As the only such business in town any longer, the Gately Funeral Home may be said to be the Great Leveler’s great leveler, since just about everyone passes through on their way to their final resting place, from Provincetown’s humblest citizen to its best-known resident, Norman Mailer. The business was established in 1985 by David McHoul (pictured on his tombstone), a Boston native and Vietnam veteran who had spent 20 running an embalming service with his brother. After he died, the funeral home was taken over by William Gately, and briefly known as Gately McHoul. The building began life as a branch of the First National Bank of Cape Cod at 170 Commercial, Steve Roderick told me. The bank moved its outlying branch here from a structure near the Holiday Inn, on Snail Road, but only lasted a short 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.