2020 Commercial 105 Paine's Wharf


105 Commercial Street.

Paine’s Wharf, 700 feet long, “provided docking space for the Grand Bankers to unload their catches,” Irving S. Rogers wrote in his brief, but comprehensive, history of Provincetown wharves, published in The Advocate in October 1941. “Grand Bankers” were schooners that would range more than 900 miles to the extraordinarily rich fishing grounds southeast of Newfoundland. The fishing firm that developed the wharf was founded in 1853 by R. E. Nickerson, Joshua Paine, and James Emery — the same year that the wharf itself was erected.¹ It was originally Paine & Nickerson.² The firm’s name was changed in 1861 to Paine & Emery, then again to J. & L. N. Paine, in 1865, when it was joined by Joshua’s brother, Capt. Lysander N. Paine (1831-1918), whose home still stands nearby, at 96 Commercial Street. By 1912, the truncated wharf was shown on the Sanborn’s street atlas as barely 100 feet long, after which it all but disappeared. The old company store remained in place at 105 Commercial Street until 1918, when it was taken down and reassembled at the nearby Cape Cod Cold Storage complex.

¶ Last updated on 11 September 2018. ¶ Image courtesy of the Provincetown History Preservation Project (Dowd Collection), Page 2239. Scrapbooks of Althea Boxell, Book 9, Page 14.

2020 Commercial 105 Paine's Wharf 1889 Sanborn LOC.jpgImage from Sanborn Fire Insurance Map From Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts (1889), courtesy of the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division. Digital ID No. g3764pm.g038261889.

¹ Untitled article, The Provincetown Advocate, 18 July 1918, Page 2, Column 5.

² “J. & L. N. Paine,” The Provincetown Advocate, 2 February 1956, reprint of an article from the United States Commercial Recorder, 6 December 1890.


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