Cemetery 25 Smith Francis


Francis “Frank” Perry Smith (1835-1918) | Gifford.

For an imposing figure in town history — the man who gave us the Atlantic House — here is an imposing monument: a polished black granite orb atop a polished black granite obelisk. Smith took over the lease of the Allstrum House hotel on Masonic Place in 1871, and renamed it for the ocean on which he’d spent most of his life. He was born on the island of Pico in the Azores, from which he shipped aboard the Provincetown whaler Charles Allstrum, under Capt. Seth Snow. Sickness at sea forced him to return to Flores in the Azores, but after his recovery he joined the crew of the whaler Spartan, on which he spent the next two years before landing finally on Cape Cod. Smith was serving aboard the steamer Ella Warley on 5 February 1863 when she was rammed by the transport steamer North Star off the coast of New Jersey. Six other crew members perished. He and the other crew members of the schooner John M. Fiske survived a “memorable gale” in August 1870, The Advocate later said, adding that the “escape of vessel and crew was principally due to his gallant efforts.” That may have been all the adventure Smith cared to endure, as he purchased the Allstrum House the next year. “Thousands of guests praised his bill of fare — always abundant and delectable, listened with delight to his tales of the sea and experiences in foreign climes, applauded his aphorisms and came to admire his genial manner and big-souled hospitality,” The Advocate said. “Big-souled? He probably fed more impecunious persons than any small-town landlord in New England — in most instances without solicitation.” Smith retired from innkeeping in 1915 and moved to 22 Pearl Street. The orb at this site is unusual, but not unique. Others may be found at the graves of Gwen Bloomingdale (1941-2001) and Capt. Charles A. Foster (1863-1920). [Lot No. 33.]

¶ Last updated on 4 March 2018.

Find a Grave Memorial No. 40620646.

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