Readers of Provincetown: From Pilgrim Landing to Gay Resort, by Karen Christel Krahulik, will quickly recognize Amelia (Rego) Carlos, who opens the book as the personification of Portuguese women who long ago rented rooms — without qualms — to gay and lesbian visitors. She was born on São Miguel in the Azores, came to town and, in 1931, married Frank Carlos Jr. She was a dishwasher at the Pilgrim House, housekeeper to the artist Charles Kaeselau, waitress at the Provincetown Inn, clerk at Malchman’s clothing store and the Patrician general store, and night clerk at the Moors. She picked and sold blueberries, and bottled her own beach plum jam. And she ran this cottage colony, Amelia’s Little Cottages, in three small shacks that her husband built in the 1940s. Guests knew her affectionately as Madame Carlos. Or Mother Superior.
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.