Dale N. Elmer (1929-2015).
Lovely as it is, Elmer’s epitaph — “A True Artist, Creative Jeweler and Sculptor, Much Loved Mentor” — understates the case. As the entrepreneur behind the original Whaler’s Wharf, Elmer influenced a generation of artisans in Provincetown and shaped the character of downtown. Here is the story from his obituary, picking up when he was a young jeweler on Bleecker Street in Manhattan: “In the 1960s, Dale bought a building at 241 Commercial Street …, renamed it the Handcrafter, and opened his second jewelry store. This was very successful. When the old Provincetown Theater next door went up for sale, Dale bought it, and made it into the craft mall known fondly as Whaler’s Wharf. Here, Dale provided the opportunity for dozens of young artists and crafters who were low on funds but high on creativity and enthusiasm to begin their artistic and business careers. … Whaler’s Wharf became known for its amazing variety of unique crafts. At one time, there was a myriad of portrait artists, along with candle makers, a Shell Shop, paintings on wood, wood assemblages, stained glass, leather makers, metalsmiths, shell jewelry, a pewter shop, rocks and fossils, and on and on.” After Whaler’s Wharf was destroyed by one of Provincetown’s most disastrous fires in 1998, Elmer retired.
¶ Last updated on 24 June 2017.