Cemetery 25 Lancy Benjamin III


Benjamin Lancy [III] (1847-1923) | Hamilton.

The third Benjamin Lancy has the firmest claim on our imagination, as he stands in the first rank of town eccentrics — a civic honor in Provincetown. And the Second Empire mansion at 230 Commercial Street is his monument, as are the remnants of the wharf behind 229 Commercial Street. Amy McGuiggan Whorf has traced the origin of the house to Lancy’s impending marriage in 1879, while acknowledging family lore that Benjamin really built it for his mother, Nabby Cook Lancy (1812-1896), who insisted that she wanted a Boston brownstone — never mind the cost and weight of the material. He solved the problem by building the facade of wood panels shaped like dressed masonry. These were painted brown. While the paint was still wet, they were covered with brownstone dust, which adhered to the surface, until they acquired the desired texture. Mrs. Cook died in February 1896, and the family is said to have kept her in her bedroom through the winter, with the windows open to preserve the body with frigid air. Lancy wound up living with his sister Maria in the basement of the house, as a near-recluse. He died in the State Lunatic Asylum at Taunton. [Lot No. 6.]

¶ Last updated on 23 January 2018.

Provincetown’s Historic Cemeteries and Memorials, Key H-8, Page 4.

Find a Grave Memorial No. 51204426.

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