Civil War batteries
During the Civil War, concerned about the Confederate navy trying to blockade the harbor, the federal government erected a three-gun earthwork battery at the tip of Long Point and a five-gun earthwork battery about 1,800 feet to the southwest. Because the Long Point batteries never saw wartime duty, townsfolk called them Fort Useless and Fort Ridiculous. They were under the charge of Sgt. John Rosenthal and were not decommissioned until 1873, after which the barracks were brought over to 473 Commercial. Both fortifications are discernible as flat-topped mounds. The battery near the lighthouse is where the Beachcombers erected their memorial to Staff Sgt. Charles Darby.
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.