During the Long Point diaspora of the mid-19th century, the settlement’s most prominent public buildings made it across the harbor. This had been the school house. Upon landing, it became the Post Office. From the 1880s into the 20th century, it was D. A. Matheson’s Ready-Made and Custom Clothing and Boot and Shoe Emporium. Arnold Dwyer bought the property in the late 1930s, making room for Arnold’s Radio and Cycle Shop and two other tenants on the ground floor. He and his wife, Ruth, lived upstairs. In 1949, an arsonist set a blaze that left the enormous structure a complete loss. Arnold’s is still in business on this site, but on a far more modest scale.
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.