Selling the House

categories: Cocktail Hour


Photo by Mark Honerkamp

This is a hard one. As some of you know, our family house in East Dennis is now for sale. About the same year I was born, fifty five years ago, my parents bought a plot of land on a hill across from Sesuit Harbor. Not long after that my mother was driving through the town of Middelborro when she saw an old house that was scheduled to be torn down so that the new highway could be built. The house had been built in 1726, a Cape Codder with cedar shingles, wide oak floorboards, and thick hewn beams the color of chocolate. Before my mother pulled out she had purchased the beams, floorboards, and paneling for $50 and had them transplanted down to the land in East Dennis.That was the house where we were most a family, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been a writer without the house. My first book’s title, A Wild, Rank Place, referred both to a Thoreau quote about Cape Cod and the house itself.

The land, with its moat of trees and brush, its views of the harbor and the Bay, and its proximity to the beach, is amazing, and I suspect that the new owner will likely (and understandably) knock down the house to build something bigger and newer. Which is why I’m posting this today. With the small hope that there is someone out there who might love the house as it is: old, small, and beautiful. Please help me spread this post to those out there who might want to be the next family to be lucky enough to inhabit what has been, without overstatement, a magical place.

  1. Jim Simpson writes:

    I love this house though I’ve only seen it in photos. If I had the money I’d buy it and keep it just as it is.

  2. I’m here on Cape Cod and happy to spread the word. Send more info? Is there a listing yet?

  3. P R Davis writes:

    Sad and I see it all over Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. Figure Eight Island has very few original houses still standing, mostly build in the late 1960’s & 70’s, and even second generation houses have been replaced.