857 Commercial Street

857 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

857 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

“Everyone deserves a vacation — you don’t gouge people,” Prof. Joshua Arthur “J. A.” Ainsworth liked to say. That was how he and his family have run the Ainsworth Cottages at Beach Point since 1957. They are like comfortable dune shacks; modest almost to the point of being primitive, in an incomparable natural setting. The cottages rented for about $700 a week in 2008, when I interviewed Linda Ainsworth. She told me that the professor taught mechanical and textile engineering at what is now UMass Lowell. An old friend of his worked for E. Bennett Beede, who owned this small cottage colony, known in the 1940s as the Beede Cottages. Ainsworth acquired the five Beede cottages, bought three more and constructed another. He and Ruth Ainsworth had three children: David (Linda’s husband), Kevin, and Susan (Ainsworth) Schechter.

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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