473 Commercial Street

473 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

473 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Miriam and Donald MacMillan, courtesy of the Provincetown History Preservation Project.

Miriam and Donald MacMillan, courtesy of the Provincetown History Preservation Project.

The town’s most famous native son, Rear Adm. Donald MacMillan, was an intrepid and imaginative Arctic explorer, anthropologist, geographer, and naturalist. His goal was “to bring back to scholars of all kinds bits of useful knowledge about this little-known great domain.” In nine journeys, he was joined by his wife, Miriam Look MacMillan. Though he traveled more than 300,000 miles, he lived just blocks from where he was born, 524 Commercial. His memorabilia are at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. MacMillan Wharf is named for him. This building was originally the barracks for the Long Point batteries. Its owners, Christopher Pula and Thomas Biggert, have treated it respectfully and preserved its lovely eccentricities.


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.

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