The centerpiece of Town Green is Signing the Compact, better known as the Bas Relief. The park and monument date from 1920, the 300th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landfall. The 170-foot-wide park property, once occupied by houses, was taken by the state to create a vista of the Pilgrim Monument. The bronze relief, 16 by 9 feet, was designed by Cyrus Dallin and cast by the Gorham Manufacturing Company. It had a haunting quality in the winter of 2015, when Det. Rich Alves of the Provincetown Police Department captured it in this photo. (Nota bene: It’s a color photo.) Nearby are a memorial to five Mayflower passengers who died while the ship lay in the harbor, and a tablet with the compact’s text, in which some see early stirrings of American democracy. Years ago, other stirrings in the densely wooded park involved sexual escapades, some of whose participants ended up in jail — just across Bradford Street in Town Hall.
¶ Adapted from Building Provincetown (2015). ¶ Image by and courtesy of Det. Rich Alves, Provincetown Police Department.