Peaked Hill Bars Life-Saving Station.
Near the site now occupied by the Margo-Gelb Shack, the U.S. Life-Saving Service built the Peaked Hill Bars Life-Saving Station in 1872. After it was decommissioned in 1914, Sam Lewisohn, a leading art collector in New York, acquired it for Mabel Dodge, an art patron whose Greenwich Village home was an important salon. She spent time here with the painter Maurice Sterne, whom she later married. James O’Neill bought the station in 1919 as a wedding present for his son, Eugene, and daughter-in-law, Agnes Boulton. In six summers here, O’Neill wrote Anna Christie, The Emperor Jones, and The Hairy Ape. The critic Edmund Wilson and the writer Hazel Hawthorne Werner took turns renting it from 1927 through 1930, when Eugene O’Neill deeded it to his son. Months later, in January 1931, the steadily eroding dune cliff undermined the station. It dropped over the edge at a crazy angle and floated out to sea.
¶ Adapted from Building Provincetown (2015). ¶ Image courtesy of the Provincetown History Preservation Project, Dowd Collection, Page 916. (Scrapbooks of Althea Boxell, Book 4, Page 91.)