The Real Story Behind Truro’s Corn Hill

While settled by Europeans in the 17th century, the real story behind Truro’s Corn Hill dates back well before that. At one time the Nauset tribe inhabited the land.

Eventually, they were joined by the Pilgrims. While it’s thought the Pilgrims first came to Provincetown Harbor, they then sailed south, and came ashore to explore the part of Truro we now call Corn Hill.

It’s said the hill got its name from the Pilgrims, who found a hidden stash of corn that belonged to the tribe and brought it back to the Mayflower to feed other passengers. According to history, the Pilgrims used the corn to help avoid starvation during their first harsh winter.

Thus, the area became known as Corn Hill. A plaque now stands at the base of the hill, which briefly tells the story of that November day in the 1600s.

The Pilgrims later used the fertile soil around Corn Hill for their own crops and homes. While the settlers used the land for agriculture, the hill itself served as a look-out of sorts for potential incoming threats and ships. 

Eventually, Corn Hill transformed from an agricultural area to a maritime area known for its trading, whaling, and fishing. During the War of 1812, Corn Hill was frequently targeted by the British, but prevailed. Today, some remnants of the hill’s wartime defensive structures still stand.

Flashforward to the early 1900s and some Bostonians constructed a seaside resort on Corn Hill called the Corn Hill Cottages. Those cottages looked out over Cape Cod Bay.

There’s also Corn Hill Beach, which just so happens to sit on Corn Hill Road. This Bay beach attracts visitors and locals alike for its views and its tidal flats. It a good place to simply go for a walk or do some beachcombing.

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