Manuel Lopes was born on Christmas Day 1892 in Olhao, Portugal. A little more than 25 years later, he was killed in the Battle of Château-Thierry in France, fighting for the United States. In between, he had come of age in Provincetown, where he is remembered in the name of the central square (pronounced “lōps,” not “lō-pĕz”). The centerpiece is a 10½-foot-long anchor, made in 1801, that was recovered by Cap’n Bill in 1959 off Chatham. An anchor of that shank length would most likely be 11 hundredweight, used as a kedge anchor on a large vessel, a stream anchor on a medium vessel, or a bower anchor on a small vessel. At Christmas time, the square is ornamented by a lobster pot tree assembled by the artist Julian Popko and his family.
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.