31 Court Street

31 Court Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

31 Court Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Joseph Steele, from Duane Steele.

Joseph Steele, from Duane Steele.

This is a full Cape of great age — the early 1800s — and noble lineage. It was for a brief while the home of the owner of the Winthrop Farm, just up the road a piece, one of the last working farms within town limits, up and into the 1930s. He was Joseph Silveira Steele (pictured), who was born with the family name Furtado on Pico in the Azores, arriving in this country in the early 1880s. He changed his name — or it was changed for him by immigration officials. “Furtado” means “stolen” in Portuguese. It’s not too great a distance from “steal” to “steel.” Joseph himself later added the last “e.” Steele found work on the farm of Jerome Smith (namesake of Jerome Smith Road), which was known as the Winthrop Farm. It occupied the area roughly west and north of the Winthrop Street Cemetery. Steele and his family were living on Court Street by 1901.


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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