May 14 - 1978: Entire Provincetown postal staff arrested

1990: Cape Cod was an auction lovers' cornucopia along with under $5 lunches
Postmaster, five clerks charged with embezzlement & fraud. File postcard of that era.

1978: Entire Provincetown Postal Staff Arrested

Postmaster Jasper Stoddard, five clerks charged with embezzlement & fraud

On this day in 1978,  newspapers all over America reported that the postmaster of the Cape Cod resort town of Provincetown and his entire clerical staff had been arrested and charged in connection with embezzlement of post office funds.

The culprits faced ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

After the six suspects were carted off to the court in Barnstable, there were only four letter-carriers left in the Ptown P.O on the right.

According to the story below, investigators monitored the goings-on at the post office through a slot in the wall.

It was thought to be the only time in US history when an entire US Post Office staff was arrested.


1990: Cape Cod is a Shopper's World

A Guide to Cape Cod's Auctions and under $5 lunches

This week in 1990 the New York Times was extolling our auctions saying:

"Auctions on Cape Cod, a year-round phenomenon, are a cross between shopping, work and dinner theater. In fact, they combine the best of all three: you can shop sitting down, play the commodities market with real commodities that you carry home in the trunk of your car, catch a comedy act without paying a cover charge and eat for under $5."

The writer went on to say that if you bid, a host of treasures can be yours. If you don't, there's vicarious fun in watching desire and thrift square off in other bidders' hearts. All auctions offer these pleasures, but how they unfold - in a crowded barn thick with the smell of fried Portuguese sausage or in an elegant, 19th century sea captain's house - varies from auction to auction.

Here's a little more of the text with a link below to the rest:

"On the advice of antique dealer friends, I sampled five auctions that cover the scale of most traveler's budgets and interests and don't intimidate people like me who know a little about antiques but aren't experts. There were bargains for every price range: a red armchair that sold for $5 at the Merlyn Auction in North Harwich and Oriental rugs that went for an average of $5,000 at the Eldred Auction in East Dennis. I also sat in on the Sandwich and Hyannis auctions and the Sullivan Auction in Acushnet"...  New York Times. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on