Sandbar Village Condominium (Units A1 and A2).
The compound of three buildings behind the Thai Lounge Bistro & Monkey Bar dates back to the days when this was the property of the Powes, who were mariners and fishmongers. The central figure in the family business was Andrew Thomas Powe (1867-1930), a Provincetown native, who married Bessie Elsworth (Beaver) Powe (1858-1938), of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The firm of Powe Brothers, fish dealers, was established by 1908, when it appeared in The New England Business Directory, but the family had owned this waterfront parcel — including what’s now Monkey Bar — in the 1880s. Under the old numbering system, it was denominated 144 Commercial Street.
Left: This particular building (or at least a structure on this footprint) was depicted on an 1889 insurance map as a two-story boat-making shed. Sanborn Fire Insurance Map From Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts (1889). Library of Congress Geography and Map Division. Digital ID g3764pm.g038261889. Right: On maps ranging from 1929 to 1959, the building was labeled “Studio,” and given the address 147A Commercial Street. Sanborn Map Company, Provincetown (1938), Plate 4. Sanborn Historic Land Maps, Town of Provincetown website.
The stamp says, “Compliments of A. T. Powe, Fish Dealer, 149 Commercial St., Provincetown, Mass.” The postcard comes from My Provincetown Memorabilia Collection on Facebook, posted by Salvador R. Vasques III on 30 April 2018. The consensus of the commenters on Facebook was that this giant fish was a sturgeon.
By the early 1950s, the Powe property was owned by the great “Sea Fox” himself, Capt. Manuel Zora (1895-1979), and his wife, Judith Greene (Tobey) Zora (1907-1969). She sold the complex in 1956 to the equally celebrated Reginald Warren “Reggie” Cabral (1923-1996), owner of the Atlantic House. It seems that the “Sandbar Village” designation came into use during Cabral’s ownership.
A picture of Sandbar Village in 1959 emerged in a lovely account by Steve Barrie and published in The Advocate about a wedding ceremony held here in late summer for a young couple from Brooklyn Heights, Judith Flynn and Ronald Santicioli. Their love for one another had blossomed in Provincetown, and they hoped to be married in the studio of the well-known artist Yeffe Kimball (1914-1978), though she was a stranger to them. Enchanted by the notion, Kimball and her husband, Harvey L. Slatin (1915-2013), set out to make the event memorable. (Dr. Slatin, a physicist and inventor, had worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II from which emerged the first atomic bombs.)
Yeffe Kimball, from TomSlatin.Com.
Kimball started by suggesting that the wedding take place not in her studio, but on the terrace deck she shared with her neighbors Reginald and Meara (McKie) Cabral (1926-1996), and the artist Norman Carton (1908-1980). From Kimball’s studio — perhaps in this building? — came an altar that Barrie described as a “woven fence of cedar saplings, decorated with marigold, dahlias, and sprigs of pine,” and covered with an “ancient Aztec Indian ceremonial rug.” Carton, an abstract expressionist, prepared a 14-foot-long scroll decorated with the words “Devotion,” “Love,” “Happiness,” “Felicitations,” “Judy,” and “Ronnie.” The ceremony took place at dusk, Barrie wrote, as “soaring seagulls, sailing quietly overhead, winged a silent benediction.”¹
When David B. Willard created the seven-unit Sandbar Village condo in 1984, this structure was called Building D, though its two units are designated A1 and A2 on the assessor’s rolls. At this writing, they’re owned by residents of Accord and New Haven.
The former studio building at 149A Commercial Street in 2010 (above), and the beachfront facade in 2018 (below). Photos by David W. Dunlap.
¶ Last updated on 2 May 2019.
149A Commercial Street on the Town Map.
Also at 149-149A Commercial Street:
Thumbnail image: From My Provincetown Memorabilia Collection on Facebook, posted by Salvador R. Vasques III on 30 April 2018.
For further reading online
• Meara (McKie) Cabral (1926-1996)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 107021044.
• Reginald Warren “Reggie” Cabral (1923-1996)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 51635551.
• Norman Carton (1908-1980)
“Norman Carton, Painter, Is Dead; Taught at New School 18 Years,” The New York Times, 20 February 1980.
• Harvey L. Slatin (1915-2013)
“Harvey L. Slatin,” Atomic Heritage Foundation website.
• Yeffe Kimball (1914-1978)
“Yeffe Kimball Slatin, Artist, 64, Dies,” The New York Times, 12 April 1978.
• Andrew Thomas Powe (1867-1930)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 153412904.
• Bessie Elsworth (Beaver) Powe (1858-1938)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 153413159.
¹ “Steve’s Own Corner,” by Steve Barrie, The Provincetown Advocate, 3 September 1959, Page 9.