10 Cudworth Street

Jessica Lema, home at 10 Cudworth Street with Susan Leonard, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Jessica Lema, home at 10 Cudworth Street with Susan Leonard, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

One of Mrs. Lema's hooked rugs, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

One of Mrs. Lema’s hooked rugs, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Joseph Lema Jr. knew his new wife, Jessica (Grace) Lema (pictured), had her heart set on No. 10. He so loved her that, in 1939, he sold his roadster to finance the purchase. That romantic gesture was amply repaid. Mrs. Lema was still living here in 2011. The house, which may date to the late 1700s, was astonishingly intact, with a birthing room, plank doors, and gravity latches. While raising a family of three — Jessica, Joseph, and Elizabeth (pictured, in a Henry Hensche drawing) — the Lemas saw little need to alter the house, though Mrs. Lema added beautiful hooked rugs. The ship’s-ladder staircase alarmed me. “Surely you don’t use that,” I said. “Oh, no,” the 99-year-old lady assured me. “I haven’t been on those stairs in six months.” She lived to be 100. William Sherr and Estevan Garcia bought the property in 2013 as a second home for themselves and their family of three.

Jessica Lema, by David W. Dunlap.

Jessica Lema, by David W. Dunlap.

Elizabeth Lema, by Henry Hensche.

Elizabeth Lema, by Henry Hensche.


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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