39 Ship’s Way Road

"House on a Dune" (1997), by John Dowd.

“House on a Dune” (1997), by John Dowd.

The ghostliest building in town may be the house on the hill at 39 Ship’s Way Road, forlorn and hollow-eyed, looming in decrepit chalky majesty over Shank Painter Road. It has inspired the artists John Dowd and Deborah Martin. Like a ghost, this structure is uprooted. It stood at Bradford and Montello as the home of Capt. Ulysses Simmons, a trapboat skipper, and his wife, Mary (Silva) Simmons. Not long after Mrs. Simmons died in 1965, her grief-stricken 37-year-old daughter, Louise, took her own life in this house. A sense of sorrow is still palpable.


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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