† 19 Off Conwell Street

Advertisement in The Provincetown Advocate, 4 September 1947. From Provincetown Online: The Advocate Live!, by the Provincetown Public Library.One day, “Colonel Corn” set out from his little estate off the State Road to make a trip downtown. He must have dozed off, because the old nag was proceeding slowly but heedlessly down Arch Street — until Officer Veara shouted out to the Colonel that he was going the wrong way on a one-way street. “Tell it to the horse,” Colonel Corn said, by way of reply. “He can’t read.”

You can’t make this stuff up and, happily, because this is Provincetown, you don’t have to. “Colonel Corn” was the nickname for a laborer and truck farmer otherwise known as Manuel Silva (b 1880), who had a decent-sized estate in what is now the enclave called Off Conwell Street. “His barn was roughly where the house is,” Robert K. Russell, the current owner of this parcel, told me in 2013. Despite the colorful moniker, Silva seemed to be more identified in the 1940s with cranberries than with corn. His daughter, Mary Helen (Silva) Ventura, who sold Russell the property, lived until 1999. ¶ Posted 2013-05-26

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