and preserve, these one of a kind, treasures. Interactive and wonderfully unique, the Whydah Pirate Museum is a must visit.

Anchor.
Ship’s anchor.

Whydah Pirate Museum
674 MA-28
West Yarmouth, MA
508.534.9571
www.discoverpirates.com

More Museums on Cape Cod

 


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of visiting museums on Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.

Colleen’s Ginger Scones Recipe

Candied ginger for Candied Ginger Scones Recipe.
Candied ginger for Candied Ginger Scones Recipe.
Candied ginger for Candied Ginger Scones Recipe.

This recipe came to us from our cook, Colleen. The scones are light, not too sweet and delicious.

Makes 12 scones.

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees

Ginger Scones Recipe Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of baking powder
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 stick of room temperature butter
  • 3/4 cups of candied ginger, cut into 1/4 inch chips.
  • 2 eggs beaten (Reserve some of the egg for an egg wash.)
  • 1 cup of milk

Directions:

Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

Combine wet ingredients in a small bowl then add to the dry ingredient. Knead the mixture on a floured surface, 25 – 30 strokes. Dough may be sticky, fold in more flour if needed. Roll out to 1 inch thickness and cut with a 1 1/2 inch round cutter. Place scones on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with the reserved egg wash.

Sprinkle with  sugar in the raw (optional)

Turn the 500 degree oven down to 425 degrees. Put the scones into the oven and bake for 10 – 13 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm with butter and/or jam. I enjoy them with a hot cup of tea.


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B

While all of our rooms have their own individual charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of adventures, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.

The She Shed

She Shed
She Shed
The Palmer House Inn’s She Shed.

This spring I was introduced to the new concept of the “She Shed” by Patti Keating a horticulturist from Cape Cod Community College. Patti came to help me with our Falmouth Village Spring Garden Tour. After talking with her, I decided that the Palmer House Inn should have its own version of the She Shed. Traditionally the garden shed has been a man’s retreat. This is the place where the lawnmowers and hedge clippers were stored and maintained. However, recently women have been coming up with their own version.

She Shed Search
She Shed Search

I did a little research to rev my creative juices. The first example that I found was, a Shabby Chic retreat with Limoges china, a crystal chandelier, over stuffed furniture and billows of tissue paper garland. The second was a tiny plant sanctuary. It was a small greenhouse filled with plants both inside and out. To complete the quaint atmosphere it was surrounded with a white picket fence to keep Peter Cotton Tale away from the tender, delicious  herbs. Number three, was a backyard potter’s paradise. It had a potter’s wheel, kiln, shelving for her glazes and cooling racks.  Another woman transformed her shed into an inviting craft nook with all of her supplies and even an overhead fan to keep her cool on warm afternoons. Still another gal designed a 1950’s style mini diner, complete with a red and white leatherette booth and a black and white checkerboard floor. It had a working juke box, popcorn maker, vintage radio, retro refrigerator and chrome stools in front of the tiny lunch counter. Another “she shed” was a writer’s sanctuary. This one had to be my favorite because it was surrounded with colorful flowers and comfortable garden furniture that was positioned in shady spots. Inside was a pretty desk and charming lamp. In the corner was an inviting chair with an afghan. What a delightful place to sit, read and reflect. Another shed was a woman’s yoga studio. It had a small dish style waterfall, wind chimes in the doorway, soft calming color tones on the walls and a single Chinese print. An English “she shed” that intrigued me had a thatched roof and a brick walkway.  The creator made it into a place where she could meet, have tea and chat with friends. One of the sheds was created at the beach and is a delight to behold, with double glass doors that look out onto the beach and water beyond. It had a comfortable bed and Adirondack chairs on the outside deck.  Many of the others were simply quiet retreats away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

During my research, I also discovered that sheds are becoming the newest trend in home based businesses. Because of the development of more compact computers, there is no longer the need for bulky file cabinets and phone systems,  so much more can fit into a compact space.

She Shed in snow
Our She Shed in the snow.

The Palmer House shed is a pretty little salt box style cedar shingled house at the back of my herb garden. I have a pretty flower box under its window and the door is painted red to match the other exterior doors on the Palmer House Inn’s property. However, it still houses the tools and chemicals that are necessary to maintain our 3/4 of an acre in Falmouth Village. Some of my most pleasant memories are of the times I have spent tending our gardens and working in and around my she shed.


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B

While all of the bedchambers at the Palmer House have their own romantic charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of adventures sampling Cape Cod cuisine, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs for a relaxing stay before and after your day.