Red House, the plaque says – a bit needlessly, since the house is clearly that. A white-on-blue enamel plaque, designed by Claude Jensen, shows a Cape Cod house on a scow on the waves, with the narrow stretch of Long Point and its lighthouse in the distance. That indicates a house that was floated across the harbor from the antebellum settlement on the point. Once called the Gilbert Spencer cottage, 18 Commercial Street was built around 1830. It seems to have acquired its distinctive color in the 1930s, when it was acquired as an annex by the Red Inn, across the road at 15 Commercial Street, which used it to house workers and overflow guests.
This was the property of Dewing Woodward at the turn of the 20th century, when it was denominated 1 Commercial Street. The entire numbering system of Commercial Street was changed in the early 1900s, so readers must always be careful not to confuse 19th-century addresses with 21st-century addresses. Where I’m pretty sure of the concordance between old and new street numbers, I’ve indicated as much in the text.