In the 1880s, this property was owned by David Conwell, an agent and investor who represented whaling and cod-fishing vessels. Dexter Ross (pictured) bought it in 1977 and ran it, with Rick Mount, as Dexter’s Guest House. In an especially bold step for its time, Ross helped found the gay- and lesbian-centered Provincetown Business Guild in 1978. He sold this business in 1987, retired to Florida, and died in 2014. The 15-room hotel reopened in 2013 as the Salt House Inn, under Kevin O’Shea, founding principal of Kevin O’Shea Designs, and David Bowd, chief operating officer of André Balazs Properties. They had earlier renovated 157 Commercial. In the bedroom of one suite, they installed a bathtub — not necessarily to keep things clean.
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.