863 Commercial Street

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

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

Five generations of the Hanscomb and Knott families have called this cottage their summer home. More than a century old, it is one of a cluster of Victorian-era gingerbread homes in a settlement once known as Bangsville. (Another Bangsville was closer to the center of town.) Jennie Hanscomb, the wife of George Sumner Hanscomb, acquired this property in 1898 from Perez and Julia Bangs. Other family members associated with the house have included J. Rex and Helen Hanscomb, Paul and Ruth Hanson (Jacobson) Hanscomb, and Eleanor Jacobson Knott and her husband, Richard Knott. Ms. Knott told me in 2008 that her grandchildren spent summers here, too. Their daughter, Jane, is married to Michael Powell, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and son of Gen. Colin Powell. The Powells’ summer home is nearby.

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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