586 Commercial Street

586 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

586 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Eleanor Roosevelt, from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Eleanor Roosevelt, from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

On the evening of 1 October 1940 — a grim moment in world affairs, as the Germans bombed Britain, and a tense one in national politics, with F.D.R.’s third term at stake — a car pulled up to No. 586, the Colonial Inn. The first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, was at the wheel, accompanied only by her private secretary, Malvina “Tommy” Thompson. The Advocate reported that she had come for a short respite “from telephones, turmoil and other distractions.” The Colonial was run by Marjorie Pell Oliver and her husband, Joseph. They later expanded to No. 603, the Colonial Inn Beach House. Raymond and Clara Smeraldo bought this site in 1960 and renamed it the Ship’s Bell Inn and Motel. It was owned from 1971 to 2002 by William and Nancy McNulty and is now a condo.


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s