244 Route 6

244 Route 6, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

244 Route 6, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Opposite Shank Painter Road, across Route 6, is a large clearing. If you go there, you’ll not only be stepping back into history, you may even be stepping on Cuban soil. This was Evans Field, built in 1905 for the North Atlantic Fleet, under Rear Adm. Robley “Fighting Bob” Evans, as a place for sailors to let off steam athletically. Legend has it that Cuban soil, brought to the Cape as ballast in the warships, was used to grade and fill what had been Joseph Holmes’s cranberry bog. The Navy quickly departed but the field was used by Provincetown High School at least into the 1960s, if not longer. Eventually, however, the perennial fight against the bog was abandoned. You can still see a batting cage, but watch your tracks getting there. There are old wooden benches hiding in the tall grass.

More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

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