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Pilgrim Monument, line drawing by Ewa Nogiec
Provincetown Favorite Places: A-House


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The Atlantic House, located on Masonic Place, is known also as the A-House and is one of the oldest bars in town.

 

The History of Atlantic House

What is now called the Atlantic House or A-House, as it is well known, was built by Provincetown's first Postmaster, Daniel Pease, in 1798. Pease operated the building as a tavern until his death from Cholera in 1834.

The Atlantic House was then purchased by Benjamin Allstrum, who renamed it the Allstrum House. It served as the last stage coach stop of the Orleans to Provincetown route until the arrival of the train in 1873.

When Allstrum died in 1871, Frank Potter Smith, a Portuguese sailor who had arrived in town on a boat at the age of 18, bought the Allstrum House and renamed it the Atlantic House - the name has stuck for good.

The A-House was the hangout for several of America's most noted writers in the 1920's. Eugene O'Neill and Tennessee Williams are counted in that list. A nude photo of Tennessee Williams strolling on Provincetown beaches hangs in the bar.

In 1950 Reginald (Reggie) Cabral and Mr. and Mrs. Frank J. Hurst bought the A-House. Soon Reggie, who worked as manager, took over full ownership and the establishment became what is today the most popular watering hole in Provincetown.

Some would say that the A-House is the oldest Gay Bar in the country with its appeal to alternate life stylists from the early 1900's, but the A-House became truly "gay friendly" back in the early 50's and from then on it's history has been such. Holding weekly theme parties in the big room (disco) and hosting a cast of regular characters in the "Little Bar."

The A-House is a unique combination of party central and neighborhood bar. Upstairs from the "Little Bar," is the Macho Room: A bar for "Leather Men" and their admirers.

No visit to Provincetown is complete without a visit to the A-House. In the summer the patio is open and the boys flock nightly to dance, enjoy a libation and get to know each other.

The A-House is more than just another bar in Provincetown - its a symbol of Provincetown.

[courtesy www.ahouse.com]

 

 

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