132 Commercial Street Condominium.
The brick base of this structure was called out as early as the 1889 Sanborn insurance map, so it’s certainly venerable — if just a bit eccentric, with exterior landings and stairways on its front facade, reminiscent of New York City tenements. Elsie P. Ditson was the owner in the early 20th century, when this was denominated 127 Commercial Street, under the old numbering system. Della L. Allen moved her Oriole Food Shoppe here from 1 Tremont Street in 1933. It was in business through the late 1930s, when it was known as the Oriole Tea Room. In 1950, if you were looking to buy a Smart-Form corset, you’d come here for a fitting — after telephoning Miss Ruth Wilson for an appointment. Her phone number was 324-J.
132 Commercial Street in 2011. David W. Dunlap.
By this time, Joseph F. Cook (1926-1993) and his wife, Josephine (Mulder) Cook, were living here. The couple had married in 1949. He had been born in Provincetown, but she was from — gasp! — the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Joe worked at Cookie’s Tap across the street, at 133 Commercial Street, which was owned by his mother, Clara (Cabral) Cook (1900-1988). His brother Ralph Cook, a chef, was living here in 1963. The property changed hands several times within the Cook family, passing in 1975 to Joe and Josephine’s niece, Sandra L. (Cook) Jackett, and her husband of four years, Thomas F. Jackett, also of Provincetown. Thomas Jackett sold the building in 1984 to Louis Policano and Keith R. Stone of New York. In 2003, Stone created the four-unit 132 Commercial Street Condominium, retaining one of the units for himself.
Stone, a licensed massage therapist, runs Stone Wellness Body & Energy Work out of 132 Commercial. Another unit is owned by Leslie Parsons, a Harvard alumna, real estate broker, and the founder and owner of Across the Bay Real Estate, which is based here.
Left: Advertisement in The Advocate of 29 July 1937. Right: Ad from 10 August 1950.
Left: Leslie Parsons’s real estate business in 2014. Right: Keith Stone’s massage business in 2013. Photos by David W. Dunlap.
¶ Last updated on 19 January 2019.
132 Commercial Street on the Town Map.
Thumbnail image: Photo of the Stone Wellness Body & Energy Work sign, 2014, by David W. Dunlap.
For further reading online
• Clara (Cabral) Cook (1900-1988)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 91341793.
• Joseph F. Cook (1926-1993)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 91341643.
• Leslie Parsons
Across the Bay Real Estate website.
“Leslie Parsons, Broker” on Realtor.com.