The Pest House Cemetery in Wellfleet
Just to the north of Route 6E in Provincetown rests the town's smallpox cemetery, known also as 'Pest House Cemetery' and 'No Names Cemetery.' Built in the mid-1800's in response to the spreading epidemic, the historic hollowed grounds are now being lost to the wilderness.
The smallpox cemetery consists of 14 small numbered markers and the depression left from the now demolished "Pest House." Back in the 1800s, pestilence houses, or Pest Houses, were known as small treatment buildings for those plagued with smallpox. At this particular Pest House site, 14 people perished from the disease. The grave markers display no names, but the records are kept in the town's "Book of the Dead."
Built near Clapps Pond and at the bottom of a steep ravine in the scrub forest, the picturesque location tempers the terrible fate of the doomed occupants of the Pest House. Today the cemetery is being taken over by a grove of American Beech trees, and the shifting sands of Cape Cod.