5 Allerton Street

5 Allerton Street. [2009, Dunlap]

Former Rilleau Sandal Shop. The Rilleau Sandal Shop was founded in 1940 by Roger Rilleau (1909-1977) as Hand Industries, at 322 Commercial Street. It moved to 347 Commercial Street, then to this property, which had been known to generations of postcard buyers as the Rose-Covered Cottage, said Gaby Rilleau. Kim Rilleau, son of Roger and Peggy (Tryon) Rilleau, conducted the business in a workshop here from 1968 to 1997.

“As the days count down until the Allerton Street shop closes, Rilleau continues to measure people’s feet, cut the thick rolls of creamy leather stacked in the rafters overhead and turn out sandals in the same way his father, Roger, did starting in 1937,” Sue Harrison wrote in the Banner. “The shop, a converted garage next to the family home, is cluttered with dyes, driftwood, sculpture, whale bones and dusty shelves filled with hand tools. Permeating the building and wafting into the driveway is the deep, rich smell of leather that new cars can only aspire to. Ledgers dating back to the first custom orders are still meticulously kept by hand and a stack of foot tracings are mounting up as loyal customers try to get in under the gun.”

Rilleau said the school situation and the difficulty of making a year-round living contributed to the family’s reluctant decision to close up shop in Provincetown. The business continues today in Woodstock, Vt. as Rilleau Leather. The company is said to keep foot measurements from customers of the Provincetown shop going back to 1947.

The Allerton Street property was more recently Pat McCobb’s Allerton Custom Picture Framing business.

Left: Roger Rilleau in 1948. [Courtesy of Gabrielle Rilleau] Right: Kim Rilleau. [Courtesy of Gabrielle Rilleau]

Peggy and Kim Rilleau in 1952. [Courtesy of Gabrielle Rilleau]

Allerton 05

5 Allerton Street. [2009, Dunlap]

Gabrielle Rilleau wrote on 25 February 2013: After my brother left the studio at 5 Allerton, framer Patty McCobb took over the space.

5 Allerton Street on the Town Map, showing property lines.

¶ Last updated in 2015.

What would you like to add to this article?