19 Alden Street

 
Until recent years, the Greek Revival entryway of this house seemed deformed by hard existence. And not without reason. In 1942, Antone Guereiro — a 56-year-old fisherman from Olhao, Portugal, who’d lived in town for 30 years — shipped out from this home as a crew member of a trawler dragging the Crab Ledge grounds. As the boat headed home, about 10 miles off Chatham, he was standing on the stern one moment and, in the next, he was gone. Overboard. He left a wife and three children.

The house holds happier memories, too. It was the home from 1964 to 2005 of Francis G. “Molly” Joseph (±1929-2006) and his wife, Virginia “Gina” (Menengas) Joseph (±1928-2008). (“Francis ‘Molly’ Joseph, 77,” The Banner, 20 April 2006; “Virginia Joseph, 80,” The Banner, 28 August 2008.)

“Molly” drove the trolley that hauled fish from the end of Freeman’s Wharf to the tramway serving the giant Atlantic Coast Fisheries plant (better known as the Cape Cod Cold Storage) at 125 Commercial. The motive power was provided by an old Ford Model A that had been fitted with train wheels, Mel Joseph recalled in 2010. (Mel Joseph, “The Cape Cod Cold Storage and Freeman’s Wharf,” Provincetown Portuguese Festival 2010.) It could haul several cars, from which fish were deposited into the baskets that traveled up the tramway into the third floor of the processing plant. He made the same trip, hour after hour, day after day, year after year. His son, Mel, wrote:

This might seem today to be tedious work, but what a view of Provincetown, its harbor and the Point. When my father was in failing health in 2006, he and I discussed how blessed he was to have lived his entire life with the view of this harbor as his backdrop.

 

An ambitious renovation and remodeling project was begun in 2009 by the new owners — Daniel Jackson, Bruce Derfler, James Conley, Rodney VanDerwarker and Thomas Mueller — including the addition of three doghouse-style dormers. The owners assured the Historic District Commission that they were “trying to be historically sensitive in their renovation,” but the mere act of straightening the front doorway seems to have diminished the ghosts. • Historic District Survey, main house • Historic District Survey, shed • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Updated 2012-10-27


 

 

 

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