Thursday, June 19, 2014

Yankee Thrift

Massachusetts is ranked the 13th most generous state so why are we known for our Yankee Thrift? The word Yankee may have come from a common Dutch name Janke or Jans Kees dating to the 1680s when the Dutch settled along the Hudson River in the New World. It was officially used in 1765 as a name for an inhabitant of New England. During the American Revolution, it was a form of national pride to be called a Yank. During the Civil War, southerners called the people of the eastern section of the country Yankee.
Thrift basically comes from the hardscrabble way of life that people lived in the beginnings of our country. After all, the eastern part of the country was settled first and was home to the largest population. There were a lot of people that scratched out a living and Yankee Thrift stuck.
New England has a saying..."use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without"! 

Speaking of Yankee Thrift, my historical fiction, The Old Cape House is available online as an ebook for one day starting right now at a reduced price of only $0.99!

You can buy it online at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and iTunes from today June 20 to midnight on June 21. Now's your chance to buy it for only $0.99!!

Another great example of Yankee Thrift can be found in Provincetown on Cape Cod. Here is a ceramic plaque identifying the houses that were originally on Long Point Peninsula in 1818 and were floated over to the mainland in the late 1850s. Today you can see most of the 'floater' houses in the West End of Provincetown.

Here's a map of Long Point, Massachusetts in 1836. Click on the link for a larger view.
Long Point 1836 

Long Point had 38 houses, a school, a bakery, and a post office along with two light houses: Long Point Light and Wood End Light.

The attraction for living there was good fishing. The fishermen could catch from shore: shad, mackerel, and bass. They used sweep seines; usually hand knit by their wives. There are stories of the men catching almost seventy–five, 200lb. barrels of fish in one haul. 

But even with the ease of fishing, Long Point's isolation was a big factor in the town's demise. It was surrounded by sea water and had no fresh water of its own, everything had to be hauled over on barges or pontoons. Another factor was the stormy coastline. The physical shape of the peninsula had always protected the harbor from the wind and ravages of many nor'easters. These storms also attacked the houses. I assume the people of Long Point had had enough.

This house was called a "floater". It was first moved from Long Point in 1850 and then in 1890 it was moved again.

Tim and I decided to find some of the "floaters".

As we walked towards Wood End Light on Commercial street, we found two floaters.

While we were there, we decided to go and visit the Wood End Light.

We read the sign that says sometimes the Breakwater Walk is under water at high tide. We paid close attention to that and then checked to make sure it was low tide before we started our hike.

I had walked around half way and still had a distance to go.

I've never seen so much poison ivy!

But we made it.
I can't imagine living so far out. I guess you really had to be thrifty,

So in honor of living thrifty, my book, The Old Cape House, is on sale now through midnight June 21 for only $0.99!!

Just click the links to the right of my blog and they will take you to Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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