12 Bradford Street, main house. [2011, Dunlap]
In the pair of houses once under common ownership at 12 Bradford Street and 14 Bradford Street, each is notable: one for its monumental Doric columns and the other for a front porch that looks like a former storefront — because it is.
The parcels were long owned by Joseph Silva Perry (1869-1928) and his descendants, through to his granddaughter Ann V. Welles. (Joseph Perry was also known as Joseph P. Silva, and sometimes as Joseph Silvia. An affidavit to that effect was filed in 1947.) Welles sold 12 Bradford in 2019 for $922,500, but still owned No. 14 at this writing.
Perry remodeled No. 12 in the 1920s for his second wife, Phoebe Philomena (Silva) Perry (1876-1964). “Prior to that, it was a typical L-shaped, steep-roofed Provincetown home with the front door to the side,” Welles told me in a wonderful 2012 family history. Perry centered the front door, added the columns, added the dormers and an addition for a bath and attached kitchen. His interior remodeling, Welles said, was “more or less informed by the Arts and Crafts style then popular.”
Joseph Perry ran a grocery store next door at No. 14. He also dealt in automotive products, to judge from a 1923 ad that listed him as an agent for Coffield Tire Protectors, a lining that was supposed to prolong the life of inner tubes. After Perry’s death, the store was taken over by Jackson Richard Cabral (1906-1950), and was known as Jackson Cabral’s. When the Perrys’ son Joseph Kermit Perry returned from military service in the late 1940s, he took over the business at No. 14 and renamed it Kermit’s Market: “Last Store Going to New Beach — First Store Coming Back!” (New Beach was the old name for Herring Cove.)
The couple’s other son, Reginald Pearson Perry (1920-1979), was born in the upstairs back bedroom in 1920. He was the father of Ann Welles.
He was graduated from high school at 16 and “went over the bridge to college where he met my mother,” Welles recounted, using the Cape Cod idiom for the mainland. He married very well: Dr. Helen (Niemi) Perry (1918-2004) was one of four women to have graduated in 1943 from the Tufts University School of Medicine with a doctorate degree. Dr. Perry was an obstetrician-gynecologist in the Boston area for 41 years.
Over the years, the family kept No. 12 and No. 14 as a summer home and as rental property, Welles told me in 2012, not long after returning to her ancestral homestead from Framingham, where she had been a member and chairperson of the Planning Board.
There is an imposing garage on the Mechanic Street side of the property.
Ann V. Welles wrote on 13 September 2012: How delightful to see my home on this blog.
My grandfather, Joseph Silva (sometimes Silvia) Perry, owned this house and remodeled it for his second wife, Phoebe (Philomena) Silva Perry, in the 1920s. Prior to that, it was a typical L-shaped, steep-roofed Provincetown home with the front door to the side. My grandfather centered the front door, added the columns, added the dormers and an addition for a bath and attached kitchen (v. the outdoor “summer” kitchen), and made significant interior changes, more or less informed by the Arts and Crafts style then popular. Joseph Perry ran a grocery store in No. 14 Bradford and was an engineer of the Provincetown Fire Department until his death in 1928.
There was a gap in the running of the store until my uncle, Joseph Kermit Perry, returned to town from a stint in, I believe, the Navy. He brought with him his wife Gladys, and they occupied the apartment above the store. Eventually they moved to Florida.
[My grandmother] died in 1963 after living here for six decades. My father, Reginald Perry, was born in the upstairs back bedroom in 1920, graduated high school at age 16, and went over the bridge to college where he met my mother, Helen. He never again lived full time in Provincetown after he left for college. He died in 1979, and my mother continued to live in Wellesley until she joined me in Framingham. One way or another, sometimes too neglectfully, we kept No. 12 and No. 14 as a summer home and as rental property all the way to the present.
I have just recently retired and moved [to Provincetown] full time and am looking forward to, among other things, researching more of my family history. The above is reasonably accurate, I think, at least for the moment.
¶ Last updated on 22 November 2022.
• Jackson Richard Cabral (1906-1950)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 124762330.
• Dr. Helen (Niemi) Perry (1918-2004)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 171182091.
• Joseph S. Perry (1869-1928)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 191406592.
• Phoebe (Silva) Perry (1876-1964)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 127730935.
• Reginald Pearson Perry (1920-1979)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 171181262.
12 Bradford Street on the Town Map, showing property lines.
Also at this address