Cape Cod Historic Homes | Blog
  • Sailor's Valentine

    An original Sailor's Valentine
    There's more than just salt in the air on Cape Cod this month. It's sweeter, makes your heart flutter, and has bewitched us since the dawn of time. It's hard to pinpoint exactly when we decided to express our love by giving our sweethearts Valentines every February 14th. Some speculate that the first official Valentine was created by British Lieutenant Colonel John Simcoe on February 14th, 1779, during the Revolutionary War. Presented to Sally Townsend, one of the daughters in a family whose house he and other British officers were occupying on Long Island, NY, the Valentine featured a passionate poem Simcoe wrote about her. The first two lines implore his beloved:

    Fairest Maid, where all is fair, Beauty’s pride and Nature’s care;

    To you my heart I must resign, O choose me for... read more

  • Insulating Your Old Home

    A house in Centerville covered in snow from the Blizzard of '05 (Photo by Matt Suess)

    As the Cape and the rest of the northeast wades knee deep through winter, homeowners, and in particular historic home owners, are making sure their homes are prepared for the cold weather too. Old houses, despite their beauty, have the tendency to be drafty. If your house hasn’t been completely remodeled to contemporary standards, your windows are likely single-paned, your plaster walls are uninsulated, and let’s face it: the overall construction of your home is just old. There is bound to be a crack somewhere. So where does one begin? Let’s start with windows.

    Original double-hung window in an 18th century Connecticut cape

    Single-paned windows featuring the... read more

  • Thanksgiving on the Cape

    When the last surviving leaves bid us farewell in a torrent of color, and the frost greets us on bare meadows and frigid windshields, we retreat back to Home. The world around us grows quiet save for the squawk of a lone seagull or the soft pedal of leaves scraping the ground. It’s toasty by the fireside and toastier yet by the oven. We invite winter in through our stomachs and reflect on our blessings during this most beautiful time of year.
    Photo Courtesy of Coastal Engineering Company

    Did you know Cape Cod was the first place that the Pilgrims landed in the New World back in 1620? They anchored the Mayflower off the shores of Provincetown and explored the land for a few weeks before... read more

  • Haunted History at the Dillingham House

    It’s October and New England has once again blossomed into its most flattering form. Here on the Cape where summer reigns supreme, autumn is our “best kept secret.” The crowds of tourists are long gone, the streets are quiet, the salty air has a crispness to it, and the plump red sight of cranberries begin to adorn the surrounding bogs.

    It’s also the time of year when the shadows stretch just a little further and the days grow shorter. We retire for the night earlier, curling up around the fire and in hushed excited tones tell each other stories of the supernatural and unknown.

    October is the time for Halloween and what better way to kick off this month of the macabre than with a chilling tale of a haunted house (currently for sale!) in our very own Sandwich.

    read more

  • Dating Your Historic Home

    Historic plaque on my home courtesy of our local historical society
    You know your house is old, but are you certain how old? For many owners of historic homes, obtaining a copy of the original deed or a complete title is not so easy. Records were not kept as diligently as they are now, if there even was an original record to begin with, so historic home owners often need to do their detective work while trying to pinpoint the true origin of their homes.

    Now where to begin? Start by exhausting every possible record your house may have on file with your county or town. Your title, or the property deed, will list the past owners of your house, but if your property is exceptionally old it may not date far back enough to reveal the original owner. Barnstable County... read more