496 Commercial Street

The nobility of this house, set off in a generous yard, draws our eyes. What made it remarkable in the late 18th century was its full second story, under a hipped (rather than gabled) roof, which earned it the name “Captain’s House.” The single, central chimney hints of its great age.

In the late 1800s, it was the home of Henry T. Dyer, a seaman, and Susan J. Dyer. As the Dude Ranch nightclub in the 1930s, it employed a black orchestra — though more as a novelty than as a blow for social progress. Alice Douglas Kelly ran the Cape Cod School of Writing here in the 1940s. Thomas Fitzpatrick turned it into the Ancient Mariner restaurant in the ’50s. Recently, it belonged to Michael A. Tye, president and C.E.O. of United Liquors, who was instrumental in founding the Harbor to the Bay AIDS Charity Bike Ride but died in 2003, just before the inaugural ride.






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