The little buildings on this parcel look as if they might well have been set in a cottage colony once upon a time. The property belongs to Cynthia Prelack, whose family owns the famous Kalmar Village in North Truro, so perhaps there is a connection.
Bayberry Bend Condominium (Cottages)
Bayberry Bend: It’s a cottage colony. No, it’s a motor inn. Stop! You’re both right. Bayberry Bend was both a tourist court and a motel (928 Commercial). Darwin H. Melis (1908-1988) and his wife, Catherine F. Melis, offered automobile travelers a choice as they approached town along what was then known as Shore Drive. “Bayberry Bend Motel and Cottages” were advertised in The Advocate as early as September 1960, suggesting that the business was begun in the 1950s. In the early 60s, the Melises also operated the Donut Shoppe on Shank Painter Road. They sold Bayberry Bend in 1968. Four years later, Elizabeth and Donald Lukens sponsored the condo conversion.
Sandcastle Resort and Club Annex
This appears to be a classic old Shore Drive motel, but I’ve had no luck so far identifying its builder, its date or its original name(s). The assessor dates it at 1940. That strikes me as early. Certainly, though, you’d expect an 11-room, L-shaped motel like this to have been built in the late ’40s or early ’50s. The parcel includes a fairly broad neck connecting it to the beach. By the summer of 2008, the building looked as decrepit as it appears in this photo. That fall, it was acquired by New England Vacation Management Services, the company controlled by Clifford Hagberg that now runs the adjacent Sandcastle time-share complex.
Capt. Warren Crawley, skipper of the trapboat Harbor Bar II, and his wife, Priscilla Crawley, operated Priscilla’s Restaurant and Snack Bar on the town line in the 1950s. David L. Mayo recalled Mrs. Crawley in this delightful anecdote he shared with me in 2012: “Our handyman at East Harbor Cottages, Tech Slade, used to bring me here for lunch as a treat now and again. Priscilla was quite a large woman who always wore a huge housedress and had interesting warts on her face. She always shocked me when passing me with my dessert ice cream cone, licking the perimeter carefully before handing it to me. Tech never reported that activity to my mother.” More history»
Bayberry Bend Condominium (Motel)
Bayberry Bend: It’s a motor inn. No, it’s a cottage colony. Stop! You’re both right. Bayberry Bend was both a motel and a tourist court (910 Commercial). Darwin H. Melis (1908-1988) and his wife, Catherine F. Melis, offered automobile travelers a choice as they approached town along what was then known as Shore Drive. “Bayberry Bend Motel and Cottages” were advertised in The Advocate as early as September 1960, suggesting that the business was begun in the 1950s. In the early 60s, the Melises also operated the Donut Shoppe on Shank Painter Road. They sold Bayberry Bend in 1968. Four years later, Elizabeth and Donald Lukens sponsored the condo conversion.
The Sandcastle Resort, which incorporates the enormous former Royal Coachman Motel, dominates the Provincetown side of Beach Point. Like any beachside resort, the Sandcastle stresses the pleasant fantasy of getaway: “What’s at the end of your rainbow?” its promotional video asks. But life behind the scenes hasn’t been so carefree in recent years. The Sandcastle is part timeshare, part condo, part transient accommodation; a complex formula bound to create confusion and tension. Indeed, a change of ownership in 2008 exposed stark differences among the many stakeholders and provoked accusations and suspicions on all sides. Such a situation couldn’t help but affect the Sandcastle’s standing among visitors. It should be noted, however, that this property has come through dark days before. More pictures and history»
A sprout of imaginative handicraft amid motels and oil tanks, 942 Commercial boasts a bird house that looks more like a bird dacha. This was the summer home for many years of Walter F. Gammell and his wife. He tried in 1957 to obtain a zoning variance to open a soft-serve ice cream business here. The town said the idea was for the birds.
O.K., so here we are, nearly at the end of Commercial Street. No more surprises, right? Wrong. Listen, pal, how many times have I got to tell you? Provincetown never runs out of surprises. So what’s the big deal with this condo complex; the one that — no offense meant — resembles Army barracks, at least from the outside?
Over the years, it’s been a regular trophy case of top sports figures, like Leonard J. “Len” Elmore (b 1952), a commentator and analyst who’s appeared on ESPN, CBS and ABC; a former New York Knick, New Jersey Net, Milwaukee Buck, Kansas City King and Indiana Pacer; honored as one of the 50 greatest basketball players in Atlantic Coast Conference history. (Did I mention that he’s a lawyer, too, with a degree from Harvard?) More pictures and history»
Holiday Shoreline Condominium
The Holiday Shores Motel was operated in the 1950s by Edward and Julia Martin. The pool was across Commercial Street, on the upland parcel. [Updated 2012-09-05]
Last Unicorn Condominium
You’ll only be able to appreciate this gorgeous granite marker near the town line if you’re on foot, or at the very least have parked your car for a moment. It’s well worth pausing in front of the Last Unicorn Condominium to do so. Set into the granite tablet is a reproduction — not altogether accurate, but quite fine — of the seal of Plymouth Colony. The arms are quartered and within each quartering is a kneeling figure, shown with a loincloth here though naked in the original, that is thought by some to represent a native American. He holds an object in his hand, thought by some to be a heart. Our artist has taken the liberty of showing a heart with a flame. Above the arms is the familiar date of 1620. Encircling them is the legend, “PLIMOVTH NOV ANGLIA SIGILLVM SOCIETATIS.” More pictures and history»
Liz slept here. That Liz. In September 1957, with her third husband, the producer Michael Todd, who was to die six months later in the crash of his private plane, the only one of Elizabeth Taylor’s husbands whom she didn’t divorce. The Todds spent an evening at the Harbor Lights Village cottage colony as the guests of Thomas and May O’Donnell. More pictures and history»
Holiday Shores Condominium