George’s Path was the path long ago taken by George Holmes (b ±1905), who lived at 48 Winslow Street, to get to St. Peter’s Church. Members of the Holmes family played a significant role in the area between Winslow and Shank Painter Road, much of which they owned. Paul Mendes, who lives on part of what was once the Holmes farm, filled me in on the fascinating story in 2013.
George’s parents, Joseph Robert Holmes (±1862-1951) and Josephine (Pereira) Holmes (b ±1864), were both born on Pico, in the Azores. He arrived in Provincetown around 1882 and she followed four years later. They were wed in 1889 and had at least seven children besides George. The Holmes property extended all the way to the traffic lights on Route 6, Mendes said.
Tragically, their 12-year-old Joseph was killed in 1908 by a falling window pane when part of the ruins of the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church, 170 Commercial Street, collapsed after a spectacular fire. Mendes said that even though the boy was already dead, his father carried him home to Winslow Street, telling Josephine only that young Joseph had been hurt. He then placed his son’s body on the couch and ran off in grief.
Another son was killed while sledding on Monument Hill, Mendes said. And another son, Gabriel, lost his son, James J. Holmes, in World War II. A few days after word reached town in March 1945 that James, an Army private, was missing, The Advocate received — obviously by slower mail — a request from the serviceman to please be certain to keep mailing the newspaper to his A.P.O. address “because I missed it an awful lot.”
Kathleen C. “Kathy” Meads (b 1949) took care of George Holmes in his old age, Mendes said, and he gave her the land around his path, which she has subsequently developed as a nine-lot condominium subdivision known as George’s Path. Perhaps its best-known resident to date was Schuyler “Ted” Meyer (±1943-2009), who served as chief of police in Provincetown from 2002 to 2007. He lived in one of the two units composing No. 4, shown in the picture.
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