This appears to be (as the Provincetown Historic Survey confirms), a fine and important relic of old, old Provincetown: the wharfhead building of the N. C. Brooks wharf, constructed around 1840. Brooks’s was a multipurpose enterprise. In the 1860s and early 1870s, it advertised principally as a lumber dealer, variously at the addresses 95, 97 and 98; all of which are in this immediate vicinity (though they don’t correspond to the current street numbering system). By 1878, Brooks styled itself a “general commission merchant and dealer in fruits, vegetables, groceries, wood and straw” and as an agent for Cape Cod Express. The property was acquired in 1953 by Prof. Jacques Léon Salvan of Wayne State University, the author of the The Scandalous Ghost: Sartre’s Existentialism as Related to Vitalism, Humanism, Mysticism, Marxism, among other works. The property is still owned by the Salvan 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.