130 Bradford Street

130 Bradford Street in 1900. [Scrapbooks of Althea Boxell 2:75 / Dowd Collection / Provincetown History Preservation Project Page 499]

Detail from the Atlas of Barnstable County (1880). [Courtesy of Ken Janson and Robert Vetrick]

Text last updated on 21 August 2016 | The Dunlap house? Admittedly, the name “Mrs. Dunlap” on the 1880 atlas caught my eye for personal reasons, even though I know we couldn’t be related. (It’s a long story.) One possibility: perhaps she was the widow of John Dunlap, who seems to be the only person of that name in accounts of town life in the 19th century. Dunlap shows up in three public records: as a two-term Selectman, first elected in 1838; as a one-term Representative, elected in 1840; and then, in 1850, as an agent of the whaler R. E. Cook, which was under the command of Captains Cook, Nickerson, and Tilson. It is not far-fetched to think of “Mrs. Dunlap” — if she were a contemporary of John Dunlap — as a woman, say, in her late 60s or early 70s by the year the atlas was published.

Irma Ruckstuhl wrote on 24 May 2011: A Mrs. Almira Dunlap is listed at 4 Standish Street in the 1886 Provincetown Resident Directory.

Denise Avallon wrote on 27 January 2012: In the Provincetown Cemeteries book are Capt. John Dunlap (died Oct. 9, 1876; aged 77 years) and Almira, his widow (died Oct. 16, 1890; aged 82 years). In the Barnstable Patriot, Oct. 17, 1876, in Provincetown during a fire at a building used as a sail loft, “John Dunlap, overcome with excitement, dropped dead in the street.” The Advocate was less dramatic: “Mr John Dunlap an aged & respected citizen when returning from the fire Monday evening suddenly fell to the ground & soon expired … His age was 77 years” (Oct. 11, 1876; page 2). My reply of 27 January 2012: Thank you, Denise. That sounds like my kind of Dunlap: so overcome with excitement that he dropped dead in the middle of the street. Maybe we are related, after all.

¶ Republished on 20 September 2023.

130 Bradford Street on the Town Map, showing property lines.

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