Homeport Condominium | Former Home Port Housekeeping Cottages
Sign for the Home Port complex. [2018, Gerard W. T. Hayward]
Text last updated on 23 November 2018 | More than 200 feet in the woods off Bradford Street, the cluster of tiny homes begun in 1939 by Anna Wilson “Nan” (Lyle) Hancock (1887-1962) may be one of the least known of Provincetown’s old cottage colonies. Hancock, a decorated chief petty officer who had worked in naval intelligence during World War I, bought this parcel from Minnie Perry in 1937, and made her own home at 262 Bradford Street. Two years later, the Advocate announced that Hancock was building four cottages on the property.1 Shortly after that announcement, a plan filed with Barnstable County showed a cluster of four small cottages, and a larger cottage (reached by a flight of steps).2 These correspond with the units now known as Pilgrim, Sea Fox, The Nunz, Mayflower, and the larger Harbor Lights. Perhaps Hancock’s most prominent guest at the Home Port Housekeeping Cottages was the poet Howard Nemerov (1920-1991), who spent the summer of 1949 at what the Advocate referred to as “the Nan Hancock cottages.”3 Nemerov was to win both the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the National Book Award for Poetry in 1978 for The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov. His sister was the photographer Diane Arbus.
Hancock sold the property in 1960 to Mika Marinkovich and Louise T. (Dodge) Marinkovich of New York. They sold it in 1969 to Max and Elizabeth H. Birnbaum, who sold it in 1973 to Warren H. and Wilma R. Falkenburg, who sold it in 1977 to Manfred M. and Huguette Betten. It was the Bettens who seem to have split off the main house from the cottage colony. They sold the cottage colony in 1983 to Bradley Robinson (1914-1984), the co-author of Dark Companion: The Story of Matthew Henson, and the house in 1987 to Barbara Tucker Cardinal, the proprietor of the Kiley Court Gallery. Robinson’s son, Lee, sold the cottage colony in 1990 to John V. Cunney Jr., Philip D. Scholl, and Jared A. Wollaston of Boston. They instituted the condo regime that year.
1 “Provincetown Personals,” Provincetown Advocate, 2 February 1939, Page 3.
2 “Plan of Land in Provincetown Belonging to Anna Hancock,” May 1939, Barnstable County Registry of Deeds, Plan Book 60, Page 71.
3 “Provincetown Personals,” Provincetown Advocate, 30 June 1949, Page 3.
¶ Republished on 17 October 2023.
262A Bradford Street on the Town Map, showing property lines.