William Greason (1884-1945)

The name of the town, Wellfleet, is believed to be derived from “whale fleet”. By the early 18th Century, Wellfleet had become a major whaling center, with a large fleet of whaling ships. Already famous for its oysters, King George III (1738-1820) had Wellfleet oysters layered with seaweed to keep them moist and packed in barrels which were then shipped to England. The excellence of Wellfleet oysters continues to be celebrated at the annual OysterFest in October. Beginning in the late 19th Century artists and writers congregated in Wellfleet, creating a vibrant intellectual community. Many noted artists, writers, and architects have chosen Wellfleet for their homes, and art galleries are still a major draw for Wellfleet visitors. The establishment of the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961 resulted in much of Wellfleet, including the Herring River basin and the kettle ponds, being preserved under environmental protection policies of the National Park Service.