2020 Commercial 038 Previous House From 1938 Sanborn


“When a Truoer of old got tired of his surroundings, or they changed, as they often did, he picked up his house bodily, and rolled or floated it elsewhere,” Ina May (Small) Snow wrote in 1944. She referred specifically to her great uncle, Arnold Small, who moved his Truro house to what became 38 Commercial Street. In 1928, Ina’s mother, Harriet A. (Bixby) Small, sold the property to Jessie G. Cuyler, whose home this was until her death in 1946. As you can see in the photo below, the house was turned into the kind of double-decker one might expect to see in Dorchester. The Cuyler estate sold 38 Commercial to Lawrence and Helene Richmond, who replaced it with a garage.

Commercial Street still had a plank sidewalk when this undated photograph was taken. Left: 34 Commercial Street, without its current shed dormer. Center: 36 Commercial Street, the long-time home of Bruce Deely and Lauren Richmond, by whose courtesy this picture appears. Right: 38 Commercial Street, a double-decker that Lawrence Richmond turned into a garage and porch in the 1940s.

¶ Last updated on 10 February 2021.

Lauren Richmond wrote on 14 November 2009: My father, Lawrence Richmond, did, indeed purchase 38 Commercial Street in 1947. He had the triple-decker house that was there torn down, but he had the local carpenters use the salvageable building materials (it was after the war and materials were scarce) to build a screened porch and garage/attic. The yard is generous because it is a double-size lot, but the footprint of the building that was at 38 Commercial Street originally is still a built part of the property. The current owner is Gilbert Schulenberg along with his partner, Bill Smith.

Denise Avallon wrote on 14 December 2013: The house that used to be at 38 Commercial Street had come from Truro, according to an article in The Advocate written by Ina Small Snow. “Great Uncle Arnold Small … moved his house from the hill … to a spot at the West End of Provincetown, raised it up and put a story underneath, and now it is the house owned by Mrs. Jessie Cuyler, next door to my mother’s house.” (June 15, 1944, page 4.) Mrs. Cuyler died in 1946, “in her home at 38 Commercial St.” (The Advocate, September 12, 1946.)

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