A fine lubricant for precision instruments was oil from the heads of pilot whales (blackfish). And the most prized binding agent for volatile perfumes was the waxy substance ambergris, secreted inside sperm whales. David Stull, who lived at No. 472, traded in whale oil but was best known as the Ambergris King. Contrary to the plaque out front, the house was not built by Sylvanus Cook, according to George Bryant, though it was the home of Nathaniel Cook. It passed from Stull, through his daughter, Mary (Stull) MacIntyre, to his grandson, D. Stuart MacIntyre. Munro “Mun” Moore, a founder of the Fine Arts Work Center, and Mary Moore, of the Center for Coastal Studies, purchased it in 1966. The best thing about the Moore property is its front lawn, that broad expanse with a swing set across the street at 477 Commercial; quiet, generous, expansive, and undeveloped.
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.