Cape Cod Historic Homes | Blog
  • 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.

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  • 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

  • 2017 Holiday Season on Cape Cod


    by Deb Crowell

    The holidays on Cape Cod are truly magical.  It is a wonderful time to escape the commercialization of the season and attend events that are both authentic and steeped in tradition.  To help you sift through all the events the Cape has to offer, here are a few of our favorite picks.

    Santa Arrives!

    Santa’s arrives by boat in Falmouth Harbor with other seaside celebrations in Orleans, Provincetown, Hyannis, and every village in between.  This is just a few of the reasons that Christmas on Cape Cod is so memorable.

    Christmas Strolls

    Almost every town on the Cape begins opening up the first weekend of December to ring in the holidays. Now is the time to decide which one(s) you want to attend. Here are just a few.

    Nantucket Christmas Stroll—December 1-3.... read more

  • The Count Rumford Fireplace


    by Lisa Hassler

    When we first viewed the c. 1827 home that we would ultimately purchase, we were thrilled with the four fireplaces.  The home had once been a double dwelling house for the workers at the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company.  Each side of the house has a kitchen fireplace, with a beehive oven, and a parlor fireplace.  And each fireplace has the tell tale angled walls of a Rumford style fireplace.

    Sir Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford)
    birthplace in Woburn, MA
    Count Rumford, born Sir Benjamin Thompson in 1753, was a soldier, statesman, inventor, scientist and humanitarian.  He was born in Woburn, MA and studied at Harvard.  Being a loyalist, he left for England in 1776 where he was later made a fellow of the Royal Society.  His title was bestowed in 1790 when... read more

  • Exterior Paint Colors - What is Historically Accurate?


    by Deb Crowell

    Having owned several historic homes, knowing what exterior paint color combinations were historically correct was often a conundrum.  Since none of my homes had original clapboards or trim, it was not possible to determine its original colors.  Given that, I relied on restoration resources to guide me.  One of the best articles I found was prepared by John Fiske for the Ipswich Historical Commission and the Architectural Preservation District.  Here are the cliff notes.

    Colonial Period (1640-1780)

    First Period (1640-1720s) Clapboards oftentimes were not painted or stained, but left to weather. Trim was then either left unpainted or painted Indian red/Spanish brown. If they were painted, generally it was two colors with their trim and sash the same color and the door distinct.