Though there have been other claimants as “Oldest House,” No. 72 is certainly among the oldest structures still standing in town, having been built around 1746-50, and is worth attention as a fine example of a full Cape. Note how the windows abut the eaves, which is a sign of age. Seth Nickerson was a ship’s carpenter and built his house of shipwreck salvage. The artists Elizabeth (Jenkinson) Waugh and F. Coulton Waugh owned the house and opened it to the public, with his Ship Model Shop and her Hooked Rug Shop. John and Vivienne (Wing) Whorf lived here in the 1940s. John Gregory, a painter, printmaker, and photographer, and his wife, Adelaide Gregory, a concert pianist, bought the house in 1944 and kept it open to the public. The house changed hands in 1995 and was restored by the architect Robert Neiley.
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.