3 Central Street

"Provincetown Tower," by Oliver Newberry Chaffee (1931), courtesy of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

“Provincetown Tower,” by Oliver Newberry Chaffee (1931), courtesy of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

3 Central Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

3 Central Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

Doug Johnstone, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Doug Johnstone, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

With bold palette and forms, Oliver Newberry Chaffee was a “modern before modernism was popular,” Ross Moffett said. His Fauvism, good enough to get him into the 1913 Armory Show, could not disguise tremendous affection for his subjects. He married Ada Gilmore, a pioneer of the white-line wood-block print. Chaffee lived here through the early 1940s. Douglas Johnstone and Edward Terrill bought the house in 1993. Johnstone became town clerk in 2004, issuing some of the first marriage licenses to couples of the same sex and confronting Gov. Mitt Romney, who sought to prevent out-of-state couples from marrying in Massachusetts. He has also opened town records and archives through the online Provincetown History Preservation Project.


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.

3 Central Street

With his occasionally psychedelic palette and his boldly juxtaposed forms, Oliver Newberry Chaffee Jr. (1881-1944) was a “modern before modernism was popular,” Ross Moffett said. But his accomplished Fauvism — good enough to get him into the famous 1913 Armory Show in New York — could not disguise what looks like tremendous affection for his subjects. As a result of their exuberant but disciplined spirit, Chaffee’s century-old paintings hold up remarkably well; better, certainly, than those by many of his contemporaries. His other artistic legacy was as the husband of Ada Gilmore, a watercolorist and printmaker, many of whose works complement his. This plain house on Central Street is where Chaffee lived through the early 1940s. More pictures and history»

6 Central Street

The year 1944 saw the death of two giants who lived across the street from one another: Oliver Chaffee from the world of art and, from the mariners’ realm, Capt. George H. Bickers of the United States Life Saving Service, who lived at 6 Central Street, a structure that dates to about 1830. “Captain Bickers belonged to the now fast-vanishing race of men who spent their lives intimately with the seas in the days of sailing vessels with all the dangers attendant upon that traffic,” The Advocate said in his obituary. He came from a time before the Coast Guard’s mechanized equipment, “when rescues were made with brawn and sheer, downright courage.” More pictures and history»

6 Central Street

6 Central Street, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

6 Central Street, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

The year 1944 saw the death of two giants who lived across the street from one another: Oliver Chaffee from the world of art and, from the mariners’ realm, Capt. George Bickers of the Life-Saving Service, who lived at No. 6, a structure dating to about 1830. He “belonged to the now fast-vanishing race of men who spent their lives intimately with the seas in the days of sailing vessels with all the dangers attendant upon that traffic,” The Advocate said. More recently, this was the home of Carrie A. Seaman, the namesake of CASAS – the Carrie A. Seaman Animal Shelter. Tony Kushner, writer of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes and screenwriter of the 2012 movie Lincoln, bought this house in 2012.


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.

7 Central Street

Carriage House

Under three distinct proprietorships, 7 Central Street has served as a guest house for more than a half century. It is currently the luxury-minded Carriage House, with 13 rooms, run by David McFarlane, a Cypriot software executive, and Ken Hassett, an Irish designer. The opened the lodging in 2000. Before that, beginning in the 1980s, it had been Lady Jane’s Inn, owned and operated by Jane Antolini, who also served on the Board of Selectmen in the 1990s. She bought the property in 1976 from Mary A. Cabral, who had owned 7 Center Street since 1929 and had run it as a guest house for at least part of that time, in the mid-1950s.