11 Hobson Avenue

11 Hobson Avenue, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

11 Hobson Avenue, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Robert Stephan Mason, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Robert Stephan Mason, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

The true summer cottage — built of uninsulated plank walls and all but uninhabitable in cold weather — has almost vanished. And not many of the remaining cottages carry the provenance of No. 11, which has been in the Stephan-Mason family for three generations and is still where Robert Stephan Mason (pictured) spends summers with his wife, Audrey. His mother, Miriam (Stephan) Mason, ran Mason’s, a casual dining spot nearby. His grandfather moved this cottage and two others by train from a church camp off Cape, Marianne Boswell told me. Apart from his years in the Navy, as chief engineer on the U.S.S. Enoree, Mason said he hasn’t missed a summer in Provincetown since he was an infant in the late 1920s. “There used to be buses, but we never got into town very much,” he recalled, looking out over a panoramic seascape from his cozy porch. “If you have this, you don’t need a town.”


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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