881 Commercial Street

881 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

881 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Now, this is my idea of a 1920s tourist court (or cottage colony, or auto camp): seven Lilliputian houses gathered in a cozy U. Tourist courts were forerunners of the motel. They sprang up nationwide as travelers relied increasingly on their own autos. Cabins offered numerous benefits. You had only to walk a few steps from your vehicle to your door. You didn’t have to go through a lobby in which your dusty riding clothes might embarrass you. And once inside, you had the privacy of four walls around you, instead of party walls through which to hear and be heard. The Beachcomber Cottages were owned through 1959 by Reginald and Dorothy Schueler, namesakes of nearby Schueler Boulevard. The colony was converted in 1981 into condos.

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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