Several years ago, I spent a Saturday afternoon driving down the historic district on Cape Cod – from Sandwich, MA, through Barnstable, Cummaquid and into Yarmouth on the historic Rte 6A – shooting some amazing white houses of Cape Cod. This is some of the oldest settled areas in Massachusetts, and therefor the country. Sandwich was first settled in 1637 and incorporated in 1639 and is the oldest town on Cape Cod. I thought in honor of our 4th of July long holiday weekend, I’d resurrect this post as it features homes that date to before the revolution. Enjoy!
I’m not sure what the story is about this house above. It has a sign that says “Antiques – Closed”, but it appears unkempt and possibly abandoned. The house seems to be from the early Federal Period (1780-1840) with center entrance with sidelights and elliptical window, double fireplaces, and shallow hip roof. The home is lacking shutters and dentil moldings common of the period and is general very simple in style.This gorgeous house has been carefully preserved and is one of the most spectacular properties in town and among the white houses of Cape Cod. It dates to the Georgian Colonial period (1690-1830). It’s very square in shape, symmetrical lines with center entrance with flattened side columns and a decorative cornice. The windows are in the classic 5-across pattern with eight over twelve panes on the top windows and twelve over twelve on the ground floor. UPDATE: sadly, the large tree in front feel down a couple of years ago and the white fence and hedge are no longer there either. Not at all sure what happened with those.
The Newcomb Tavern, now a B&B, dates to 1693 and is classic Georgian Colonial. The portico may have been added later, but I’m not sure. I really liked their landscaping up to the front door. There’s such a natural quality to it.
This building houses the Sandwich Glass Museum.
Leaving Sandwich, we are now traveling up Rte. 6A into Barnstable, settled 1636 and incorporated in 1639.
I’m not sure of the date of this house, although it is in the style of Georgian Federal. The cupola in the back throws me off, as do the large paned windows. The setting is so pretty, though, isn’t it?
This house is in the Greek Revival style (1825-1860). This is a fairly simple version of the style, with it’s pedimented gable, wide plain frieze, off-set door with narrow side lights and columned front porch.
This is the Barnstable House, which dates to 1716.
I don’t know anything about this barn, aside from the vague Greek Revival feel of it. But I love the front barn doors with chevron patterned boards and diamond windows.
A little “Main Street” America with a series of small Cape Cod style Colonial homes.
This classic Greek Revival house is our last stop on Rte. 6A, in Yarmouth, MA, founded in 1639.
From here, I drove over to Osterville, MA, which is on the other side of the Cape (although not as far away as that sounds!). Osterville is one of the wealthiest communities on Cape Cod with multi-million dollar summer homes hidden behind tall fences and hedges. Most of these houses are newer, dating to the 20th and 21st Centuries. You can see hints of the older house styles in these homes and I think these are some of the most successful “in the style of” houses there.
This little house is so adorable and is likely an antique home. Take note of the twelve over twelve sash windows and stone foundation. Perfection!
Thank you for taking this little field trip to visit the white houses of Cape Cod.
You may also enjoy:
The Shingled Houses of Cape Cod
Antique Cape Cod Brick Federal Short Term Rental
A Little Friday Pretty: Osterville, MA
23 thoughts on “White Houses of Cape Cod”
Good to find your blog Linda. I ventured over to the "skirted roundtable" this weekend to listen. Joni & Megan are two other bloggers I know. I enjoyed the couple of shows…I need to catch up on them all!
Thanks look forward to reading,
Great post. I used to live in Maryland and am now in California. Every time I return to the East Coast, I marvel in the architecture and the greenery. I love seeing these old houses with all their history showing.
Gorgeous homes!Cape Cod is somewhere I definitely want to take my Aussie husband…I love the East Coast :o)
Love, love these old white houses, remnants of the past. In a style that is timeless. Oh, to have the proverbial white picket fence! Wonderful tour. Thanks for taking me along.
Thanks for these: I like to see trim colors match wall colors. It’s unusual down here in the land of brick. It makes your eye catch other details. The black shutters on all white houses are somewhat distracting but also a great look. Is white on white a New England thing? Here is a red on red from Katie Hutchinson that knocks me out and helps me appreciate the white on white.
now i need a trip up to new england!
such images ! thank you.
and in my opinion, it is THE PLACE to summer.
* Ohhhhh Linda, all those LUSCIOUS GRREEENNSSS!!!!!~~~ Sooo “FABTASTICALLY BEAUTIFUL”!!!
Linda in AZ *
you’re killing me with these photos. I miss the cape so much. I could sit and stare at these forever. thanks Linda
Oh Linda what a wondeful job you did of capturing the beauty of the Cape and the older homes.
They are all so lovely its hard to choose a favorite, but I guess I love the Sandwich Glass Museum with the weathered sides.
Fun road trip! Went to Osterville for the first time this past Dec while visiting my parents in S.Yarmouth. Love the Cape.
Love that Main street shot and all the cottages…, I’ve been to Sandwich…, and I think it’s time to take a little drive this summer, it’s not too far from where I live (at the border of MA)…, after seeing all the yellow homes I really want to do some good old coastal New England sight seeing. Thanks for the great tours.
My parents Cape Cod was built in 1949 … 'new' compared to these lovely homes you have pictured. I'd love to 'age' it a hundred years or so and you have given me some ideas. Thank so much.
Are you any relation to the folks who owned Merrill’s Cottages on the Cape? Stayed there with my then boyfriend fifty years ago. Recently, we have found each other again, and he remembered the cottages’ name.
Also, I have photographer friends who live in Sandwich and belong to the Sandwich Arts Alliance. There is so much creativity going on within the SAA, check it out by attending one of their art shows in Sandwich or go to their Facebook page.
Enjoyed your article and photos very much!
Hi Sage – as far as I know, I’m not related to Merrill Cottages – have never heard of it. But you never know! We generally assume we’re all related somehow. Thanks for commenting! Linda
Oh how fun! I love all the pretty houses along that 6A route and have a lot of fond summer memories! Several years ago my extended family rented out the Newcomb Tavern for a week long vacation and had a blast. It is a beautiful old home!
Hi Janet – it’s always such a glorious drive down 6A!
Lovely tour! These homes are gorgeous!
I love seeing all these houses! Especially since all I see where I live is pseudo- Mediterranean/Spanish style. Thank you for sharing these.
Thanks for reading Christina!
Since travel is nowhere close for us in the future, THANK YOU for this lovely tour.
Hi Sheri – I’m glad you enjoyed it!
We have bought a Cape Cod Styled house in Country NSW Australia south of Sydney. Currently it is red brick, but we are planning to render it and paint it white like some of these lovely homes you have shown on your Tour. We stayed in Cape Cod for a week about 10 years ago and just loved it. What a pretty part of the world. Thank you for reminding me how special the houses there are and how much we loved them.
Hi Claire – thanks so much for commenting! The Cape is a very special place! Congratulations on your new home!