60 Commercial Street

 
A classic full Cape, built around 1790, according to the Historic District Survey, citing the plaque on the house. There is also on the property, but much more easily visible on Atwood Avenue, a former workshop and cottage (Historic District Survey) with a trapezoidal plan that makes for a wonderfully odd facade. The property was owned for many years by the fearless Robenia F. Anthony (b ±1879), a school teacher in Springfield, Mass., and a national director of Progressive Citizens of America, which broke with the Democratic Party over concerns that the Truman Doctrine of containment of the Soviet Union and its allies was the real threat to world peace. 

“Truman is still at the feet of the military brass hats and the Wall Street bankers,” Miss Anthony said in 1948. “It is an outrage to demand that families be broken up and your boys torn from their homes to continue the bankrupt Truman Doctrine” (“Terms Truman’s Talk Hysterical,” The Advocate, 25 March 1948). Five years later, she refused to tell the Senate Internal Security subcommittee whether she had been active in the Communist movement, “to protect myself and others from incrimination and even the possibility of future harassing prosecution” (“Four Refuse to Reply,” The New York Times, 27 March 1953). Another occupant at No. 60 in this period was William H. Adams (d 1951), who had been the manager of the Provincetown Theater, He opened the Sand Bar Restaurant in the West End after World War II.

Nancy Poucher, who lives in the rear cottage, sets up a table full of fresh-cut flowers and vegetables on summer days, prices as marked. Passers-by can leave money in a little honor box and walk off with a pretty bouquet, or the beginnings of a very tasty salad. ¶ Updated 2014-08-27

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