How fierce were the rainbow trout out in Idaho? So fierce that when creeks flooded, ranchers had to erect special fences to keep the fish from swimming into cattle pastures and making off with the calves. That’s the kind of tale one might hear from the “divers and various old sea-dogs” who gathered at the Lyars’ Bench “to spin their salty yarns of derring-do and monstrous catches of fish ‘that long,'” as The Advocate put it. (Building Provincetown hastens to say that the gentlemen in this 1940 photo by Edwin Rosskam may well not have been liars.) The bench was in front of — and not always distinguishable from — the Sandbar Club, both at 81 Commercial Street and 85 Commercial Street. Many towns had such a bench. Provincetown’s was also known as the Lyars’ and Loafers’ Bench. It was being referred to in the past tense by 1956.
¶ Last updated on 24 July 2018. ¶ Image by Edwin Rosskam (1940), courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Digital ID No. fsa.8b14555.