6 Central Street

The year 1944 saw the death of two giants who lived across the street from one another: Oliver Chaffee from the world of art and, from the mariners’ realm, Capt. George H. Bickers of the United States Life Saving Service, who lived at 6 Central Street, a structure that dates to about 1830. “Captain Bickers belonged to the now fast-vanishing race of men who spent their lives intimately with the seas in the days of sailing vessels with all the dangers attendant upon that traffic,” The Advocate said in his obituary. He came from a time before the Coast Guard’s mechanized equipment, “when rescues were made with brawn and sheer, downright courage.”

Captain Bickers spent several years “before the mast” as a seaman in the coastal trade, then when whaling. At 33, he joined the Life Saving Service and was assigned to the Race Point station. Just after the turn of the century, he was appointed keeper at Wood End. “One disaster followed another near his station soon after he assumed command,” said The Life Savers of Cape Cod (1902), “yet not a life was lost, and nearly every craft was saved from destruction by his brave and vigilant crew.” The 59th anniversary of his wedding to Abbie L. Caton occurred the day before his death. His wife lived until 1955 — as did Ada Gilmore, who was married to Chaffee.

More recently, this was the home of Carrie A. Seaman, the namesake of CASAS – the Carrie A. Seaman Animal Shelter at 5 Sandy Hill Lane, which perpetuates her humanitarian work as one of the founders of the Provincetown Animal Shelter in 1971.

Anthony R. “Tony” Kushner (b 1956), writer of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes and screenwriter of the 2012 movie Lincoln, bought this house in November 2012 for $872,000. ¶ Updated 2012-11-24

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