506 Commercial Street

Johnny and Tillie Jason, from Lorne Russell, through Joel Grozier.

Johnny and Tillie Jason, from Lorne Russell, through Joel Grozier.

Tillie’s Store was opened in the 1940s by Matilda “Tillie” Jason and her husband, Johnny Jason (pictured). It was a grocery store unlike any other because, among other things, it offered a seat caning service — Peter Manso said in 2012 that Tillie’s caning on his mother’s rocker was still good — and the works of Harry Kemp, each “signed with a seagull’s feather” by the author. “They sold candy to kids at a monetary loss,” Daniel Kearney recalled, “because (quoting my Dad who was quoting John): ‘A kid has to be able to buy something for a penny.’” Ginny McKenna, or “Ginny Jewels,” the proprietor of Small Pleasures, bought the property from the Jason family in 1990 and greatly altered it.


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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