7 Bradford Street. [2011, Dunlap]
[Massachusetts Historical Commission Inventory, 1973-1977 / Provincetown Public Library]]
Bill Berardi’s photo of John Oliver. [From the “Faces of Provincetown” collection, assembled and scanned at Provincetown High School under the direction of Judith Stayton and held by the family of Gordon Ferreira / Photographed at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum]
As work began — demolition or gut renovation? [2019, Dunlap]
Left: Before. [2012, Dunlap] Right: After [2021, Dunlap]
When Josephine Del Deo documented the out-buildings at 7 Bradford Street in 1976, she captioned her photograph: “Johnny Oliver’s Garage (A Landmark?)” It seems doubtful that Del Deo would’ve been speaking ironically, so we have to ask what infused this decrepit, utilitarian structure with historical stature. Perhaps it was simply the fact that such homely little workhorses already seemed headed to extinction, and with them an entire blue-collar economy.
Or perhaps it was because John Oliver seemed to have been — in the grand sense of the word — a Provincetown character. Oliver (1899-1978) was a painter. But not that kind. He painted houses and buildings. It was Oliver who applied coats of fresh red paint to the Lancey mansion when it housed the Historical Museum and Oliver who put touches of yellow on “Friday” Cook’s tap room. He acquired this property from Manuel Oliver in 1946 and added his wife, Annie Veronica (Meads) Oliver (1911-2009), to the deed in 1962. She worked as a fish handler, launderer, and housekeeper, and was also active in church and civic life. She traveled to Portugal in her 70s so she could see where her people had come from. Her estate owned the property until 2017, when it was sold for $702,000 to a Boston couple.
At this writing, I’m not sure whether the current one-bedroom house on the workshop site is a replacement or an almost-total gut renovation of the older building.
Tony Lagarto wrote on 3 January 2020: According to a comment in the My Grandfathers Provincetown group on Facebook, Annie Meads Oliver had told Joye Daley that the Oliver homestead had been floated over from Helltown [Long Point?]. I’m presuming that she must’ve been referring to 7 Bradford Street.
¶ Last updated 19 November 2022.
• Annie Veronica (Meads) Oliver (1911-2009)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 40419581.
• John Oliver (1899-1978)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 138777593.
7 Bradford Street on the Town Map, showing property lines.