West Beach Club Condominium (Units 1A and 2A).
Capt. Lysander N. Paine (1831-1918), who was a very big deal in this neighborhood and in town (as president of the Seamen’s Savings Bank, among other things), owned this property until 1897, when he and two other family members sold it to Capt. Henry Thomas Chipman (1849-1910). Atlantic menhaden were the specialty of Captain Chipman, who died at sea. The property at 92 Commercial was transferred in 1920 by three members of the Chipman family to the captain’s widow, Fannie H. (Atwood) Chipman (1865-1954). At the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church, 170 Commercial Street, Mrs. Chipman taught Sunday school, sang in the choir, played the organ, and directed the junior choir. She lived at 61 Commercial Street and rented this house. For instance, the artist Coulton Waugh and his wife rented a studio here in the summer of 1937. The studio rental continued through the ownership of Elmo Avet-Gianelloni, who bought the house from Mrs. Chipman in 1943. The studio was then known as Bowsprit.
Antone P. “Narchie” Ferreira (1912-1998) and his wife, Bertella Marie Ferreira, purchased the property in 1946, after he returned from service in the Army during World War II, for which he won a Purple Heart. The Ferreiras sold the very next year to another wartime Army veteran, Michael M. Bollas (1920-1980), and his wife, Mary A. Bollas.
Four years later, the McKellars arrived, ushering in the most consequential occupancy in the house’s history. William W. McKellar (1897-1987) was a retired commander who had served in the Coast Guard during World War II. He and his wife, Agnes A. (Wilson) McKellar (1897-2001), bought 92 Commercial from the Bollas family.
In 1952, a year after buying this house, McKellar was chosen as executive director of the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce and was also appointed to the Airport Commission. He also served on the Finance Committee and the Harbor Development Committee. He and his wife owned and operated the Harbor Vanity Shoppe downtown, at 274-276 Commercial Street, which was then the Seamen’s Savings Bank headquarters. Commander McKellar had plenty of administrative experience, as the chief of finance for the Ninth Coast Guard District in the Great Lakes, and before that as chief of the Coast Guard Supply Depot at Jersey City, which kept the East Coast stations equipped.
Grief and sorrow were not strangers to this house. In 1956, the McKellars’ younger son, Robert M. McKellar, a retired lieutenant commander in the Navy, died at age 35. He had commanded the U.S.S. Sturtevant, a destroyer escort, and served as executive officer on the destroyer U.S.S. Trathen. That same year, his older brother, Kenneth P. McKellar, a retired Coast Guard radioman, was admitted to the Veterans Administration hospital in Brockton as a mental patient. Among the several traumas he had suffered was the torpedoing of his ship, U.S.C.G.C. Alexander Hamilton off the coast of Iceland in 1942. “He was floating for many hours in the water before being rescued,” The Advocate said.
The McKellars sold the house in 1959 to Irwin E. Metz and Evelyn Metz, of Woodmere, N.Y. After nearly 20 years, they sold it to another Long Islander, who flipped it in a matter of months and sold it in 1978 to William E. Pickett and Rald Harmer of Manhattan. They owned it until 1986, when it was acquired by Edward G. Benz, who created the five-unit condominium that year. The front portion of the house has two units, upstairs and downstairs. The owners live in Boston and Harvard.
For a view of Units 1B and 2B, please see 92 Commercial Street.
For a view of Unit 1C, please see 92 Commercial Street.
¶ Last updated on 21 August 2018
Grave sites in Provincetown
Bollas Michael M. Find a Grave Memorial No. 138495582.
Chipman, Henry Thomas. Find a Grave Memorial 137238333.
Ferreira, Antone P. Find a Grave Memorial 191037120.
McKellar, Agnes A. Find a Grave Memorial 191655402.
McKellar, Kenneth P. Find a Grave Memorial 191655401.
McKellar, William W. Find a Grave Memorial 191655403.
Paine, Lysander N. Find a Grave Memorial 77641300.