19 Alden Street

19 Alden Street. [2012, Dunlap]

Until recent years, the Greek Revival entryway of this house seemed deformed by hard existence. And not without reason. In 1942, Antone Guereiro — a 56-year-old fisherman from Olhao, Portugal, who’d lived in town for 30 years — shipped out from this home as a crew member of a trawler dragging the Crab Ledge grounds. As the boat headed home, about 10 miles off Chatham, he was standing on the stern one moment and, in the next, he was gone. Overboard. He left a wife and three children.

The house holds happier memories, too. It was the home from 1964 to 2005 of Francis G. “Molly” Joseph (1929-2006) and his wife, Virginia M. “Gina” (Menangas) Joseph (1928-2008). “Molly” drove the trolley that hauled fish from the end of Freeman’s Wharf to the tramway serving the giant Atlantic Coast Fisheries plant (better known as the Cape Cod Cold Storage) at 125 Commercial Street. The motive power was provided by an old Ford Model A that had been fitted with train wheels, Mel Joseph recalled in 2010. It could haul several cars, from which fish were deposited into the baskets that traveled up the tramway into the third floor of the processing plant. He made the same trip, hour after hour, day after day, year after year. His son, Mel, wrote: “This might seem today to be tedious work, but what a view of Provincetown, its harbor and the Point. When my father was in failing health in 2006, he and I discussed how blessed he was to have lived his entire life with the view of this harbor as his backdrop.”

An ambitious renovation and remodeling project was begun in 2009 by the new owners — Daniel Jackson, Bruce Derfler, James Conley, Rodney VanDerwarker, and Thomas Mueller — including the addition of three doghouse-style dormers. The owners assured the Historic District Commission that they were “trying to be historically sensitive in their renovation,” but the mere act of straightening the front doorway seems to have diminished the ghosts.

Doorway in 2008 and 2011. [Dunlap]

Before renovation. [Historic District Survey / Provincetown History Preservation Project]

After renovation. [2012, Dunlap]

The specially fitted Ford Model A trolley driven along Freeman’s Wharf by Francis G. “Molly” Joseph, who lived at 19 Alden Street with his wife, Virginia M. “Gina” (Menangas) Joseph. [Mel Joseph / Provincetown Diaspora]

19 Alden Street on the Town Map, showing property lines.

Also at this address


In memoriam

• Francis Grant “Molly” Joseph (1929-2006)

Find a Grave Memorial No. 170861793.

• Virginia M. “Gina” (Menangas) Joseph (1928-2008)

Find a Grave Memorial No. 170861987.

¶ Last updated on 28 November 2018.

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