5 Cottage Street

5 Cottage Street Condominium (Former Corea’s Guest House)

Florence E. (Fields) Corea (1915-2001) and her husband, Joseph Corea Jr. (b 1917), a commercial fisherman and laborer, bought this house in 1948. She ran it as a guest house for the next 48 years. The building dates to the period from 1850 to 1870. It is now a three-unit condo, one unit of which is used by its owner, Richard Golembeski, as an annex for his Norse Wall House next door, at 7 Cottage. • Historic District SurveyAssessor’s Online Database, Unit 1 • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit 2 • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit 3 ¶ Updated 2012-11-21

6 Cottage Street

6 Cottage Street, Ampersand Guesthouse, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

6 Cottage Street, Ampersand Guesthouse, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Robert Vetrick, Ken Janson and Ruckus at the Ampersand Guesthouse, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Robert Vetrick, Ken Janson and Ruckus at the Ampersand Guesthouse, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Ampersand Room, 6 Cottage Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

Ampersand Room, 6 Cottage Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

Ken Janson, who trained as an architect, and his husband, Robert Vetrick, an English teacher, opened the Ampersand Guesthouse in 1987 and have run it ever since. It is tranquil, understated, verdant, reasonably priced, and enormously pleasant — a grown-up guest house that attracts lots of the same couples summer after summer. (Full disclosure: my husband and I are among them.) The original house was built in 1853 for Jonathan Nickerson. A two-story out building served as a studio for the artist John Dennis in the 1940s. Frank and Florence Johnston opened No. 6 as the Florston House just after World War II. In the ’70s, under Don Graichen, it was the Capricorn, catering to gay men who’d come to town for sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. After buying the property in 1986, Vetrick realized that the couple’s lives & the house were undergoing both a new beginning & a continuation. Thus, the name was born.


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6 Cottage Street

 
Ampersand Guesthouse

Ken Janson (b 1944) and his husband, Robert C. Vetrick (b 1945) opened the Ampersand Guesthouse in 1987 and have run it for the last quarter century; a significant milestone in continuity for any bed-and-breakfast operation at the turn of the 21st century. Fitting snugly into its pretty West End setting, the Ampersand is tranquil, understated, verdant (Vetrick is an expert gardener), reasonably priced and enormously pleasant — a grown-up guest house that attracts lots of the same couples summer after summer. (Full disclosure: my husband and I are among them.) There are eight bedrooms in the main house. A two-story out building has two more bedrooms and a studio apartment named for the artist John Dennis, who owned it in the 1940s. More pictures and history

7 Cottage Street

 
Norse Wall House

There is no longer a sign out front announcing its unusual name, but the Norse Wall House has had a firm claim on Provincetown’s imagination for more than a century, so 7 Cottage Street is probably not destined to be called anything else.

What — and where — is this famous Norse Wall? Actually, no one has seen it since 1853, when excavation began on the cellar of No. 7, which was being built at the site of an abandoned salt works on what used to be Chip Hill. “At the depth of five feet a wall of masonry was found about three feet in height and two feet wide at the base,” Herman A. Jennings wrote in Provincetown or, Odds and Ends From the Tip End (1890). More pictures and history»

7 Cottage Street

7 Cottage Street, Norse Wall House, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

7 Cottage Street, Norse Wall House, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

The Norse Wall House was run for years by Ruth Rogers, who co-owned the Gifford House. No one has seen the Norse wall since 1853, when excavation began here. “At the depth of five feet a wall of masonry was found about three feet in height,” Herman A. Jennings wrote in Provincetown or, Odds and Ends From the Tip End. “The theory has been advanced by scientific men that this was the camping-place of Old Thorwald.” That would be Thorvald Ericsson, who set out around 1004 to explore Vinland (America). His ship was driven ashore to a cape he called Kjalarnes, identified as Cape Cod by a Danish archaeologist in 1837. It’s not surprising that the discovery of the wall at caused excitement. If Provincetown could claim a visit by Thorvald six centuries before the Mayflower, who would care where the Pilgrims landed? Those arrivistes!


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.

8 Cottage Street

 
Former Oxford Guesthouse

In lodging service for at least eight decades, 8 Cottage was built between 1850 and 1870. From the 1930s through the 1950s, it was run by Ellen M. Rosa as the Paul Revere Lodge. As such it was a center of Portuguese life, as Mrs. Rosa was the chairwoman of the Ladies’ Council of the Portuguese-American Civic League and would turn the lodge over to entertaining and whist parties. There were also some soon-to-be-famous guests at the Paul Revere; among them, in 1934, a young actor named Garson Kanin. He would go on to direct The Diary of Anne Frank and Funny Girl, write Born Yesterday and with his wife, Ruth Gordon, write Adam’s Rib and Pat and Mike. More pictures and history»

11 Cottage Street

11 Cottage Street Condominium

The main house was built between 1850 and 1870. A large out building, originally a workshop, dated from roughly the same period. It was demolished in recent years. No. 11 was the home in the early 20th century of Edwin B. Tyler, a surfman with the United States Life-Saving Service. Frank J. Souza (b ±1894) owned the property in the 1950s and 1960s. William Days (b 1918) and Elizabeth Days (b 1917) were living here in the early 1980s. • Historic District Survey, main house • Historic District Survey, former workshop (demolished) • Historic District Survey, shed • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit 1 ¶ • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit 2 ¶ Posted 2012-11-25 Another picture»

12 Cottage Street

The original wing of the main house on the property was constructed in 1847. A smaller out building on the same parcel actually fronts on Nickerson Street. This was the home of Joseph Cabral, a fisherman, and Philomena (Souza?) Cabral (±1876-1936) in the early 20th century. The property was passed on to their daughter, Lillian Cabral (b 1910). She was still living here in the early 1980s, as was her sister Hope (Cabral) Lopes (b 1903). It is now a three-unit condo. • Historic District Survey, main house • Historic District Survey, out building • Historic District Survey, out building • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit 1 • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit 2 • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit 3 ¶ Posted 2012-11-25

15 Cottage Street

 
Kensington Gardens Condominium

What is now a nine-unit condo is a structure dating from the early 20th century that was home to the surfman William C. Sparrow of the United States Life-Saving Service. With frontage on Mechanic Street and an ample yard on Cottage Street, it was called Shadowlawn by the 1940s, and was run by Frank Freeland (d 1950) and Clare (Conklin) Freeland (±1896-1958). She was active in the Nautilus Club and at the Provincetown Community Center and conducted her own private kindergarten in the home. He was the Inspector of Fisheries for the Fish and Wildlife Service. More pictures and history»

16 Cottage Street

Lawrence W. Meads Sr. (b 1934), a ship carpenter and boat builder, has owned this house since 1956, when he paid $3,300 for it to George Paine, who’d owned it since 1936. It was earlier the home of Manuel J. Carter, a fisherman. It was built between 1850 and 1870. • Historic District Survey, main house • Historic District Survey, out building • Historic District Survey, shed • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2012-11-25

22 Cottage Street

Members of the Roderick family owned and lived in this house for several decades, at least from the 1950s through the 1980s, including John C. Roderick, Susan Roderick (b 1896), and Richard Roderick (b 1941), a mechanic. The current owner, Adam J. Hunt of New York, added new dormers in 2003, working with Neil Kimball of Kimball Residential Design. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2012-11-25

23 Cottage Street

This quaint bungalow, all of 540 square feet, was built in 1954 and set back in a deep front yard, evidently sited so as not to disturb a magnificent old [species?] tree on the grounds. It is owned by Stephen F. Fossella and Daniel S. Bolton through an entity called the Mr. Pidger Realty Trust, which would seem to be an oblique reference to Gerald Tyrwhitt-Wilson (Lord Berners), an accomplished and most eccentric aesthete of the early 20th century. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2012-11-25

24 Cottage Street

Upper Cottage Street has an unusual number of properties that have been passed down through generations. This house has been in the Santos family since 1951, when it was purchased by Edmund F. Santos (b ±1910), a laborer, and his wife, Bertha (Snow) Santos (b ±1918). Their son, Manuel Joseph Santos (b 1942), a retired truck driver, still lives there. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2012-11-25

28 Cottage Street

 
Deep in the dale of upper Cottage Street, No. 28 has been something of a creative hotbed over the years. Susan Baker, the artist and author of The History of Provincetown and Provincetown Dogs, lived here, as did the writers R. D. Skillings (P-town Stories, Where the Time Goes, How Many Die, Obsidian) and Heidi Jon Schmidt (The House on Oyster Creek), who are now ensconced at 730 Commercial. So did the painter and photographer James R. Zimmerman (b 1951), whose profile is on Ewa Nogiec’s Provincetown Artist Registry. It has been owned since 1968 by the family of Stephen B. Cook. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2012-11-25