Village Hall was built in 1832 as a secular meeting place, but was renamed Marine Hall after Marine Lodge No. 96 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was chartered here in 1845. They bought the building the next year. The Masons met here from 1845 to 1870 and the structure also served as Mrs. Stearns’s private school. In 1870, John Atwood Jr. convened a meeting to organize the Board of Trade (now the Chamber of Commerce). In 1886, The Provincetown Advocate began printing here on steam-driven presses. The Odd Fellows built a new headquarters next door in 1895. After the 1950s, Marine Hall was demolished and replaced by a parking lot.
Within 14 years of its first appearance in Provincetown in 1982, AIDS had claimed more than 385 lives — one-tenth of the town’s permanent population — Jeanne Braham and Pamela Peterson wrote in Starry, Starry Night. To the extent that patients, survivors and caregivers formed their own cohort, it’s fitting that they should have situated one of their oases in an old fraternal hall. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows dedicated the Queen Anne-style Odd Fellows Hall on Oct. 15, 1895. Picture essay and more history »
This lovely and consequential house (c1875/85) has been in the foreground of thousands of pictures taken from the Pilgrim Monument. The Victorian-era gingerbread trim in its eaves is unmistakable. Walter P. Chrysler made his home here while running the Chrysler Museum of Art. Roslyn Garfield, lawyer, real estate broker and civic leader, had her office here. Staying here as a renter, Urvashi Vaid wrote Virtual Equality. More pictures and history»
West End Racing Club
The West End Racing Club sounds like a place whose members dress in commodores’ outfits, but it is in fact a nonprofit organization begun at Flyer’s Beach in 1950 that teaches children to swim and sail. Their shoreline clubhouse at 83 Commercial Street was finished and dedicated in 1957 on “the same ground where once stood the old Wharf Theater.” This building was to house summer activities and provide a wintertime storage area for the boats. More pictures and history»
Even more than the grocery stores (after all, some people shopped at the A & P while others shopped at the First National), the Post Office was Provincetown’s commons, its Rialto, its great public meeting ground. But it is not untarnished in civic memory. The Post Office was the site in 1949 of a dreadful tragedy, when the town’s well-respected postmaster, William H. Cabral (b ±1900) accidentally shot and killed James “Jimmy Peek” Souza (b ±1930), a rambunctious youth whom Cabral was merely trying to frighten with his Army revolver. The extent of Cabral’s moral liability was a subject that pitted citizens against one another bitterly. And even if those memories have now softened, the Post Office itself still bears a scar from the shooting. More pictures and history»