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First Encounter Beach History

Kennedy Ryan | 11/25/2020

Did you know that Plymouth was not the first place where the Pilgrims met the Native Americans? While the Pilgrims did eventually settle in Plymouth, Eastham was the location of the first encounter between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans.

While on their journey across the Atlantic, the Pilgrims experienced rough weather, prompting them to change their route and head towards what is now Provincetown. During their stop in Provincetown, a small group went on a hunting trip travelling through Eastham. It was here that they came across the Nauset tribe, known to some as the “Cape Cod Indians.” This meeting took place at the beach, giving First Encounter Beach its unique name. While the Nauset tribe does not exist as a tribe today, many members of the community have merged with nearby tribes, such as the Wampanoags. A historic plaque shares information about the first encounter that started it all.

There are about 4,000-5,000 Wampanoag living in New England today, continuing to share the culture and traditions of the tribe. To learn more about the Wampanoag tribes, we recommend visiting Plimouth Patuxet.

First Encounter Beach is known for its vast low tides and sand dunes. During low tide, visitors can walk as far as a mile out into the bay. First Encounter Beach offers swimmers warm, calm waters throughout the summer. This is a perfect beach for the entire family to visit.