If you blinked, you missed the Shankpainter Children’s Zoo, owned and run by Ruth (Watson) Dutra (left) and David Raboy. But if you went there, from 1972 to 1975, you’ll surely remember it. No mere petting zoo, it was home to an anteater, sloth bears, a black bear, a cinnamon bear, a 7½-foot boa constrictor, fallow deer, English spotted deer, sika deer, jaguars (“probably our biggest handful,” Ruth told me), llamas, mongooses, spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, a macaque, macaws, toucans, parrots, peacocks, pheasants, Barbados sheep, timber wolves, and a mountain lion named Kitty, three months old in this picture, whom Ruth walked along Winthrop Street on a leash. A little barn for a pony named Maggie is all that remains. Ruth’s daughter, RuthAnne Cowing (right), is the town’s animal control officer.
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.