76R Bayberry Avenue

76R Bayberry Avenue, entrance to Coastal Acres Camping Court, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

76R Bayberry Avenue, entrance to Coastal Acres Camping Court, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

F/V Silver Mink, by David Jarrett (1982).

F/V Silver Mink, by David Jarrett (1982).

“In the Shelter of Cape Cod’s Sandy Arm — Your Port o’ Call.” The motto of the Coastal Acres Camping Court has the pleasingly anachronistic ring of a place that’s endured the changing fashions of Cape-end vacation styles. It was developed by Capt. Manny Phillips, a towering figure of the fishery. His purse seiner, Silver Mink, brought in a record 250,000 pounds of tuna one day in 1959. Captain Phillips opened the 15-acre campsite in 1967 and sold Silver Mink. His son-in-law, Richard Perry, took over Coastal Acres, which is still family-run. Open-space advocates say the property, now more than 23 acres, is the largest undeveloped parcel in town.

Update | “Jamie Veara, a spokesperson for the trust that owns the Coastal Acres campground in the West End, told The Banner on Tuesday morning that the property is under contract. The transaction involves two parcels on a 22-plus-acre site, which had been listed at $4.5 million.” — The Provincetown Banner, 15 October 2015.


Consult the documents or view the images

1 Bradford Street

Chelsea Earnest Memorial Playground

The Nautilus Club, an influential women’s civic group, was deeply involved in efforts at the mid-20th century to establish proper playgrounds for children, who were otherwise left to play in the streets or on beaches that were much less tidy than they are today. The Nickerson Street Playground or West End Playground, as this was originally called, came about in 1949 when the owner of an idle property at 1 Bradford Street agreed to sell it for that purpose. The Nautilus Club put up the down payment and also sponsored events, like dessert whist-bridge parties, to raise money to equip the play area. More pictures and history»

35 Bradford Street


Mussel Beach Health Club

This site has been hopping since 1938. For most of those years, it was home to Manuel Cabral’s Bonnie Doone Restaurant and Thistle Cocktail Lounge, a popular gay rendezvous in the 1950s. In 1958, Cabral tore down the neighboring Conant Street School, which had been used for about 25 years as the headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, to add parking spaces for the restaurant. Picture essay and more history »

44-46 Bradford Street


(Former) Provincetown Community Center

The Colonial-style New Governor Bradford School rose from the ashes of the original. Nearly 100 pupils were enrolled here before it closed in the mid ’50s. The building reopened as the Provincetown Community Center in 1956, under the charge of the town Recreation Commission. Picture essay and more history »

53 Bradford Street

At the Race Run Sporting Center, housed in this modest structure (c1940), “you could rent a bike, fix a flat, buy a hook and the bait to put on it, as well as get advice on where the bass and blues were running on any given day,” Susan Leonard said. The proprietors were Joseph Smith and his wife, Marilyn Smith. More recently, before moving to the old Eastern School, ArtStrand was here. More pictures and history »

211½ Bradford Street

Mildred Greensfelder Playground

The forlorn sign doesn’t begin to hint at the pioneering influence of Mildred (Wood) Greensfelder, who was the leading force in the 1940s and the 1950s for the creation, maintenance and vitalization of the town’s principal playgrounds; here, on Howland Street, and in the West End, at Nickerson Street. Such was Mrs. Greensfelder’s identification with the issue of playgrounds that Mary Hackett proposed in 1954 that the new elementary school be named in her honor, “as her constancy and perseverance has resulted in a real contribution to the health and happiness of our children.” (“Name for School,” The Advocate, Nov. 18, 1954.)

Naturally — this being Provincetown — not even the subject of playgrounds is pure mom-and-apple-pie. Mrs. Greensfelder found herself in a nasty battle with the Recreation Commission, of all bodies. The donnybrook involved included her resignation from the committee and then a legal struggle that went to court and before the voters. The issue seems to have boiled down to how much macadam should be in a playground and who had the authority to install — if Mrs. Greensfelder didn’t aprrove. And she did not approve. “It is my firm belief,” she declared in 1950, “that such a surface, even when constantly supervised, will be hazardous, and wounds received from falls on macadam can be dangerous and dirty, and bones and skulls can be broken.” (“Pioneer Worker Quits in Protest,” The Advocate, May 25, 1950.)

Even when she and her husband, the playwright Elmer L. Greensfelder, moved to Philadelphia, Mrs. Greensfelder continued to hold a strong interest in the welfare of the playgrounds. In absentia, she urged voters before the Town Meeting of 1956 to approve the money necessary for the removal of dirty sand and the “spreading of clean sand in both playgrounds.”

288 Bradford Street

Provincetown Tennis Club | DNA Gallery

A synergy you’d only find in P’town: tennis club and art gallery. They are both housed in a structure built by Gladys Miller Rokos and used by a tennis club in which Dr. Percival J. Eaton figured; then by the East End Tennis Club, founded and owned by the commercial artist Lauren Cook; and then, beginning in 1950, by the Provincetown Yacht and Tennis Club, also founded by Cook. It has five Har-Tru clay courts and two hard courts. But no more yachts. It’s just the Provincetown Tennis Club. Picture essay and more history »

† CCNS Herring Cove | First Bath House


Herring Cove Bath House

In 1953, the Herring Cove Bath House opened, an event consequential enough to draw Governor Christian A. Herter. Designed by Mario Caputo of Boston, the state-built bath house was a handsome-enough modernist structure with a glass-block facade. It could have passed for a small-town airport terminal. More pictures and history »

CCNS Herring Cove | Second Bath House

Herring Cove Beach House 2, Cape Cod National Seashore (2013), by David W. Dunlap. 
Herring Cove Beach House 2, Cape Cod National Seashore (2013), by David W. Dunlap.Seen from across Herring Cove, the National Park Service’s new Herring Cove bath house pavilions, which opened in 2013, seem almost to be levitating over the beach. Well, indeed they are. Several feet. The entire complex is on pilings, allowing surge waves to pass underneath, as well as to allow the entire complex to be moved farther upland if necessary. That is one of several attractions designed into the $5 million project by its architect and project manager, Amy Sebring, of the park service’s design and construction division. More pictures and history»

CCNS Herring Cove | New Beach

 

There are few beaches along the Atlantic from which you can watch the sun set. Herring Cove Beach (formerly New Beach) is one of them. In the 19th century, much of the upland area of the modern-day beach lay under the waters of Lancy’s Harbor. Nearby was a small settlement of fishermen’s huts, called Herring Cove. Picture essay and more history»

83 Commercial Street

 
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»

† 497 Commercial Street

 
Brown’s Bathing Beach

“By the freezer, by the freezer, by the beautiful freezer. You and me, sir; you and me, sir; oh, how happy we’ll be, sir.” These aren’t real lyrics but they certainly would have applied to Brown’s Bathing Beach, a popular East End recreation spot around the turn of the 20th century. Unless one remembers that the waterfront was first and foremost an industrial precinct, it may be hard to understand why people would have gone bathing just a few wards from the Consolidated Weir Company’s enormous cold storage plant — as if they had anywhere to go that wasn’t cheek-by-jowl with some freezer plant or active wharf. More pictures and history»