If Provincetown has a maritime museum, it’s spread across the yards of these abutting homes, owned by Paul Mendes and Victoria (Andrews) Mendes, where a collection of memorabilia is on display. Paul served in Vietnam as a Marine and was a Provincetown police officer for 30 years. Since 1995, he has cleaned out houses, basements, attics, and yards, preparing properties for disposition. Victoria’s father, Joseph Andrews, is one of the town’s leading boatwrights. With that heritage, and an interest in town history, Mendes has collected anchors and chains, mooring buoys, bollards, cannons, ship’s wheels, portholes, lobster traps, and at least one yard arm. He also found a pair of bronze plaques by William Boogar Jr. for an enclosure around the Pilgrims’ landing marker. They are no longer on display. He donated them in 2010 to the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.
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.