512 Commercial Street

Former Simeon C. Smith, Groceries and Provisions

One of Provincetown’s loveliest old storefronts — ornamented by some marvelous millwork including the sunburst brackets shown above — hasn’t housed a retail business for many years, though it still plainly conveys its history as a neighborhood gathering spot. More than a century ago, it was the grocery and provision store of Simeon C. Smith (1845-1921), who married Emily F. Atkins in 1871 and is buried in the old Gifford Cemetery.

Patricia Van Dereck operated a shop here in the early 1930s. In 1938, a business here advertised itself as “Provincetown’s Only Delicatessen,” but didn’t give a name. It was briefly Al’s Tailor Shop and then Souza Silver in the late 1940s, which also sold sandals, bags, belts and denim skirts. The property has been owned since 1946 by John J. Alexander and his estate.





2 thoughts on “512 Commercial Street

  1. Written in concrete/cement at the front door is the word SOOZ, enclosed in a heart.

    My mother always said it was a shop owned by John Philip Sousa’s daughter. The shop part, yes. Not sure of the JPS part!

  2. The lady that owned/operated the shop was Irene Sousa. The area in front where you enter is the heart shape with the nickname my grandfather, John J. Alexander, “Sooz”. What was interesting, though, is who did the concrete before my grandfather put that heart there. I noticed, one day when I was sweeping the front, the very faint initials far off to the right, “W.A.”. His father’s, my great grandfather’s, name was Warren Alexander. Wondering if they both constructed this and my grandfather later put that heart in place. Somehow, I’ll have to find out.

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