560 Commercial Street

If you graduated from Provincetown High School in recent decades, you might owe an indirect debt of gratitude to this house. Its sale upon the death of Celia Francis in 1983 helped create, as her bequest directed, the $800,000 John Anderson Francis Family Scholarship Fund, which has annually awarded financial aid to eligible students bound for two- and four-year colleges. Francis was herself a graduate of P.H.S. in 1921 and used a scholarship she’d been awarded to attend Boston University. Her father, John A. Francis, was the proprietor of Francis’s Flats at 577 Commercial; most famously the lodging of Eugene O’Neill. The scholarship awards come only from interest. In 2011, the fund was carrying a balance of $1.2 million according to the committee chairwoman, Gail S. Browne.

3 thoughts on “560 Commercial Street

  1. A book could be written about the Francis Flats and all of the artists who spent time there. At the time, it was referred to as “Garbage Gables” – much to to chagrin of those who moved in after a major renovation. John Francis had his office on the first floor. He was a major patron of the arts due to the fact that he charged a pittance for his places, which were a hot bed of creativity.

  2. The house 560 and cottage behind 560A belong to Evelyn Simon who won it in a lottery. The big house rents to servers in town. The cottage is used by Evelyn’s landscaper/caretaker along with the garage that fronts on Bradford Street.

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