Monty’s | Phenomena Estate Jewelry & Art
Capt. Alexander “Alec” Kemp (±1854-1946), master of the schooner Sea Fox, was described by The Advocate as the “last great Grand Banks skipper” at the time of his death at the age of 92. He lived at 350 Commercial Street. Born n Cape Breton, he arrived in Provincetown when he was 16 but spent most of his life at sea. (“Funeral Is Held for Captain Kemp; Death Ends Long Voyage of Cape End’s Grand Grand Banker, The Advocate, 17 January 1946.) “For 45 years, he fished on the perilous Grand Banks, making 49 trips in that period, doubling up with two trips a year when demand was good and conditions favorable. He was proud of his most unusual record — as well he might be — that he never lost a vessel, but even more important, never lost a man.”
This was the property of Mrs. Nellie F. Gifford at the turn of the century, when it was denominated 323 Commercial Street.
As The Adult Book Shop, run by Joseph Palladino of Boston, this was the site of a key encounter in 1966 between the forces seeking to liberalize Provincetown and those who wanted to keep it just the way it was. A petition to the Selectmen, with more than 90 signatures, said that while the “Adults Only” sign might protect youngsters, “we must also be protected — as far as possible — from sick adults.” An investigation by Detective Manuel Jason of the Provincetown Police Department, along with members of the District Attorney’s office, concluded that the Adult Book Shop was a perfectly legal operation.
Monty’s, founded in 1992, specializes in Italian and domestic ceramics and pottery, housewares and Christmas ornaments, with a special emphasis on the glass ornaments produced by the Christopher Radko Company. It’s not clear to me at this time whom Monty was; the owner of the building and the properietor of the business is Frederick A. Schulenburg of South Wellfleet. Phenomena opened in the downstairs retail space in 2010, replacing Monty’s II.