351 Commercial Street

Former Fire House No. 5 | Good Scents for the Body

There are French doors these days on the truck bay, and it’s hard to imagine that the men who manned the Fire Department’s chemical extinguisher truck could have foreseen a time when the chemicals at No. 351 would be manufactured by Roger & Gallet and Caswell-Massey. But the bright red paint job helps evoke this building’s past as a fire house, which was in service until sometime in the mid 1940s. The building received differing designations over the years, depending in part on the equipment housed there, but it is referred to as No. 5 in a number of accounts.

It was constructed in the very early 1850s, according to Old Cape Cod Firehouses. Members of the copanies stationed here included Manuel J. Gaspar and Clarence R. Benson. The photograph from 1946 shows it as the “Chemical” house (as opposed to water pumpers). The town sold it in the late 1960s.

The building has been owned by 2005 by Roberta Cornette and Evelynn “Lin” Gentemann. Gentemann is the proprietor of Good Scents, which specializes in high-end health and beauty aids. Cornette and Gentemann are also principals in the Birdie Silkscreen Studio nearby.

The old fire house one end of a tax lot with four buildings on it. The other three, covered in separate entries, are owned by Nelson A. Hitchcock III and Corey Kustes.

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