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Gabriel's, A Living History

 
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............................Wampanoag's

............................Provincetown's first

............................settlement, dating back

............................to 3,000 BC.

............................Through markers

............................and history we are told

............................The Wampanoags had a

............................large settlement at the foot

............................of ,The Center Hill.

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.............................Godfrey Ryder

.............................Godfrey's father originally

.............................owned the property

............................ where 104 and 104A

.............................rests. The

.............................Ryder family owned all

.............................the property

.............................from Hill Pole

.............................Hill down across

............................ Bradford

............................& Commercial

.............................to the water.

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............................Allen Hinkley

............................Master Carpenter

............................Built the 104 Bradford

............................home down the

............................bottom of

............................High Pole Hill

............................Hinkley also built the 1st

............................Provincetown

............................School House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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..............................William Cook

..............................Lived in the house

..............................behind Town Hall

.............................. on Bradford St

..............................moved to create

..............................Monument Park

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................................Daughters

............................... of William Cook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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................................Arthur Bent, President

................................Provincetown

................................Light and Power

................................Compan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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...................................Mildred Allen

.................................. Cape and Vineyard

................................. .Light Company

................................. 104 Bradford Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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...................................Irving Hobart McNayr

...................................Provincetown Light

...................................and Power

...................................Company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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..................................Laurel Wise &

..................................Gabriel Brooke

..................................Gabriel's

..................................Apartments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. .................................William & Christina

..................................Davidson

................................ .Gabriel's

..................................Apartments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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104 Bradford Street

Or 104 Parallel Road until 1881

Provincetown, Ma 02657

104 was built in the 1800's as a single family home.

The main home was originally 400 feet to the east on Bradford Street,

or Parallel Road, which it was then called. In the early 1800's you would

find one of the original school houses located 2 doors down and the town

bakery across the street.

When the Pilgrim Monument was built on top of High Pole Hill,

plans became underway to create a park with a large memorial

dedicated to the signing of the Mayflower Compact

and the election of John Carver as Governor of the group, at the bottom of the hill.

The compact has been called "the first American Act in history" and a precursor to the

Declaration of Independence, signed 156 years later. Cyrus Dallin was commissioned

to create the memorial. Dallin had created such statues as the Last Ride of Paul Revere

at The Old North Church in Boston and the Freedom Spirit

that rests on top of the Philadelphia State House.

The Bas-Relief Park was now underway.

With the town making way for the Memorial Park, the Ryder family offered land bordering the park,

approximately 400 feet to the west, to move 104 to.

And so she was moved.

The original stable behind 104 was torn down and a new one was erected behind the

present resting spot of 104, proudly beside the Pilgrim Memorial.

Dallin stayed for a while in the 104 house while he was sketching and planning

the Memorial to the Pilgrims. It was many years later that the Memorial

was dedicated to the town of Provincetown. 104 stood and remained a very proud

structure, knowing she moved over so this incredible and important

piece of American history could be told.

Anyone would know this...

All you have to do is sit within her walls.....and listen

 

There she sits at the base of the almost completed Pilgrims Monument in 1908

The house located to the right of this picture, the town bakery,

was torn down when the town widened Ryder Street

 

Again, showing 104 before she was moved

 

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.....................................................The Cook Family............................What was then stables and garages..

..................................................................................................................What is now 104A Bradford Street

 

 

 

104 Bradford Street Time Line

3,000 to 2,000 BC The Wampanoag Tribe had settlements at the foot of the center hill.

Center Hill, is now called High Pole Hill

1800's - 1900's Private Home with Stables in back owned by the Cook Family.

1930's Allen & Allen Plumbing Company was housed in the front.Out back

they turned the stables into a garage to store their supplies.

1940's Provincetown Light & Power Company

1950's Cape & Vineyard Light Company

1960's Lighthouse Apartments owned by Mr. & Mrs. Edward Levy

1978 Gabriel Apartments

 

The Lighthouse Apartments were run as a rooming house until the early 1970's.

When the Levys left the property, the buildings sat empty for almost 8 years.

During this time, squatters took shelter in the abandoned spaces.

The roof gave way to the elements and looked like a piece of swiss cheese.

Trees started to grow out of the house, angry epithets were scribbled on the walls in red.

The two buildings were condemned, boarded up and ready for demolition.

One day,

A FOR SALE sign appeared. Time passed. Then...

 

Enter, Gabriel Brooke, Laurel Wise and Christina Davidson

Soon another sign appeared:

"Work here and get a place to live free"

And so it began...

Gabriel, Laurel and Christina walked through the old home. Through the graffiti on the walls,

holes in the roof, pieces of missing floor, staircase held up by a wing and a prayer,

they heard whispers within the house

This home ...

When in its original position 400 feet to the east, survived the fire that took

the original Town Hall on top of High Pole Hill

She remembered President Theodore Roosevelt pass by her front door

to memorialize the corner stone of the monument up the hill

She was proud to be chosen to move a bit to the west to make room for

The Memorial Park and house its creator during the process

Those walls saw the Cook family raise 10 children

and saw 2 of the Cook children, set off to sea, never to return

Many people will claim one of the Cook daughters

and small son still walk the halls of 104 to this day

 

This home wanted to survive and continue...

And so, she was saved by an idea.

These three incredible women started with one idea.

They realized women needed a place..."for women by women". 

Gabriel's was created to fill a need in the women's community

that did not previously exist anywhere. And so, Gabriel's was born.

And it is still growing

After Laurel and Christina turned the reins over to Gabriel Brooke

in the first year, her amazing passion and vision took the next 29 years beyond

anything imaginable

And it still is

 

A Mark Left by One

For millennia, women have left their mark on the world,

at times changing the course of history and at other times influencing

small but significant spheres of life

Elizabeth Gabriel Brooke overcame the onlookers that said what she was doing

couldn't be done. With each new vision came more doubters than supporters.

The doubters gave her more energy to forge forward

Through determination and ingenuity she took this town that she called home and

changed the economic structure in ways that no woman's footprints have before.

Her journey in Provincetown has spanned over 35 years.

The stepping stones left on her path through this town are a tribute

to her ability to never be stuck in what today had to offer,

but to see beyond the horizon and grab the light of tomorrow.

 

The economy of Provincetown, how hasn't it been touched by her?

The Women Innkeepers of Provincetown

Back in the early 80's she looked at the guesthouses, numbering in the 100's and decided to start

The Women's Innkeepers.

The mission of the Women Innkeepers of Provincetown is to promote, cultivate, and assist member innkeepers in business in Provincetown. The primary focus is to fill the guest accommodations through networking, group marketing, advertising, mutual referrals and sponsorship of events. In addition, they work to provide a quality Provincetown experience to visitors and support the local Provincetown community. The Women Innkeepers of Provincetown now have a emailing list of over 10,000 people.

The Women Innkeepers are one of the largest organizations bringing visitors into town.

Women's Week alone brings over 17,000 women into Provincetown each October.

What used to be a month where stores and restaurants closed their doors due to

lack of tourism is now one of the largest economy boosters for the year. This spurred

the public to realize Provincetown is not only beautiful in the summer but amazing in the fall as well.

Elizabeth is still today, proudly the President of the Women Innkeepers of Provincetown.

Holly Folly

Yet another idea brought forward by the Women Innkeepers for the very

slow month of December. This has now grown to an entire weekend filled with events and

revenue for the town, no one ever thought was possible during the first weekend in December.

The Animal Welfare Committee

was started by Elizabeth in hopes the thousands of

people that live and or visit with their dogs would have a safe environment for their

loved companion animals. The leash law was fought for by Elizabeth in front of the Selectmen and finally

won. The database for rabies was designed and is still in use by the town from Elizabeth's foresight

that this needed to happen for the safety of everyone. Groundbreaking for

The Dog Park was born and fought for tirelessly from Elizabeth's concept and design.

It is a platform still trying to reach the same goal she started.

A park where all dogs could run free. If one were to look around Provincetown and

the doggie stations you would see her work in action.Every week she fills the stations with

bags that she buys from her own pocket.

Elizabeth also takes care of the Wild Care donation boxes that one would see all over Cape Cod.

She designed them with the logo and donated dozens of boxes.

With the director thanking her for teaching them to fish and not supplying them with the fish.

 

Continuing Education

the theory that people would come to Provincetown

to participate in weekend or week long courses was started with Sirens Workshop.

This was held only in the winter months. This again brought thousands of people into Provincetown

in the slowest months of the year when people normally would hang a closed sign outside their shop.

Since Sirens Workshops, many have followed with continuing education and the theory, once again,

if you offer it, they will come...even in the winter.

Zen Center of the Outer Cape

Elizabeth Brooke also offered her space in the Common Room back in 104A

to function as the daily Zen Center for the Outer Cape.

"We the People"

This was an organization started by Elizabeth Brooke and John Thomas of Provincetown.

This group was established to protect the historical dune shacks on the National Seashore.

The town thought that tearing them down would be an option at some point. As

well as issues with the bike path and many other things happening within the seashore limits.

Elizabeth and John formed "We the People" a committee established to protect the rights

of buildings and paths that would otherwise not have had a voice. One can see the results of

their work when out on the sea and or on a dune tour.

The historical dune shacks are still standing.

As far as Elizabeth is concerned,

there they will always stand as long as nature, not man allows.

Winter Revenue

Things in the winter months began to change. She met with guest house owners,

even outside the Women's Innkeepers

to show the owners her winter business plan. It began to work and

Provincetown's winter months were changed forever


Kathy Garmus Options Magazine

"In Provincetown this women- owned inn is making a mark on the entire Cape tip’s tourist trade. While the 20 rooms at Gabriel’s are routinely filled during the summer tourist season, she has developed a workshop in the winter months which is bringing thousands to the Cape in a season which was never known as tourist heights. Gabriel’s was the first guesthouse that has kept their doors open all year and developed ideas to bring revenue not only to the guesthouse but the entire  town of Provincetown."

The Cape Cod Times

"Gabriel Brooke was instrumental in raising Provincetown’s Winter Revenue. It hasn't’t dropped since.
in 1995 Gabriel Brooke via Gabriel’s was instrumental to the viable answer to Provincetown’s wintertime slump, which ranked it as one of the states “poorest” municipalities. In the summer of 1995 The Cape Codder announced that Provincetown’s wintertime profits were up a quarter. In the winter of 1995 Gabriel Brooke via her Siren’s Workshop, the first such center in a women’s Inn in the country, spent $50,000 of her own money to promote the winter time workshops. Gabriel’s was cited in the Cape Codder as dispelling the myth that Provincetown closes up in the winter."

 

The Boston Globe

Gabriel Brooke invests in Provincetown
"Gabriel Brooke was one of the very first businesses to install a Title V upgraded Septic in Provincetown. Brooke who owns Gabriel’s Guest House, had vision of expanding her property to better accommodate education groups. With Brooke’s foresight she was able to open a workshop in the winter months in Provincetown. This venture has spurred other Guest Houses to remain open in the winter months as well as many restaurants. Brooke spent a half of a million dollars to facilitate this upgrade. Brooke’s expansion has already, as of the last count, brought over 100,000 inquiries from around the world."

 

The New York Times

"Gabriel Brooke holds top highest “Women’s Event ” title in the country, topping Lilith Fair and all others.
Gabriel Brooke started what is now called The Women Innkeepers of Provincetown in 1981. Her vision was getting a select group of women guesthouse owners and operators working together to create an exceptional vacation experience for travelers to Cape Cod. Women’s Week is now in its 27th year and holds the largest one week event revenue for Provincetown."

 

Boston Magazine

Gabriel Brooke brings internet to Provincetown
"Gabriel Brooke was the first person in the town to design a website for Provincetown. She wanted to promote business in town and support the businesses already here. She started Provincetown Design Group out of her own home and the site today with many others jumping on the band wagon is the largest Provincetown website promoting business in town.
Gabriel Brooke also had the foresight to buy the web domain www.02657.com for the town.
When the tip of Cape Cod is looking for advise on websites they will call Elizabeth Gabriel Brooke the founder of internet for the outer cape"

The Provincetown Banner

"The Animal Welfare Committee started in Provincetown by Elizabeth G. Brooke,

insuring all companion animals enter a much dog populated town with

awareness and ample doggie stations!

Brooke has donated and currently supplies the doggie stations

with bags filled weekly on her dime. Very attractive stations, other towns have called

Brooke and inquired further about their town joining in this crusade. Take a look in Provincetown's

Bas Relief park to see Brooke's latest mission for this town. Brooke recently went in front

of the Selectmen to start the awareness and receive their blessing

to get the ball rolling ( as it were ) for the The Dog Park!"

2007-2008 and still reaching the stars

In 2007 Gabriel's broke all year round occupancy records for Provincetown and was chosen by

The Summer Sunday Edition of The New York Times and The Boston Globe as

one of the top places to stay on Cape Cod.

2008 already shows the signs of breaking 2007's numbers!

The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

has chosen Gabriel's as their only 2008 destination for the entire Cape and Islands.

Gabriel's not only has a featured page in their world wide publication

but is currently having syndicated articles published, spun off the MOTT Guide.

Mrs. Brooke's vision is now her legacy

Provincetown's economy is forever changed

because of one women's perseverance to make a difference.

Be the change you want to see in the world

To change the world, you don't have to be loud.

You don't have to be eloquent.

You don't have to be elected.

You don't even have to have a well laid out plan.

You do, however, have to be committed.

Elizabeth Brooke was undoubtedly one of the most committed women in Provincetown's history

that unselfishly made a forever mark for the town she called home.

From across the distant shores, over one million people have passed through the doors of Gabriel's

They have all sought or found, laughter, peace, adventure and respite.

More souls that can be counted have their final resting place on this property

Today it is documented as the oldest running women owned guesthouse

on the globe, yes, the globe.

It is the oldest women owned guesthouse in Provincetown

It is one of the oldest businesses remaining in Provincetown

The Gabriel Apartments & Guest Rooms

Established 1979

Gabriel Brooke

Christina Davidson and Laurel Wise

Do you want to know more about these three extraordinary women?

Elizabeth Gay Brooke Dix......Laurel Wise.....Christina Davidson ......

 

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Informal gatherings

Hot Tub & Sun Deck

In the Center of Town

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This is a tribute to you

 

For you, dear Elizabeth,
No matter what happens in life,
No matter what is said in the world,
Always remember, you created this.
You bought 2 condemned buildings. You had a beautiful vision.

You wanted a place where people would feel safe.

You wanted to feel safe.

You wanted a home.
Most people don't know how Gabriel's started...how far it has come...

what it came from.. how far you have come.. or even who you are, do they?
So many faces and so much energy. It's all here.

The wood has absorbed every ounce.

It will give it back. The earth below remembers. The roots travel
under this entire property, everything is connected.

Sometimes people lose sight of what the true intention of

Gabriel's was and is, and what needs to be preserved.

Under all the new paint and floors are the original boards that everyone wrote
messages on back in 1978. Those messages hold incredible energy.

For the wood remembers who brought it back to life and didn't allow a demo crew to take it's life away. It remembers you. It always will.

Can't you look out the window and see....

Christina is still waving her arms telling you how "marvelous it looks darling"
Laurel's van is still parked in the driveway
John Paul is running all over the courtyard
Nestor is having his little parties in the common room with one bowl of chips

Everyone is laughing in the back hot tub
And you...you have to get back to the house at pooh corner by one


This is for you

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This is the only picture in existence

of the 6 women that put the 104 buildings back together.

They never stopped.

These 6 women did everything.

They are the brick and mortar of this guesthouse.

Some have since passed away...

One is working beside Jane Goodall in Africa

And one, well, she stayed at Gabriel's...

and we are very thankful she did

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Please click on the below time cards to view the

guesthouse during that era

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..............1979-1985.....................................1986-1989.............

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................1989-1992....................................1993-2005..............

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2005-2008

 

Other wonderful links

Property......  Animals  .... Living Energy  ...Renovations

 

Gabriel's, a living history would not be possible if not for the following

Ronald and Kathleen White, Charlene White, Michael and Judy Czyoski, Gertrude Graham Smith, Terry Horowitz, The Town Hall of Provincetown, The Pilgrim Monument Archives, The Olde Post Card Shoppe, The Advocate Archives, King Hiram's Lodge Provincetown, The Ryder Family, Dr and Mrs William Davidson, Laurel Brooke, Deb Carapezza, Anne McCabe, Linda Major, Hope Valenti, Joe Clementi and Robin Kirby

And umm what's her name, oh yes, Elizabeth G Brooke of whom made this all possible.