19 Pearl Street

19 Pearl Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

19 Pearl Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Mark Doty, by Sue Harrison.

Mark Doty, by Sue Harrison.

Edward Doty arrived in Provincetown in 1620, signed the Compact and was off to Plymouth. Three hundred and seventy years later, his descendant, the poet Mark Doty (pictured), arrived with his partner, Wally Roberts, a year after Roberts had tested positive for H.I.V. “We found ourselves smitten with the coastal clutter of boarded shops and clapboard houses along the curve of the bay,” Doty wrote in Heaven’s Coast. The next year, they bought this three-quarter Cape after discovering a forgotten fireplace, papered over and hidden by a bureau, in an upstairs bedroom. “It was then that we fell in love,” Doty wrote, “and the making of home again began to be a project and a refuge.” Roberts died in 1994. Doty stayed on another dozen years. The house figures in poems in his books Atlantis, School of the Arts, Sweet Machine, and Source (“Essay: The Love of Old Houses”).


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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