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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Meahl

Field Trip: Three-Quarter Cape Cod House

Some people say that if you want to be a serious writer you have to say "no" to friends, parties, family, etc. I just can't seem to do it.


Tumbling Roses, Chatham, MA

I thought I was going to Connecticut, in June, for research, as I finish up my first draft on the Huntington family of Norwich, CT. That trip got cancelled, but I still had plans to stop by my friend's lovely summer house in Chatham. I wasn't going to say no. Besides, I got LOVELY pictures of neighborhood roses and her house which is an antique 3/4-Cape house built around 1700.


Different images of the home including 12/12 original window on the tree side of the house. Many additions over the centuries include dormer windows on the second floor.

21st painting of the 1700 house: rear view.
20th century surviving pictures of the house. Dormers were already in place. There are no known records of the house as the Chatham Town Hall burned in the 1900s. A sleuth could probably find some.

Interior Details

Recently painted white, this is probably an early 19th century Franklin-stove knock off designed to give more heat. Reportedly, there used to be brass finials on the mantel corners. It is located in the parlor.
Gunstock corner in the Keeping Room or original Kitchen.

One of the potential hallmarks of Cape Cod-style homes was the "borning room." This home has one. Also called sick rooms, they could be easily accessed by two doors and enabled the nursing mother or sick person to have care from the busy housewife. I think I saw another one a long time ago at the Deane Winthrop House in Winthrop, MA.


The borning room at the Chatham 3/4 Cape house. There is another door behind the door you see. Note original hardware and door.

Another view of the borning room. Yes, these rooms did exist for awhile and probably served many purposes.

Probably added later, this is the current stairway to the second floor bedroom.


Front door entry and boarded-up original stairway.

View from the homestead.


Another Cape Cod house with complimentary roses and cat mint.

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