An Unsung Revolutionary War Hero

1886: In Chapter Two, Eva and her mother Sarah drove their buggy past the Second Congregational Church in South Wellfleet on their way to the Southern Wharf of Blackfish Creek.  Eva contemplates the headstone of John Taylor, a Revolutionary War hero who was a bodyguard to George Washington.  The stone is still there, and is decorated every Veteran’s Day with an American Flag. . . More fitting would be the flag sewn by Betsy Ross, with the circle of thirteen stars on the field of blue, rather than the modern fifty star flag. This monument is very special, and yet largely unknown and ignored. Perhaps this is good, because gravestone rubbings are highly damaging to the stones, and are forbidden in this cemetery. Mr. Taylor lived until 1851, long past the end of the Revolutionary War and the birth of a new country.

The church was closed and locked by 1886 because of the economic crisis and loss of population. Eventually the old church was moved to Wellfleet Center where it was used as Town Hall. The building burned completely in a winter fire during the 1960′s.   The present Town Hall is a replica of the old one, which had originally been built a century earlier by the South Wellfleet Congregationalists. It is the loss of the congregation and the use of the church that Sarah laments as they drive by the empty church in the buggy. By the end of the decade, the Southern Wharf Company itself would be defunct. The railroad passed by on what is now the bike trail on the east side of the cemetery on its way to Provincetown.  It chugged through South Wellfleet twice a day, bringing mail, goods, and passengers.

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