On Freeman Street

Douglas N. Trumbo Memorial, by Jackson Lambert, Freeman Street, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap. 
Douglas N. Trumbo Memorial, by Jackson Lambert, Freeman Street, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap.Douglas N. Trumbo Memorial

What would otherwise have been the dull sides of a small, utilitarian pump house were transformed by the artist Jackson Lambert (1919-2011) into a whimsical, fanciful and nearly three-dimensional graphic history of Provincetown, beginning with the arrival of Thorvald Ericsson (whether he arrived or not). There are cats and a seagull, salt works and a lobster trap, the Mayflower and the Monument and the Methodist church, all rendered like mosaic tiles on masonry blocks.

This delightful work of public art serves as a memorial to Douglas N. Trumbo (1950-1996), a district chief and E.M.T. paramedic who is described on the commemorative plaque as a “gentle friend of those in need.” In The Banner, Kevin Mullaney said Trumbo was “very much the face of the Provincetown Rescue Squad.” He and his wife, Susan, had arrived in town in 1973. Trumbo was a carpenter by trade. He died of Lou Gehrig’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Douglas N. Trumbo Memorial, by Jackson Lambert, Freeman Street, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap. 

The installation of the plaque was the work of Anton “Napi” Van Dereck Haunstrup, the proprietor of Napi’s, across the street, with which Lambert was very much involved. Napi also employed the Trumbos’ son, Sam.

This is also a memorial to Lambert, a sly and witty artist whose paintings and drawings are well known to Provincetown insiders but little known to visitors — except in this moment of happy grace, complete with benches for a contemplative pause.

[The pump house technically occupies the town-owned lot on which the former Public Library sits, 330 Commercial Street, and does not have a Freeman Street number.]

One thought on “On Freeman Street

  1. I’ve often wondered what, if anything, is done to maintain this building’s painted facade. And once you pass it headed for Bradford there is the undulating painted wall that Jackson did.

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