Ryder Homestead // c.1675

The oldest home in Marion, this c.1675 Cape house apparently has interior structural elements dating the home to the earliest colonized days of Sippican Village. The tiny home was built for a member of the Ryder family around 1675, according to the Sippican Historical Society. It was recorded and noted as standing by the 1690s. The home is an example of a three-quarter cape, meaning there are two bays on one side of the front door and one on the other side. During colonial times, for economic reasons, a newly married couple could build a half-cape house with a door, two windows to one side of the door and a single fireplace heating multiple rooms. It was expected that they would expand the house to either a three-quarter house by adding a single window on the other side of the door or doubling the size of the home adding two other bays, all rooms heated by the central chimney.

Blankinship-Prichard House // 1790

Main Street in Marion, Massachusetts is a house lover’s dream. The street is lined with perfect 18th century capes and old whaling captains houses. This little cape house was built in 1790 for a J. Blankinship, one of the prominent local whaling families in town. By the early 1900s, Henry M. Prichard, an accountant, lived here. Born in New York City, Prichard and his family moved to Massachusetts. During the Civil War, he enlisted in the 25th Massachusetts Volunteer infantry and was part of the Burnside Expedition. According to his obituary,“he was wounded so seriously at the Battle of Cold Spring Harbor that he never fully recovered.” An “ardent devotee of canoeing”, Mr. Prichard retired to Marion, having spent most of his life in New York City and lived out his final days. It was likely he who added the large dormer windows as fresh air and light were seen as cures to ailments in the time. His widow, Abby and daughter, lived here until at least the mid-1920s.

Briggs House // c.1850

This tiny half-cape house in Marion was built in the mid-19th century for Timothy Hiller Briggs (1822-1877), a whaler. Based on the Federal/Greek detailing on the house, it is also likely the home was built much earlier for Timothy’s father, Silas, a sea captain, and was willed to his only son upon his death in 1833. Timothy died at the young age of 54 and his widow, Josephine, maintained the cottage until her death in 1924! The home is a half-cape as it has an off-center door with two bays of windows at the facade. A full-cape would be symmetrical with a central door and two windows on either side. The central chimney would provide heat to all rooms in the cold winter months.

Look-Coggeshall House // 1828

Believe it or not, this beautiful home was once a one-story Cape house! Built in 1828, the home was constructed for Captain Hiram Look, a sea captain, and his new wife Kezziah (Kezia) within a year of their marriage. They had two daughters. Hiram died in 1865, possibly related to the Civil War, which ended that year. After his and his widow’s death, the home was willed to their daughter and her husband, Bernard Coggeshall, who was likely a descendant of the Coggeshall Family of Bristol, RI. The Look daughter died in 1890, and Bernard remarried a year later. Sometime after 2008, this home was enlarged, giving it the second story we see today. If you look closely at photos from before 2008, you can see the matching door surround, window lintels, and window spacing seen today. While the home is completely different, the “updated” version is still appropriate and conveys the home’s history.

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Beebe-Phillips House // c.1832

The Beebe-Phillips house in Waterford, CT, was built in the 1830s by Orrin Beebe (though some accounts say it was built for his wife Lydia after his death), and is an excellent example of a traditional full-cape house in Connecticut. The home is a vernacular example of the Federal style with no frills or expensive details. The house was originally located elsewhere in town but was moved to its current site on Jordan Green in 1974 by the Waterford Historical Society, next to the Jordan Schoolhouse.

Knowles Doane House // 1765

The gorgeous half-cape Knowles Doane House in Eastham is an early example of a traditional Cape home that are synonymous with the peninsula. The modest house features an off-center entry with a solid wood door with a transom above. Clad with wood shingle siding and roofing, the home screams “Cape Cod”. The large central chimney would have provided warmth inside the home during the harsh winter months. The home was likely built for a member of the Doane Family, whos patriarch, John Doane, arrived to Plymouth Colony by 1632. The family eventually settled in Eastham and participated in fishing, whaling and agriculture. By the early 1800s, the home was occupied by Knowles Doane.