On the north corner of Whorf’s Court is the property from which the narrow way most likely takes its name: 124 Commercial Street, which was owned for many years by a branch of the Whorf family. Three principal lines descend from the original John Whorf [I] (1725-1790), who came to Provincetown from Gloucester: the artistic and literary Whorfs (including the painters John Whorf, Nancy Whorf Kelly, and Carol Whorf Westcott, and the writer Amy Whorf McGuiggan); the Whorf’s Wharf Whorfs, in the East End; and — here — the Whorf’s Court Whorfs.
Capt. James Whorf (1815-1886), a grandson of John Whorf [I], occupied this house — then denominated 119 Commercial Street — with his wife, Phebe M. (Freeman) Whorf (1819-1898). So, too, did their daughters Lucinda W. Whorf (1855-1920), a teacher, and Nettie P. (Whorf) Kennedy (1849-1919), along with her husband, Andrew Kennedy (1846-1921). Lucinda and Andrew sold the house in 1919.
Members of the Whorf family shown in red were owners and occupants of 124 Commercial Street, which was denominated 119 Commercial during the 1800s and early 1900s.
It was purchased by Mary (Souza) Lucas (1881-1952), the daughter of Manuel and Philomena Souza and the wife of Joseph F. Lucas. Her daughter, Mary Christine (Lucas) Carreiro (1920-1968), married Frank J. Carreiro (1917-1977), and they lived here, as well. The west side of the house was rented until the early 1950s to Lewis J. and Madeline (Carlos) Rabbit and their family. “Lots of stories on Whorf’s Court in the ’40s and early ’50s — some unprintable,” their daughter Josephine recalled in 2013.
Carreiro, who served in the Navy during World War II, ran Frank’s Oil & Burner Service from the house. He was the town’s exclusive dealer in Sunoco heating oil in the early 1960s. Their son David L. “Bootsie” Carreiro (1946-2008) was a fisherman, lately aboard Jersey Princess, and the captain of Engine Company No. 2.
The Carreiros sold the property in 2009. The house was renovated in 2011, while it was owned by James William Martin and Edgar Enrique Hernandez, to designs by Ted Smith Architect LLC of Boston and Provincetown. It was purchased in 2016 for $1.6 million by Robert L. Lieberman and his husband, Brian S. Schneider, of San Francisco.
The front door at 124 Commercial Street in 2008, three years before the renovation designed by Ted Smith Architect LLC. Note the mechanical door bell.
¶ Last updated on 24 November 2018.
124 Commercial Street on the Town Map.
Thumbnail image: Photo of the renovation, 2011, by David W. Dunlap.
Josephine “Bunny” Rabbitt wrote on 21 July 2013: My earliest memories were in this house. We rented the left side of the house, until I was about 8, from Mary Lucas and the Carreiro family. Lots of stories on Whorf’s Court in the ’40s and early ’50s — some unprintable.
• David L. Carreiro
Find a Grave Memorial No. 111402869.
• Frank Carreiro
Find a Grave Memorial No. 162400965.
• Mary Christine (Lucas) Carreiro
Find a Grave Memorial No. 162401029.
• Andrew Kennedy
Find a Grave Memorial No. 120347732.
• Robert L. Lieberman and Brian S. Schneider
“Outdoor Rooms and Stylish Plantings Tame a Hilly Lot,” by Lauren Dunec Hoang, Houzz, 3 October 2016.
• Mary (Souza) Lucas
Find a Grave Memorial No. 141477736.
• Lewis J. Rabbit
Find a Grave Memorial No. 125866621.
• Ted Smith Architect
• James Whorf
Find a Grave Memorial No. 120346708.
• Lucinda W. Whorf
Find a Grave Memorial No. 120347279.
• Nettie P. (Whorf) Kennedy
Find a Grave Memorial No. 120347560.
• Phebe M. (Freeman) Whorf
Find a Grave Memorial No. 120346909.