600 Commercial Street

 
This was not only the home of the painter Peter Busa (1914-1985), it was — for several summers in the 1960s — his gallery, too; his showcase. “I can show here with a feeling on my front porch,” he told Dorothy Seckler in a 1965 interview for the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, “and it’s like a big gallery because one painting is 18 feet long and about six feet high and I couldn’t show this in any gallery, any commercial gallery in town.” The property has been in the hands of the Busa family for 60 years. It is owned [?] by Peter’s ex-wife, Jeanne (Juell) Busa (b 1918). Their son Stephen (b 1948) lives [?] here and their son Christopher (b 1946), the editor and cofounder (with Raymond S. Elman) of Provincetown Arts annual, lives down the road, at No. 650. More pictures and history»

603 Commercial Street

 
Watermark Inn

Like so many beachfront properties, the Watermark Inn presents two very different faces to the world. On the Commercial Street side, it appears to be a complex of modest older buildings around a sweet little courtyard, not too far removed from its days as the Colonial Inn Beach House (photo at right). But on the water side, it is a glassy, angular, modern expanse, designed by Kevin Shea, who owns the inn. More pictures and history»

606 Commercial Street

 
No ordinary summertime back-yard neighborhood event would have warranted admission in Norman Mailer’s sweeping meditation Of a Fire on the Moon (1970). But Daniel Banko had nothing ordinary in mind in the late summer of 1969 when, at the suggestion of John W. “Jack” Kearney, he decided to bury a Ford sedan that had not quite lasted until Labor Day. In his own back yard. More pictures and history»

607 Commercial Street

 
Would you care for a little house to go along with that fence? While it’s true that many shorefront properties show a more private side to the town than they do to the beach, few exhibit as starkly split a personality as No. 607. In the 1950s and ’60s, it was owned by Joseph Acker and John F. “Jeff” Bosworth, prize-winning florists from Brooklyn.

608 Commercial Street

 
Suzanne’s Garden

Patience et longueur de temps font plus que force et que rage. “Patience and time do more than strength and passion.” The aphorism, from Jean de la Fontaine, is — fittingly — the motto of Suzanne’s Garden, a public park that took form in a most unlikely way over a rather long span of time. To begin, it occupies a small fraction of what was once the Sears family estate, one of the “great lots” that ran from harbor to ocean until the creation of the Cape Cod National Seashore. The property was purchased in 1959 by Avrom “Arlie” Sinaiko (1902-1984), a doctor and a sculptor, and his wife, Suzanne Sinaiko (1918-1998). This was once the yard of 606 Commercial [could this be where the Ford was half-buried in 1969?] but was split off by the Sinaikos when they sold No. 606, and retained as a vacant lot. More pictures and history»

609-611 Commercial Street

 
Two distinct houses now share a common tax lot under the ownership of Dr. Elia A. Sinaiko, a retired psychologist; the author of a children’s book, The Emperor of Rain; and a son of the artists Avrom “Arlie” Sinaiko (1902-1984) and Suzanne Sinaiko (1918-1998), who figure large in this part of town. No. 611 is the more interesting of the two. Elia’s brother Jonathan tells Building Provincetown in a comment that this structure once stood near his father’s property at 597 Commercial. In 1959, The Advocate described the Sinaikos moving a small beachfront building, originally constructed as a children’s playhouse, about 300 feet to the east — roughly right here. More pictures and history»

610 Commercial Street

 
Talk about back yards! This classic Provincetown house — handsome, plain and upright — sits on one of the “great lots” that were deeded to their owners as running from sea to sea; that is, all the way from Provincetown Harbor to the Atlantic Ocean. The lot was truncated by the creation of the Cape Cod National Seashore and it is, of necessity, interrupted by Bradford and Commercial Streets. But the property is otherwise intact and still under the ownership of the Mayo family, from the waterfront all the way to the Old Colony right-of-way; 49 feet wide upland and 59 feet wide at the shore. More pictures and history»

612 Commercial Street

Who else would be next door to Mayo than Atkins? This was the home of Mary Emma Atkins (±1858-1934) and Anna W. Atkins (1870-1920), the daughters of the celebrated Capt. David H. Atkins of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, who perished on 30 November 1880 attempting to rescue crew members of the foundering sloop C. E. Trumbull. He is buried in the old Gifford Cemetery below a monument with a fouled anchor in deep relief. The Misses Atkins, along with their mother, Ellen (1837-1913), were credited by The Advocate with having been responsible in large measure “for the growth and popularity” of the East End. Following the death of Captain Atkins, the newspaper said, “the three ladies most hospitably cared for a growing number of summer visitors, making life for them so attractive that many became annual visitors, and some eventually permanent residents.” Among those who fell for the lure of the East End were Robert R. Smyers and Mary C. Smyers (±1930-2011) of Garrett Park, Md., who bought the Atkins cottage in 1965. It is still owned by their family. [A corrective comment appears below.] ¶ Updated 2013-07-25

613 Commercial Street

Antoinette Dallett Turcas Throckmorton. Quite a moniker. And there was an ample personality behind the name, as the Metropolitan Opera learned to its distress on opening night 1947, when Throckmorton (d 1968), clad in ermine, puffed on a cigar in the grand tier bar, creating a field day for photographers and a sensation for the reading public. The Met censured the antic, which was front-page news in The New York Times, though no names were used. The chairman of the Met told The Times that “many protesting communications” had come in, and he agonized that people who had never set foot in the opera house “must wonder if these pictures reflect the character of the Metropolitan Opera and its normal audience.” Normal? For goodness sake, Throckmorton summered in Provincetown! And this was her house — from 1944 to 1956. She was followed here by the artist and teacher Mervin M. Jules (1912-1994). More pictures and history»

615 Commercial Street

 
This sentiment is not likely to win me any friends in the preservation community but I think the renovation of No. 615 is a successful work of contemporary architecture. That isn’t to say it’s unobjectionable. For starters, it’s too damn big; not, perhaps, as a matter of law but certainly when seen from the water amidst the old cottages around it. The designer who blew this little Cape into a large box, Donald Kline (±1933-2009), was not known for respecting historical scale and context. (He was the “Hopper Landscape” builder in Truro.) But a 2006 re-renovation by Stephen A. Magliocco Associates, for Stephen M. Mindich and retired Judge Maria Lopez, yielded a more sophisticated facade, asymmetrical yet balanced. It’s refreshingly happy proof that you don’t need gabled roofs and louvered shutters to produce contextual architecture on Commercial Street. And this is contextual architecture. It may not look like other houses nearby, but it couldn’t be anywhere else. It’s too much a cabana to have a place in the city, too much a townhouse to have a place in a beachfront resort. It’s a thoughtful response to Provincetown’s perennially mixed signals. There. I said it.

More pictures and history»

616 Commercial Street

 
White Dory Bay Condominium

For three decades, until 1980 [?], this was the White Dory inn, which was run for the last 10 years by William Ray “Bill” Ingraham (1927-2008), pictured at left, and his husband, Raymond Sparks. (They were together a half century before getting married in 2007.) A 1976 guide, written while they were the proprietors, said of the White Dory: “The comforts of a fine motel, and the warmth and friendliness of a Cape Cod guest house.” Ingraham was a carpenter and woodworker, an electrician, and a professional firefighter. He served as clerk of the works for a number of key municipal construction and renovation projects, and was the town electrical inspector from 1972 to 1996. More pictures and history»

617 Commercial Street

 
If 615 Commercial Street demonstrates — at least to some eyes — that it’s possible to build contextually without resort to traditional form, No. 617 makes perhaps an even more sophisticated case: that traditional forms can be used in a way that still renders a building indisputably contemporary. This is not your grandfather’s three-quarter Cape, though it has a kind of ancestral sternness and simplicity to it. That, too, is fitting because it was built in 1987 and is occupied by David Lothrop Mayo (b 1940), whose roots in town run generations deep. His grandfather, Frank Lothrop Mayo (d 1957), was the keeper of the Peaked Hill Bars Life-Saving Station. More pictures and history»

619 Commercial Street

 
Sandstorm Cottage | Maurice Sterne house

The paintings of Maurice Sterne (1878-1957) “helped to make Bali a dreamer’s byword,” The New York Times said at the time of his death. Although not as well remembered as some of his contemporaries, Sterne — who had studied under Thomas Eakins at the National Academy of Design — was an enormously significant figure in his day. Born in Latvia, he became an American citizen and was the first American artist to be honored with a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, in 1933. He was then commissioned to paint a series of 20 murals for the Department of Justice headquarters in Washington. More pictures and history»

621-623 Commercial Street

621 Commercial Street, site of the Provincetown Players' first performances, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

621 Commercial Street, site of the Provincetown Players’ first performances, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Anne Packard, by Charles Fields.

Anne Packard, by Charles Fields.

“A profoundly therapeutic party-game.” That’s how Robert Károly Sarlós, in Jig Cook and the Provincetown Players, described the plays given here on 15 July 1915. Constancy, by Neith Boyce Hapgood, was done on the porch. Then the audience moved out to the porch and watched Suppressed Desires, by Cook and Susan Glaspell, performed in the parlor. The Provincetown Players were born. Later known as the Bissell Cottage or Bissell Hilton, for Hawthorne Bissell, and the Cast Anchor Guest House, No. 621 was acquired in 1981 by the artist Anne (Locke) Packard. Her monograph, Anne Packard Introspective, was published in 2009. Describing her work to Susan Rand Brown of The Banner, Packard said: “The boats, the old cottages; these are my vehicle. These are not portraits of boats. It’s the sense it gives you. That’s what I try to capture.”


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.

621 Commercial Street

 
It is nowhere recorded that anyone walking home on the night of 15 July 1915 from the cottage being rented by Hutchins Hapgood (1869-1944) and Neith Boyce (1872-1951) said to anyone else, “Well, now, that sure was interesting: watching the birth of an important and far-reaching movement in the American theater.” Indeed, Boyce apologized to her father-in-law for even bringing up the subject of staging two short plays that night in the living room and on the veranda. “I wish I had more interesting things to tell you,” she wrote, referring to the event that would soon be known as the birth of the Provincetown Players. More pictures and history»

622 Commercial Street

 
When 622 Commercial was put up for sale in 1967, a classified notice in The Advocate said — in a lovely bit of over- and understatement — “Recently wholly restored by famous artist.” Well, yes. That would have been Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), who owned this house for 10 years. For much of that time, he was married to Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011). Besides the restoration project, which was already under way by 1961, Motherwell and Frankenthaler were known in the neighborhood for their white Fiat Jolly convertible, which they’d bought in Turin. The house was purchased in 2001 by the painter Cynthia Packard (b 1958), one of Anne Packard’s daughters, whose family lives across the street, at 621 Commercial, and who shows in the Packard Gallery, at 418 Commercial.

623 Commercial Street

Though No. 623 is joined structurally to 621 Commercial Street, and was once under common ownership by the Bissell family, who ran it as Bissell’s Cottage or as the Cast Anchor Guest House, it has been a separate property since 1995, when it was purchased from the Bissells by Donna Aliperti, the owner and chef at Front Street at 230 Commercial Street.

625 Commercial Street

Roy Cohn in Provincetown? That snarling, disbarred spawn of Joe McCarthy? That Commie-hunting, Rosenberg-prosecuting, influence-mongering, Studio-patronizing, power-wielding, AIDS-denying closet case who held élite New York inexplicably in thrall in the 1970s and early ’80s?

Yes. And because this is Provincetown, the story only gets stranger. Cohn (1927-1986) was a tenant of Norman Mailer in the last couple of years of his life, spending parts of his summers in the converted boat house and garage just to the west of the big brick dwelling at 627 Commercial, which was owned jointly at the time by Mailer and his biographer Peter Manso. Cohn was no stranger to the East End, either, having spent the summers of 1982 and 1983 at Anne Packard’s home next door. More pictures and history»

627 Commercial Street

627 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

627 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Norman Mailer, by Sue Harrison.

Norman Mailer, by Sue Harrison.

Norman Mailer lived — large — in this five-bedroom house. It was built in 1930 for Dr. Percival Eaton, a leading civic figure, and called Etonia. It was the Collins Guest House in the ’40s and ’50s, run by John Collins, who sold it in 1956 to the artist Lily Harmon, an accomplished student of Henry Hensche. She called the building Harmony and, Irma Ruckstuhl said, had it clad in brick. She sold it in 1967 to Abby (Noselson) Friedman and B. H. “Bob” Friedman, a novelist and art critic who was active in the fledgling Fine Arts Work Center. “He and Abby gave grand parties,” Roger Skillings recalled, “which gave the writing and visual arts sides a chance to socialize on neutral grounds.”

627 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

627 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

Mailer acquired the house in 1983 with his biographer Peter Manso (Mailer: His Life and Times), who remained a co-owner until 1986. Several rooms served as sets for Mailer’s feature movie, Tough Guys Don’t Dance, including his attic writing study. He and his last wife, the artist Norris Church Mailer, split the attic — nominally. “Granted,” she wrote in A Ticket to the Circus, “he had three-quarters of the space.”

627 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

627 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Norris Church Mailer, by Sue Harrison.

Norris Church Mailer, by Sue Harrison.

His biographer J. Michael Lennon (Norman Mailer: A Double Life) said: “Mailer used to love to watch the formation flying of a flock of pigeons that often roosted on his roof. … Their movements were so coordinated and precise that he offered the speculation that the birds were reincarnated Army Air Force pilots.” After Mailer’s death in 2007, the house was used as the Norman Mailer Writers Colony, cofounded by Lawrence Schiller and Norris. She died in 2010 and is buried next to her husband in Town Cemetery. The pigeons remain.


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.

627 Commercial Street

 
Norman Mailer Writers Colony

Brobdingnagian. There. Done. The adjective was almost certainly going to come up in a discussion of Norman Mailer (1923-2007), and now we’ve gotten it out of the way. But he was that: a giant in a town of giants. Visitors who knew nothing else about Cape Cod’s literary and artistic patrimoney knew that Mailer lived — big — in this big brick dwelling in the East End. “I loved that house,” his last wife, Norris Church Mailer (1949-2010) wrote in her memoir, A Ticket to the Circus. “It was big enough for all of us — five bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms, with Norman and me splitting the attic floor for our offices. Granted, he had three-quarters of the space.”

Mailer is a bookend across the 20th century to Charles W. Hawthorne. Hawthorne endures as a force in Provincetown because he made himself a part of the town. Mailer did the same thing, which may be why a Brooklyn boy seems so deeply rooted here.

 

More pictures and history»

629 Commercial Street

 
Harmony

Harmony is not just a lovely name; though it is certainly that. It is a deliberate recall of the name of Lily Harmon (1912-1998), the artist who bought this property in 1956 and whose daughter, Jo Ann Hirshhorn, continues to own it. She had also given the name Harmony to what is now known as the Norman Mailer house, 627 Commercial, but brought the name with her when she moved here. Best known for her portraiture, Harmon “transcended physical description and expressed in a distinct painterly style the dignity and character of her subjects,” said an essay on the Web site of the Ernden Fine Art Gallery, which represents her work. Roberta Smith said Harmon’s work “usually followed a tradition of sympathetic portraiture personified by Raphael Soyer,” a Social Realist of the early 20th century who taught at the Art Students League. More history»

631 Commercial Street

 
Sea Barn

There is no more conspicuous an artist’s studio in town than Sea Barn. (There are certainly architectural rivals, but none are located smack dab on Commercial Street.) And that prominence is appropriate — as are the perpetually shuttered barn doors — because its builder and occupant, Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), was not only a pillar of Abstract Expressionism but the last artist of international stature to have lived and worked in Provincetown. His undiminished importance was underscored in 2012, when the Provincetown Art Association and Museum mounted an ambitious one-man show of two dozen paintings and prints, “Robert Motherwell: Beside the Sea” [PDF]. More pictures and history»

631 Commercial Street

631 Commercial Street, Sea Barn, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

631 Commercial Street, Sea Barn, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

There is no more conspicuous studio in town than Sea Barn. Its builder, Robert Motherwell, was a pillar of Abstract Expressionism, the last artist of international stature to live and work in town. His importance was underscored by a one-man show at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum in 2012, on the 70th anniversary of his arrival (to visit his art dealer, Peggy Guggenheim, and her husband, Max Ernst). Lise Motherwell, co-curator, and Jeannie Motherwell, a well-known artist, are his daughters with Betty Little, with whom he bought No. 622 in 1957.

631 Commercial Street, Robert Motherwell's studio, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

631 Commercial Street, Robert Motherwell’s studio, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

In 1961 and 1962, Motherwell shared the old barn at the Days Lumber Yard with his third wife, Helen Frankenthaler, an artist of high stature herself. Its arched loft door inspired the design of Sea Barn, the site of which he acquired in 1962. He considered Sea Barn complete in 1968, with Frankenthaler’s studio on the second floor and his on the third. “He produced more work than he did in any other of his studios or at any other time of year,” Jeannie wrote. In time, the floor was covered with drips and splatters that made it look like a 21-by-37-foot Motherwell.

631 Commercial Street, floor of Robert Motherwell's studio, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

631 Commercial Street, floor of Robert Motherwell’s studio, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

He died in 1991, survived by his fourth wife, the German photographer Renate Ponsold, and is buried in Town Cemetery. As for an epitaph, he told Grace Glueck of The New York Times: “I’ve spent my life self-employed, done what I wanted to do, had a couple of beautiful daughters — how many people can say that?” The building was acquired in 2012 by Kevin Shea and Judith Richland, proprietors of the Watermark Inn. “I was able to salvage Motherwell’s floor so that it could be reassembled as a whole piece,” he told me in 2014. It’s now in storage.


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.

633 Commercial Street

Sign of the Mermaid Condominium

With the death of Norman Mailer in 2007, it is probably safe to say that Michael Cunningham (b 1952) became the single most prominent literary figure currently living in Provincetown. It’s probably also safe to say that he would not like that distinction at all, that it would make him uncomfortable and that he might he even take issue with it. The fact remains, however, that there are few contemporary writers anywhere in America whose work commands wide attention simply on the strength of being published. And ever since he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1999 for The Hours, and ever since The Hours was made into a highly respected movie in 2002, Cunningham has been one of them. More pictures and history»

634 Commercial Street


Cue the Patti Page 45. This is old Cape Cod: a true summer cottage to this day, still owned by the same family that first started coming almost a century ago from Ware, Mass. Thanks to single-family ownership, and the evident belief of Grace Person Hayes (b ±1919) that there was nothing wrong with 634 Commercial that needed fixing, an astonishing vestige of a long-lost Provincetown has survived into the 21st century. If the living room amounts to a small maritime museum, the second floor is a shrine to the economical ingenuity of the pre-air-conditioned past. The attic ceiling is high, allowing warmer air to rise above sleepers’ heads. Walls are barely taller than needed for doorways, permitting air to move around the large volume of space. These ceiling-free sleeping cubicles scarcely permit intimacy but, heck, isn’t that what the beach is for? “If you spend an evening, you’ll want to stay, watching the moonlight on Cape Cod Bay …” 


More pictures and history»

635 Commercial Street


 
Hyphen-House (West half)

A view from the beach makes immediately clear why Nos. 635 and 637 Commercial Street were once known collectively as the Hyphen-House, for there is indeed a slender connector between the two structures, which are now separate properties. At the time these two were in single ownership, the complex also included a garage, 638 Commercial Street, which has long been the Kearney family home. There is no evidence either of the hyphen connecting passage or of the garage on a 1929 street atlas, suggesting they were built in the 1930s. Not a lot of people had the money to build at that time, of course, but Gordon Fisher Sr. (1873-1945) of Pittsburgh seems to have been one of them. More pictures and history»

637 Commercial Street

 
Hyphen-House (East half)

A view from the air makes immediately clear why Nos. 637 and 635 Commercial Street were once known collectively as the Hyphen-House, for there is indeed a slender connector between the two structures, which are now separate properties. At the time these two were in single ownership, the complex also included a garage, 638 Commercial Street, which has long been the Kearney family home. There is no evidence either of the hyphen connecting passage or of the garage on a 1929 street atlas, suggesting they were built in the 1930s. Not a lot of people had the money to build at that time, of course, but Gordon Fisher Sr. (b 1873) of Pittsburgh seems to have been one of them. More pictures and history»

638 Commercial Street

 
Whimsical. Idiosyncratic. Delightful. Surprising. Humanistic. Kinetic. And recycled. The sculpture of John W. “Jack” Kearney (b 1924) has not only been a staple of artistic life in Provincetown for a half century, but its eccentric qualities suggest it is a very fitting body of work, indeed, for this particular place. Kearney is probably best known for his fantastic reworkings of chrome bumpers and other salvaged automotive remnants, a métier that can be traced to the Provincetown dump. Even though the family hails from Chicago, Kearney and his wife, Lynn, and their children Jill and Daniel have been fixtures on the Provincetown scene since just about forever. For some 30 years, Kearney has also maintained one of the most impressive art studios and workshops in town, at 3 Aunt Sukey’s Way. (More pictures of his works can be seen in that entry.) More pictures and history»

641 Commercial Street

Before Edward Jemerin and his wife bought this property in 1970, the family of John W. “Jack” Kearney spent summers here. In 2012, Jill Kearney recalled: “It was a rattletrap house and I could see the sky through a gap in the wall. Provincetown in those days was utterly un-gentrified. I waitressed at Howard Johnson’s [350 Bradford] and wore that hideous green checked suit to work. The Jemerins later renovated the house and rebuilt it from the ground up.”

642 Commercial Street

Suddenly, everywhere you turn, it’s Dutch Colonial. One gambrel roof after another envelops the old shingled cottages in this part of the East End, making for a very handsome compound. And it is no coincidence at all. Nos. 642, 645, 646, 647 and 648 — each one with the distinctive compound eaves — were all constructed by Horace Albertus Spear Jr. (1864-1934) for members of his family. The three on the north side of Commercial were constructed for three of his daughters, Spear’s great-granddaughter, Carol Fraser Plesser, told me in 2012. This one may have belonged to Adelaide Spear (b 1902). More pictures and history»

644 Commercial Street

Although the painter Umberto Romano (1905-1982) is more commonly associated with Gloucester, where he ran a summer school of art for 20 years, Provincetown can easily claim him, too, for that period beginning in 1959 when the Umberto Romano School of Art – later the Umberto Romano School of Creative Painting – was conducted here. In the first year, Romano taught classes at 422 Commercial Street. Near the end of that year, he acquired this building. More pictures and history»

645 Commercial Street

 
To be vibrant and successful, an art colony needs more than artists. It needs an entire human infrastructure, or ecosystem: provisioners, dealers, patrons, collectors, critics, buyers, and camp followers. It also needs at least one champion connoisseur, someone who — though associated with the place — enjoys a high enough national stature as to be a credible and compelling advocate. In the mid-20th century, Hudson Dean “Huddie” Walker (1907-1976) was the champion connoisseur of the Provincetown art colony. He lived here with his wife, Ione Avery (Gaul) Walker (1914-1987). The name “Walker” probably rings several bells. If you’re familiar with the contemporary art scene in town, you certainly know the Berta Walker Gallery at 208 Bradford Street. She is one of his daughters. And if you’re familiar with the contemporary art scene nationally, you’ll wonder whether he’s related in any way to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. He is.

More pictures and history»

646 Commercial Street

West Twin Cottage

Zillah Katherine Macdonald, a writer for children, spent at least one summer here in the early 1930s. She was the author of Eileen’s Adventures in Wordland: The Life Story of our Word Friends among other books. The house has been owned by the Berry family for more than 60 years. Before that, it belonged to the Spear family. It is one of five gambrel-roofed cottages in the neighborhood built or owned by Horace Albertus Spear Jr. (1864-1934): Nos. 642, 645, 646, 647 and 648. This may have belonged to Ruth Spear (1893-1982). [Updated 2012-08-08]

648 Commercial Street

 
East Twin Cottage

More than simply another in the lovely ensemble of gambrel-roofed cottages built by Horace Albertus Spear Jr. (1864-1934) for his family members, No. 648 is still used and occupied by Spear’s descendants to the third, fourth and fifth generations. For that — as well as The Fraser Budget for Personal or Family Expenses (1917) — we may thank Alice (Spear) Fraser, the second-oldest daughter of Horace and Elizabeth Ann (Evans) Spear (1867-1958). More pictures and history