251-253 Commercial Street

251-253 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

251-253 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

One of the most important surviving 19th-century commercial properties, this long, two-story structure — built before 1858 — stood at the head of Young’s Wharf (later Charley Cook’s Wharf). It was the location of the town’s first telegraph office. The women’s Nautilus Club met on the second floor. By 1889, it housed a jewelry shop and a bakery, operated in turn by N. H. Drie and Joshua Small. As Charlie Burch’s Bakery, it endured well into the 20th century. In 1960, Sam Shalom purchased the property. More than a half-century later, Shalom’s Gift Shop is still in business. The Shalom family also owns Nos. 255-257. Together, Tom Boland wrote in the Provincetown Historic Survey, they serve as “unaltered examples of early ‘head of the wharf’ buildings” and “do well to create an idea of the town’s maritime history.”

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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