No matter what the guide books say about 72 Commercial Street, the question has never been fully settled as to what house is the oldest in Provincetown. Several claimants, however, have disappeared in recent decades, including 3 King’s Way.
“This house is reputed to have been a stagecoach stop in the late 18th and early 19th century,” Josephine Del Deo wrote in her 1977 analysis of the property. (The black-and-white photos are hers.) “It is locally thought to be one of the oldest houses in the town, and its central chimney and many of its interior features would attest to this.”
It was occupied formerly by the grandmother of the present owner [Louise Edwards], and has been in the family for many years. The interior changes are minimal and many of the old floor boards are intact in the living room. Fireplace side cupboards, horizontal wainscoting and low windows indicate antiquity. The house is in poor condition, but it has been altered very little.
Tracking down information on this house can be especially tricky because it was denominated 47A Pleasant Street in the early 20th century. Further complicating the search are the multiple ways in which the owners’ names were spelled. Nonetheless, from Del Deo’s account, Barnstable County records and articles in The Advocate, it seems possible to say that it had been owned at least since 1908 by Boras (or Bras) Tarvis (or Tarvers or Tarvares) and his wife, Gertrude Tarvis (or Tarvares) (±1861-±1949).
Its history is tied closely to that of 7 King’s Way.
The property at No. 3 passed from Mrs. Tarvis in 1949 to Louise Gomes Tarvis (Prince) Edwards (b 1898), the wife of Frank Henry Edwards (b ±1896), a trap fisherman, who had lived at 7 King’s Way, which was then denominated 34 Conant Street — to make an already clouded historical record even more opaque. Both Frank and Louise Edwards were listed at the 47A Pleasant Street address in the 1975 town census, but Mrs. Edwards was alone at No. 47A by the 1981 census. She was also shown there in the 1985 census. Mrs. Edwards appeared on King’s Way in the 1990 town census, too, but at No. 7 (the former 34 Conant Street and home of her husband, Frank).
Both No. 3 and No. 7 are now owned by Thomas Edwards and his wife, Bethany Tasha (b 1964). As of 2012, she was living here with Cody J. Edwards (b 1993). The house that currently stands at No. 3 (pictured in color) dates to 1996, according to the Assessor’s Online Database. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-02-23