472/477 Commercial Street

472 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

472 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

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.

477 Commercial Street, the front yard of 472 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

477 Commercial Street, the front yard of 472 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).


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.

One thought on “472/477 Commercial Street

  1. I just noticed the front walk at 472, all broken and cracked. Mary Moore must be keeping it as a relic, because that walk was there, just as it is now, as far back as 1942, the earliest memory I have. It was just as old and cracked then as it is now. My grandmother, Mary Law (formerly Mary S. MacIntyre) always said she was going to get it replaced, but she never did. Just a point of interest. Even now, I still remember the many happy days I spent there as a child.

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