406 Commercial Street

Coldwell Banker Pat Shultz Real Estate

This building’s greatest interest is in its association with Patricia (Ratcliff) “Pat” Shultz (1929-2008), one of the great moving forces in late 20th-century Provincetown. Her firm, now a franchisee in the national Coldwell Banker system, still operates from the space where she did business in the 1970s. Though Shultz was a formidable dealer in real estate, however, she is remembered for wearing many hats — “in a very big way,” as The Banner said in its elegaic editorial. More pictures and history»

408 Commercial Street

Still going strong at the age of 80, Capt. George Walter Crosby, who made his home here, was the oldest active weir fisherman at the time of his death in 1934. He worked for the Consolidated Cold Storage, now the Ice House Condominium, 501 Commercial Street, at which he’d been made a captain in 1917. Joseph F. Perry, who ran the Fo’csle tavern with Sylvester Santos at 335 Commercial Street, bought this house in 1959 — the same year that the Fo’csle admitted women. The Perry family owned the property for 49 years, selling it in 2008 to Meg Stewart and her wife, Maureen Wilson, two of the principals in DwellCoastal, at 372 Commercial.

† 409 Commercial Street

E. I. Livingston Fountain Service | Jo’s Soda Shop

“One always stops at Lizzie’s on the way home from the movies!” Althea Boxell didn’t often interject such enthusiastic commentary in her remarkable scrapbooks, so we might take this emphatic notation in Book 1 as a sure sign of the popularity of E. I. Livingston Fountain Service, run by one Elizabeth Isabel “Lizzie” Livingston (±1879-1945) of 217 Bradford Street. In 1959, as Jo’s Soda Shop, the establishment played a small role in the great drama of a 45-foot beached fin whale, a story so memorable it was retold 15 years later by Jim Young in When the Whale Came to My Town. More pictures and history»

409 Commercial Street

Replacing the old store and residence at 409 Commercial in which Elizabeth Isabel “Lizzie” Livingston’s soda and candy shop operated through the early 1940s, this house was designed by Robert Valois [?] of Truro for John Anderson and Greg Brown, who bought the property in 2000. Minutes from various town meetings in 2000 and 2001 speak of a complicated gestation period for the project. It seemed at first that the plan was to convert 409 Commercial, which had an upstairs apartment, from commercial to residential use and add a studio behind the existing building, which is what the Zoning Board of Appeals considered in the fall of 2000. More pictures and history»

410 Commercial Street

Capt. John Russe Jr. (b ±1910) was the skipper of the John David, a dragger, named after his son, John David Russe. Russe’s father, John Sr. (±1886-1944), had come to Provincetown from Portugal in 1911. Captain Russe and his wife, Olivia Santos, were wed in 1939 and purchased this house in 1947. (Her father, Manuel Santos, died of a heart attack aboard the John David.) The house remained in the Russe family until 1984 and has been owned since then by Dr. Brian O’Malley.

411 Commercial Street

Four Eleven Studio

This large building has served as an accommodation of one kind or another for more than a half century. Until the early 1960s, it was the Francis Guest House, owned by Joseph T. Francis (±1894-1958), a retired fish buyer and World War I naval hero, and his wife, Irene Abbott Francis. By 1964, it was an efficiency apartment house called the Avlon’s, owned by the artists Helen (Avlonitis) Daphnis-Avlon (±1933-2004) and Nassos Daphnis (1914-2010). Sheila G. LaMontagne and her sister [?], Madelyn N. Carney, bought the property from the Daphnis couple in 1976. It was renamed the Mary Russell Guest House. Carney, an artist, bought out her sister three years later. She has lived and worked here, as has her daughter, the artist Liz Carney. More pictures and history»