730 Commercial Street

Roger D. Skillings, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Roger D. Skillings, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

In 1998, the writers Roger D. Skillings (pictured) and Heidi Jon Schmidt, former fellows of the Fine Arts Work Center, bought this house, built in 1956 by Paul Foss. In P-town Stories or the Meatrack, Where the Time Goes, Obsidian, and How Many Die, his is the voice of voiceless Provincetown, of those who peer dimly at the midday world through a haze of fantastic despond, of a rambunctious town now largely lost. Here he is on fishing: “You’re down in the hold fillin baskets with fish, thirty tons a fish, you’re up to your knees, I didn’t even have no boots. You stickum in the basket with this gaff, then you handum up through the hatch. Some guy’s up there eatin donuts. I filled one of um too full, big fuckin fish fell out and hit me on the head. Hey! First time in my life I ever got hit on the head with a fish.” Two of Schmidt’s works of fiction, The House on Oyster Creek and The Harbormaster’s Daughter, are set on the outer Cape.

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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