Dutra-Cowing compound (Building 1) | Former Simmons Farm | Also, 35 Shank Painter Road | Also, 52 Winthrop Street.
You can count the remaining farms and family compounds on the fingers of one hand. Each is special but this is a great one — all the more so since it hides within plain sight of the hundreds of visitors who travel up and down Shank Painter Road, which borders the property on the west, and opposite the Winthrop Street Cemetery. It has been in one family’s hands since its days as the Simmons Farm, beginning in 1901. The property passed from Rosa and Manuel Simmons to their daughter, Minnie (Simmons) Silva; to her daughter, Ruth (Silva) Watson, who ran Shankpainter Village, a cottage colony on Winthrop; to her daughter, Ruth (Watson) Dutra, who lives on an abutting parcel at 52 Winthrop. Ms. Dutra’s daughter, RuthAnne (Dutra) Cowing, lives on an abutting parcel at 35 Shank Painter with her husband, Brian Cowing, whose ancestors are buried across the street. Ms. Cowing, the town’s animal control officer, boards her lovely palomino horse, Star, on the property. There are also ducks, geese, and chickens, so the traces of the farm aren’t too distant. Part of the property was briefly the Shankpainter Children’s Zoo. This is the main house, on Brown Street.
¶ Adapted from Building Provincetown (2015).