“I have called Provincetown my home since 1973, when I sought refuge there from my homophobic parents,” Susan Cayleff wrote in 2007 in the Journal of the History of Sexuality. “While I have lived and earned a living elsewhere, my home there is my true place of belonging.” For Cayleff, “elsewhere” is San Diego State University, where she is a professor of women’s studies and the director of the master’s program. “Home” is this splendidly eccentric structure at 24 Mechanic, which she purchased in 1981 from Howard Vogel, who’d bought it 13 years earlier from its longtime owners, the Pereira family. Cayleff’s books include Wash and Be Healed: The Water-Cure Movement and Women’s Health and Babe Didrikson: The Greatest All-Sport Athlete of All Time.
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.