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2020 Commercial 073A Building B

(2014)

Captain Jack’s Wharf Condominium | Ribbons cabin.

“Pop corn, peanuts, pink lemonade, tanbark, and amusing murals realistically duplicate the atmosphere under the big tents,” The Harvard Crimson said of the Circus Club in 1936. “Sally Nye’s new three-ring circus is well known to thousands of folk who journey to Provincetown in the summer.” The Circus Club did not survive long, but a number of the figures painted on the walls — perhaps by Gilmer Petroff (1913-1990) — endured at least as long as 2014, to my certain knowledge. That’s when I had the chance to see them, as a guest of Joseph D. Harris and his wife, Sandra C. “Sandy” Harris. Joe is a professor emeritus at Dartmouth and Sandy is a former member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, and they owned Ribbons from 2010 to 2015.


2020 Commercial 073B Gallery DiptychLeft: Joseph D. Harris demonstrated the second-story barn doors at Ribbons in 2014. They date to its days as a fish and boat house. Right: This stout giraffe was part of a mural during the brief period in the 1930s when Ribbons was Sally Nye’s Circus Club. The creature may have been painted by Gilmer Petroff (1913-1990).

2020 Commercial 073B Gallery ADVOCATE 1936-07-02This advertisement appeared in The Advocate of 2 July 1936.


They told me that the space had been Mrs. Bailey’s Tea Room and Foster’s Ice House before becoming the Circus Club. It had also been La Fiesta, according to an account in The Advocate of 2 July 1936.

In the rear of the room, formerly the La Fiesta, is a raised dance floor, from which Jack Joseph and his music will play. In the front of the room, near the large sliding door, is the bar, semi-circular in shape and decorated like a huge drum. Miss Nye says that aside from the usual liquors, nothing but circus food will be served: hamburgers, hot dogs, pink lemonade, popcorn, etc. The floor is sawdusted [perhaps explaining The Crimson‘s reference to tanbark] and rumors are abroad that there is a monkey cage somewhere on the premises for noisy guests.

Nye was described by The Advocate as a stage and screen actress. Evidently, she had been part of the ensemble in Katja, an operetta that opened in 1926 on Broadway. The building was the northerly of the two original boat and fish houses at the upland end of the wharf. It was purchased from the Harrises by Mark Moskowitz, who also bought Spindrift-Hesperus at the far end of the wharf.

For an overview of Captain Jack’s Wharf, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Cabin 8½, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Australis cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Borealis cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of the Bridge cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Hesperus cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Jupiter cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of the Locker cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Mars cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Nautilus cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Neptune cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Orion cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Rainbow cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Spindrift cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Sunrise cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Sunset cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Venus cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of Windswept cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

For a view of the Wreck cabin, please see 73A Commercial Street.

¶ Last updated on 15 July 2018.


For further reading online

Captain Jack’s Wharf (Ribbons) website.

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