Former Wildflower of Provincetown.
Accounts vary as to when this sweet little shop was constructed in the front yard of 152 Commercial Street. Perhaps there were two buildings in succession. It is not present on the 1912 Sanborn street atlas of Provincetown, but it does show up on the 1919 atlas. This would seem to buttress the account published in the obituary of John Joseph Duarte (1863-1918) that he built this structure to serve as his shoemaking and shoe repair shop after he was forced to vacate the store at 125 Commercial Street. “Long afflicted with the disease which caused death: consumption of the lungs [tuberculosis], he worked indefatigably and well nigh to the last hour of his life at his bench,” The Advocate said.¹
Duarte’s cobbler shop was followed by the barber shop of Joseph M. Carreiro (1880-1971). The Carreiro-Sawyer family believes that Carreiro built this shop in 1929. It was, in any case, the place to see and be shorn. Carreiro “barbered many of the ‘greats’ who first brought Provincetown national renown as an art colony,” The Advocate said in 1965. “Eugene O’Neill was not only his regular customer but personal friend as well — as was the playwright’s wife, the former Agnes Boulton. Mr. Carreiro’s customers included colorful personalities from the fishing fleet as well as the art colony.”²
Left: Serenade Florist in 2004, photographed for the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Right: An advertisement for Wildflower of Provincetown.
Other tenants have included John Coty’s La Petite Gallery, in the early 1960s; Hobby Horse Yarns, in the mid-1970s; and Serenade Florist, in the early 2000s. In 2007, Jeff Fresenius and John J. Dougherty of 110 Commercial Street established J. & J. Signature Designs L.L.C. as a retail and wholesale florist, also dealing in artwork and home décor. They do business as Wildflower of Provincetown and have had several shops, including this one, which they occupied until 2019, when they moved to 136 Commercial Street.
The Wildflower shop in a 2008 photo by David W. Dunlap.
¶ Last updated on 23 September 2019.
152A Commercial Street on the Town Map.
Also at 152-152A Commercial Street:
Thumbnail image: Photo, 2011, by David W. Dunlap.
For further research online:
• Wildflower of Provincetown
¹ The Provincetown Advocate, 4 April 1918, Page 2.
² “To Fellows and Friends, Afar & Abroad,” The Provincetown Advocate, 4 March 1965, Page 2.