3 Central Street

"Provincetown Tower," by Oliver Newberry Chaffee (1931), courtesy of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

“Provincetown Tower,” by Oliver Newberry Chaffee (1931), courtesy of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

3 Central Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

3 Central Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

Doug Johnstone, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Doug Johnstone, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

With bold palette and forms, Oliver Newberry Chaffee was a “modern before modernism was popular,” Ross Moffett said. His Fauvism, good enough to get him into the 1913 Armory Show, could not disguise tremendous affection for his subjects. He married Ada Gilmore, a pioneer of the white-line wood-block print. Chaffee lived here through the early 1940s. Douglas Johnstone and Edward Terrill bought the house in 1993. Johnstone became town clerk in 2004, issuing some of the first marriage licenses to couples of the same sex and confronting Gov. Mitt Romney, who sought to prevent out-of-state couples from marrying in Massachusetts. He has also opened town records and archives through the online Provincetown History Preservation Project.


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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