4 Conant Street

 
Grand View Inn

The Grand View Inn, owned and run by Jeffrey Haley and his partner, Gary Vance, is one of those increasingly rare accommodations of modest ambition and moderate price. The property, which runs through to Montello Street, consists of a main house dated by the Historic District Survey as 1870 to 1890, but said by the owners and the Assessor’s Online Database to have been built before the Civil War. Perpendicular to the big house is a smaller cottage with a shed dormer that the Historic District Survey says is from the 1850s.

Four Conant was the home in the 1950s and early 1960s of Joaquin T. Russe (±1911-1967) and Mary C. “Lil” (Amaral) Russe (±1913-2003). Young Joaquin had been a member of the Provincetown High School 440-yard relay team in 1931 that won the first sports trophy cup brought back to the new school building.

Russe operated a ham radio station, WILRO, in the late ’30s, when he lived at 120 Commercial Street. His later career was as a television repairman. He also served as the recording secretary of the local Knights of Columbus council in the 1950s, in which role it was his duty each spring to remind businesses to close from noon to 3 p.m. on Good Friday, “to allow your employees to spend these solemn hours in prayer and meditation and to respect the tremendous event that took place during these hours some 1900 years ago.” His wife was the daughter of Michael Amaral and Virginia (Perry) Amaral. She spent much of her career as a telephone operator but also worked at Herman Robinson’s clothing store, 280 Commercial, and Adams Pharmacy.

By the late 1980s, the property was operated as the Richmond Inn. It was acquired in 2006 by Vance Haley Properties Realty Trust for $1.225 million. Haley and Vance had come from Atlanta and New Orleans, where they had done business in mortgages and real estate. Under their proprietorship, the Grand View offers 12 rooms on three floors of the main house, as well as a cottage and a ground-floor unit in the Jones Locker condominium at 45 Commercial Street. The third-floor rooms — described on the inn’s Web site in 2012 either as “comfy” or “cozy” or “cute” — could be booked at the height of the summer for as little as $110 a night.

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