By now, wild turkeys are a familiar sight to residents and visitors of Cape Cod. The big birds once threatened with extinction and now abundant on the Cape, emerge from woods and fields to forage out in the open in yards and roadsides. When they decide to cross the road it takes forever. My instagram feed is peppered with my peaceful encounters with these guys.
Rarely though, do we ever see these birds take flight. The other day I looked outside my front door to see three turkeys on the ridge of the roof on the house across the street, with two others sitting in the leafless branches in the trees above. It was a startling sight, appearing rather, unnatural. I mean, I've heard of birds on a wire before, but turkeys on a roof ridge? I took out my iphone to record this rare scene. Rare for me anyway.
Here is the result: One by one the turkeys flew off, leaving one very unhappy-- and I assume juvenile, turkey behind. See how the drama played out, and enjoy.
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Across the U.S., the average starter home price is now $189,300, according to the National Association of Realtors. On Cape Cod that figure is closer to $300,000, putting young families who hope to buy their first place in a bind.
As the infographic below demonstrates, it requires an annual salary of $44,222 to qualify for the typical starter home in the U.S. Cape Codders who earn less than $50,000 have difficulty affording homes here, where the median price in 2015 was $365,000, according to the Cape Cod and Island's Association of Realtors.
Housing affordability has long been an issue on the Cape because year-round residents compete with wealthy second-home owners for the available supply of homes for sale.
And, as the graphic illustrates, homes on the east coast are more expensive than anywhere else in the country, and require a greater annual salary, for families to be able to afford.
You can find inspiration and solutions for any decor dilemma on houzz.com. I like to start a file for my real estate clients where I store ideas for the Cape Cod house they have in escrow. Access to the file is shared only between the clients and me. It's a terrific resource.
Today the site published some universal tips for a variety of decorating styles and I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy the rooms and their descriptions below. Advance them with the little arrows at the lower right of the photos.
The call came in this morning. Would I be available this afternoon, the caller inquired, so that the caller and his wife could present me with a handmade scarf, fashioned with yarn from A Great Yarn in Chatham. It was a token of appreciation for the video profile I did of the shop's exclusive collection of yarn inspired by the Disney feature film "The Finest Hours". Would I be available? Are you kidding?
The Finest Hours is based on the true story of the greatest small boat rescue in U.S. Coast Guard history. On a February night in 1952 a handful of brave Chatham men took off into a vicious nor'easter to rescue merchant marines stranded offshore. Against impossible odds the rescuers brought home nearly all the seamen.
The Finest Hours opens in theaters nationwide Friday. Tomorrow night at the historic Orpheum Theater in Chatham, I will wear a black cocktail dress and my Finest Hours handmade scarf to a special preview and gala afterward at the Chatham Bars Inn. It's a sell-out and the hottest ticket in town right now. If you go, look for me. I'll be the one with the colors of "an angry sea" around my neck and proud of it, too.
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In spite of the weekend snow storm, there were five new listings on the broker tour in Harwich this morning. Let's begin with 45 Whip O Will. This place is adorable and there's a special feature at the end.
24 Whip O Will has a lovely feel to it. It definitely feels larger on the inside than it appears on the outside. I have written in the past how I'm a fan of warm knotty pine and this place uses it sparingly in the living room with space above for paint. Or you could paint it all white which is a trend on the Cape these days.
And now the surprise....
Is this wild? After touring the lovely main floor, you descend this super tight circular staircase, the kind you see leading up through the roofs for widow's walk views, into a partially finished lower level that I admit was a complete surprise.
See what I mean about adorable? 24 Whip O Will has two bedrooms, one bath and is offered at $309,000 by Sue Peterson of Today Real Estate.
Next up, spacious 950 Orleans Rd. This has a completely different feel. With an in-ground pool and Cranberry Valley Golf Course beyond the back yard, you feel miles away from everywhere. I think it looks a little like what I see in the Carolinas... space, privacy and fairways out the window, and yet you're just a few miles from ocean beaches and even closer to Long Pond freshwater beach.
There's the pool, resting until summer, and the fairways of Cranberry Valley beyond the fence. 950 Orleans Rd. has four bedrooms, three bedrooms and is offered at $750,000. Peg LoPresto of Robert Paul Properties listed this fine home.
Now for some true Cape Cod charm close to Red River Beach. It's time to tour 6 Sunrise Lane.
Looks quaint, doesn't it? And a little snug, but wait. There's a super spacious two-car garage attached to the back with a heated tile sunroom between that and the house. That's a real Cape thing...cottages ramble from the back to keep the home looking quaint from the street, but with additional space in various additions for easy living.
I love the large windows and hardwood floors throughout the home. And it's "south of 28", a location bonus.
6 Sunrise Lane has three bedrooms, two baths and is offered by Diane Mongeau of Olde Cape Sotheby's International Real Estate. It is priced at $579,900.
The last home on our tour today has access to the Herring River for fishing and small boating, and is close to Pleasant Rd. Beach on Nantucket Sound too. Plus it's gorgeous and that's always a joy to see. Check out 7 River Pine Circle.
It has a muted Cape colonial vibe. Inside the colors are SO soothing. You could drink the walls with the cool gray blues and greens.
The owners converted the living area into a giant dining room and they made what had been the dining room into the living area above. You could make it what you want. Both options are great.
7 River Pine Circle has three bedrooms and two baths and is offered at $619,000 by Sandra Tanco of Kinlin Grover Real Estate.
Let me know if you have any questions about today's homes, or you'd like to arrange a showing. I'd love to get you in.
Property taxes in Provincetown increased more than any other town on Cape Cod, more than triple the Massachusetts average in 2016, according to a recent analysis by The Boston Globe.
An interactive map on the Globe website shows the average Massachusetts property owner will pay $200 more in property taxes this year. On Cape Cod the figure is slightly lower, at $180.
But in Provincetown, Cape Cod's liveliest, funkiest and relatively affluent town, the average tax bill for a single-family home will increase by $673.
Property taxes pay for municipal services and are determined by what the town spends in administration and improvements. Towns assess a relative value to every property and apply a universal tax rate to that value. If the cost of services decrease, the tax rate goes down, however that is rare. The cost of services and the corresponding tax rate, almost always goes up.
Increased property taxes create a ripple effect throughout the economy. For example, for home buyers, a fixed rate mortgage payment will remain the same for the life of the loan. A high property tax rate will take a larger share of the monthly household budget than a smaller one, forcing shoppers to look at less expensive homes.
In Provincetown in particular, where many homeowners open their places to short-term renters and guests, the cost of a higher tax bill will be passed on to the guests for a pricier nightly or weekly rate. That will leave fewer tourist dollars in the boutiques and restaurants.
The median price of a single family home on Cape Cod increased by 2.8 percent in 2015 to $365,000, according to the Cape Cod and Islands Association of Realtors. That is slightly lower than the Massachusetts median of $383,606. Overall, the tax burden for Baystaters falls in the middle of the country, at number 25 among all 50 states.
Here are the typical property tax increases for 2016 for each of the Cape's 15 towns, from the tip to the bridges:
When Mary Weishaar opened her new yarn shop in Chatham last March, film crews had long since wrapped up filming scenes for "The Finest Hours." The Disney movie depicting the true story of the U.S. Coast Guard's most successful small boat rescue mission in history, was partially shot in Chatham and it featured dozens of Cape Codders acting as "extras" in the background of the film. Yours truly was one of the extras and I can honestly say I have rarely been so cold as I was those 15 hour days which began at 1 pm and concluded around 4 or 5 each morning in December of 2014--all while wearing flimsy period clothing trucked in from Hollywood. I could have used a warm hat, scarf and gloves!
Which brings us back to the yarn. "A Great Yarn" co-owner Weishaar was impressed with the local buzz about the film, so she commissioned a textile artist in North Carolina to create a collection of yarn in various weights of silk, wool and cashmere. The inspiration for the colors and the end product can be seen in the video below.
One aspect you can't appreciate in the video is how the yarn feels. It is scrumptious and you'll want to own some even if you don't knit, if only to feel the luxury of it. On second thought, maybe this will propel me to finally learn how to knit.
With half the homes on Cape Cod used as vacation getaways, homeowner's thoughts in the off-season turn to home security. Wired alarm systems are an obvious solution, but short of that, you can keep intruders away by giving them a thorny surprise. Prickly plants placed at the foundation beneath windows are a deterrent to break-ins, according to "defensive gardening" expert Bruce Wegner of California.
The good news is, there are plenty of options on the Cape, chief among them, roses. Shrub and climbing varieties grow abundantly all over Cape Cod and their spectacular summer beauty gives way to an inhospitable mess of thorns in winter. As any gardener can attest, even with protective equipment, it's difficult to escape scratches just thinking about pruning those things.
Here are some other plants to consider in your defensive gardening plan, according to gardeningknowhow.com:
Pyracantha, "Firethorn Bush".
This versatile and very prickly plant grows from 6 to 16 feet tall, depending on the fertility of the soil. Look for a dwarf version to place beneath windows.
Berberis vulgaris, Barberry Bush
See the word "vulgar" in the latin name? That's the kind of language that will come out of your mouth if you have an accidental run-in with barberry. Able to tolerate both sun and shade, this super thorny bush is at home on Cape Cod. The leaves remain red throughout the growing season for constant color from from spring until winter.
Other defensive gardening plants include:
You don't want dense foundation plants to grow too tall, so as to create a hide-out for thieves. Keep your plants trimmed one foot away from the side of the house, and no higher than the window. Plants at the street and along the driveway should be trimmed to no more than five feet tall. Year round Cape Codders are astute observers and will take note of anyone lurking around a property. You'll want to allow a good line of sight from the street and neighboring homes.
Another tactic favored by law enforcement is pebble mulch around foundation plantings. Though not as aesthetically pleasing as wood chips, the sound of footsteps on the stones might catch the ear of someone nearby.
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Massachusetts ranks far below the national average in the percentage of homes purchased with cash, according to a new report by CoreLogic. Fewer than one in five Bay State homes is a cash deal. The national average is about one in three. Across the U.S. the percentage of cash transactions dropped slightly from one year ago from 35.9 percent to 32.5 percent.
The highest percentage of cash sales is in Alabama with nearly half, followed by W. Virginia, Florida and New York. Maine, Colorado and California join Massachusetts on the extreme low end. As the CoreLogic map below shows, data for Vermont and Nebraska was incomplete.
In metropolitan areas, Miami leads the nation with 58.8 percent of all homes purchased with cash. Syracuse, NY, with annual property taxes that approach nearly 4 percent of the market value of a home, has the lowest, just 14.1 percent.
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Many people think of Cape Cod as a summer-only destination. After all, once it's too cold to swim, what do you do in a place that's all about the beaches? Plenty. For many people, Cape Cod is best after Labor Day.
This video, shot and produced in September 2013 by Petr Hejl of Aerial Drone Worx in Connecticut, will pull you in to the outer Cape as the summer season wanes. From the dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore in Truro, to the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, see the Cape as the seagulls view it.
Labor Day marks the end of the big beach season on Cape Cod, and the beginning of the best oysters all year. Traditionally, oysters taste best when consumed in months ending in the letter "R", although an oyster lover like me finds them yummy year round.
Recently I had the opportunity to join the oyster farmers from Big Rock Oyster Company in Harwich at their oyster beds in Cape Cod Bay.
A special thanks to Oyster Redeployment Specialist Jim Ferry for the kind invitation.
Big Rock Oysters are sold in fish stores, supermarkets and restaurants all over the northeast, but if you're in Harwich you can buy them direct from the warehouse at 501 Depot Street in Harwich.
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Cape Cod marine mammal rescue crews successfully disentangled a large sea turtle from fishing line last weekend, according to a report in the Cape Cod Times.
Authorities say a passing boater spotted the distressed leatherback turtle near Pamet Harbor in Truro and reported it to the Provincetown-based Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response Team. Rescuers found the five foot long leatherback and cut the commercial fishing line. They reported there were minor injuries to the turtle. It swam away slowly and is expected to recover.
The Entanglement Response Team says it has freed approximately 200 marine mammals, including endangered whales and sea turtles from fishing line and nets, and credits boaters with spotting the animals in need of help.
The best way for recreational boaters, commercial fishermen and beachgoers to help marine mammals is to stay clear of them and to report injured or entangled animals to the U.S Coast Guard's Entanglement hotline, 800-900-3622.
Just last August, rescue crews cut line from another sea turtle in the waters off Cape Cod. Video of that effort, posted on the Defense Video and Imagery System website, is posted below.
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It's difficult to know what gives Carrie Small greater pleasure -- her sewing or her dogs. The Harwich woman has run Alterations Unlimited out of her tidy Lower County road antique home since 1989 and every customer is greeted with a bark.
"OK, Bella, over here. Delilah. Come!" Small says, leaving the customer temporarily outside the door as the canine reception committee is ushered to a nearby room in the home.
For Small, Isabella and Delilah are part of the fun that comes with working at a home-based business. The Cape Cod Regional Technical School fashion design graduate has welcomed customers into her personal space-- a crisp white home with black shutters and surrounding Cape Coastal plantings in the center of Harwich Port.
The studio exists in a series of little rooms in the back of the home with sewing machine, full-length mirror and lots of task lighting.
Customers put on the clothes requiring adjustment and Small returns with a pin cushion filled with colorful push pins.
A pull here and a tug there and the garment is ready for take-off. Orders are completed within a week.
Throughout it all, Isabella-- a fox terrier and Delilah-- a chihuahua, hover nearby, jumping to noisy attention only when there's a knock at the door.
"It's good to have them around" says Small. "They keep life interesting around here".
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With summer over and the parking lot attendants gone, it's time to explore the beaches that are normally off-limits in the high season. My 22-year old son Christian is spending a final week at home before departing for his new job in New York City. Among other things, we are taking advantage of the early autumn sunshine and warmth to photograph Cape Cod beaches. Christian is a 3-D artist who appreciates technology and video and he helps me a lot with my tech prowess.
Here is one of our favorites -- West Dennis Beach. It's convenient to unload the car right onto the sand, it's diverse with Nantucket Sound on the south and the Weir Creek marsh to the north, and beyond the marsh are homes that lie on "the fingers". The fingers are little deep water canals that allow for boat dockage. West Dennis Beach is the westernmost tip of the town. It ends at the Bass River which separates Dennis and Yarmouth and at sundown you can sit on park benches to watch the boats come in, the birds peck for food and the tide come in and out. On windy days, one can watch the kite boarders at play. It really is a terrific place to spend time.
It has been a spectacular summer on the Cape, with sunshine nearly every day, gentle ocean breezes and a reasonable dose of sticky humidity the sea delivers every August.
For those who visited this summer, or who wish they could have but didn't quite make it, here is Kinlin Grover Real Estate's latest video profile of a Cape Cod town. "Travel" to Harwich, just short of the elbow of the Cape. A town with 12,243 residents, seven villages, three harbors, freshwater ponds and a bike trail, Harwich is about the mid-point from the bridges to the tip of Provincetown.
For followers of Cape Cod real estate, here is the latest market watch for Harwich.
Enjoy your video tour of Harwich, in summer of 2015, with impressions that last forever.
Elevated nitrogen levels in Cape Cod's estuaries result in lower property values, according to a Cape Cod Commission study of water quality on the Cape. An update to the Water Quality 208 Plan 8 years in the making revealed
an estimated one percent increase in nitrogen levels results in a .61 percent decrease in home values. During the study period of 2005 to 2013, scientists discovered nitrogen levels soared by 15 percent.
Experts from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth studied the hypothesis linking decreased home values to increased nitrogen in the water in the Three Bays area of Barnstable. The scientists included homes within 1000 meters, roughly a ten minute walk, from the water and accounted for differences in macroeconomics-- proximity to the water, condition of the property, etc. They discovered increased nitrogen levels in Three Bays increased by 15.8%.
The study authors claim that had nitrogen increased by 12 percent instead, homes would be valued at between $16,774 to $32,957 more per home in 2013. The entire study area in Three Bays added up to a loss of between $49 million to $86 million.
The single greatest contributor to the nitrogen on the Cape is the septic systems that nearly every property has for on-site sewage disposal, according to the authors. In fact, they claim that 80 percent of the nitrogen is attributed directly to septic systems. The Cape Cod Commission will continue to investigate ways to reduce the damage to the watershed and subsequent decline in property values in the future, the report stated.
The weather on Cape Cod has been absolutely incredible this summer. It's hard to be indoors when it is this comfortable and scenic. If your deck is looking a little worse for wear, here are some tips for affordable fixes from our friends at House Logic.
Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.
Copyright 2015 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
A juvenile great white shark trying to capture a seagull last weekend, gave the seagull the last laugh and the shark strugglling to breath on a Chatham beach.
With the tide rolling out, beachgoers recognized the shark's need for water in the gills, so they poured buckets of it on the shark until members of the Atlantic Great White Shark Conservancy could bring the shark to water.
Credit goes to the unnamed cellphone videographer who documented the process on the beach. It's fascinating. Enjoy.
Hollywood came to Chatham last December, to complete shooting Disney's "The Finest Hours", based on a true story of "the greatest small boat rescue" in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.
The call went out to Cape Codders interested in being one of the 200 extras-- ordinary people with no speaking parts, but needed as "townsfolk" in the background. I answered that call at the Chatham Middle School gym one rainy day last fall and was called within days to come for a costume fitting.
Massachusetts has courted the film industry by offering generous tax breaks and the strategy worked to attract Disney to an enormous warehouse building in the massive Quincy Shipyard. That's where the film's interior spaces were built and filmed. On the day I was scheduled for my costume fitting I was greeted by security at the outer gate and then directed to a cluster of trailers within the complex, one for men and one for women.
It was a bit of a cattle call, harried young staffers organizing the steady influx of extras, eventually teaming us with a wardrobe person who took us to yet another trailer filled with racks of clothing that looked like it came from the Salvation Army Thrift Store. With every sad layer the wardrobe assistant placed on me, my look got worse. I kept thinking once she sees how this piece doesn't flatter me she'll surely say "oh we can do better than that for you", but nope, she took a step back to admire her selections and declared me "cute". My dreary 1950s townsfolk look was decided.
Three weeks later my fellow townsfolk and I stood outside in the freezing cold for four nights in early December. We reported to wardrobe and hair in the middle school-- we were under strict orders not to wear any makeup or nail polish, at 3:00 pm and we were released again at 5:00 am. We were fed cafeteria food, and paid non-union wages of $139. per day, including overtime.
It was fascinating be a part of a big budget Disney film, and to see how the set and lighting designers transformed modern snow-less Chatham into a blizzard bound village circa 1952. They had paid visits to New England car shows throughout the summer and fall, recruiting vintage cars and their owners to be in the streets and on the docks, lighting the way for the crew to find their way back home after rescuing 32 merchant marines stranded offshore. Throughout the week in December, these wonderful cars, sprayed with paper pulp to mimic snow, were all over the lower Cape, a reminder of the big production in our midst.
My part involved moving amongst the cars at the docks as soon as all the headlights turned on. With engines running continuously and car and truck exhaust pipes puffing blue clouds into the sky, we probably shot the same scene 65 times the first night. Other scenes included cheering wildly at the docks when the rescue boat appeared through the mist. We did that about 65 times too.
The funniest episode was not intended to be funny at all, and it was difficult not to combine numb feet and total sleep deprivation and just laugh hysterically. I mentioned we had to cheer like crazy at the docks? Well for several hours more, we had to repeat that in complete silence because the actors had speaking parts as they stepped off the boat and they couldn't compete with our cheers. There we were, waving and silently clapping and mime yelling like crazy.
"The Finest Hours" stars Chris Pine and Casey Affleck and a whole bunch of uncredited New Englanders who stood outside in thin drab clothing for several nights in a row, to witness a little Hollywood history in our town. A release date has not been announced, however earlier reports indicated it would be as early as autumn.
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Cape Cod homeowners hoping to convert fuel systems from oil to natural gas have to several years before National Grid has the capacity, however it won't be as long as first projected, as told by National Grid officials to the Cape Cod Association of Realtors.
Company officials say right-of-way issues are 30% complete, and the permitting process will follow. Company officials estimate construction on new pipeline to the mid and lower Cape will begin in September of 2017 and be completed nearly two years later, in summer of 2019. New pipes will be placed three to five feet away from existing underground pipes, but in some cases, the new pipes will be across the street.
It was a routine check of supply lines late last year that lead the utility to place an immediate moratorium on new natural gas hookups in December. That decision reverberated through the Cape Cod home construction and real estate industries as potential homeowners were told they could no longer convert to natural gas for heating and cooking. The moratorium exists for Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Chatham. Initially, the towns of Barnstable and Yarmouth were included as well, however in March, officials announced Barnstable and Yarmouth could begin new hookups after a lengthy review process, typically six to eight weeks instead of the usual three.
Homebuilders now recommend owners install propane fuel in new home construction, making the switch to natural gas an easy one when the gas supply to the mid and lower Cape is restored.
The Cape Cod Rail Trail, a paved bicycle path built on old railroad tracks between Dennis and Wellfleet, is world class. At this time of year, motorists become accustomed to stopping at various points on Cape roads to allow the constant parade of bicyclists to cross. Bikes have the right of way, as they should. It's one of the many reasons Cape Cod is so special.
I enjoyed this video produced by our friends at the Cape Cod Times, and I hope you do too. Perhaps you'll be tempted to get out and try the trail.
When you drive between Harwich Village Center and the conveniences of East Harwich on Orleans Road-- route 39, you might pass by without noticing it--the back yard tennis court that would impress Serena Williams-- if only we could get her on the Cape.
The owners of 1024 Orleans Rd., currently offered for sale for $490,000, imported their love of tennis to their Cape Cod home with the installation of a HAR-TRU clay court, installed by Welch Tennis of Sun City, Florida.
Homeowner and tennis coach Eric Ernstrom says a HAR-TRU provides the "luxury of comfort to players and a better baseline rally game, so there is less stress to joints and more play than regular public asphalt courts you see at the schools or in parks".
"I have taught at private clay courts in Chatham and the extra money we paid to the Welch Court design team was worth every penny. There really is no comparison (to other court designs)" says Ernstrom.
Ernstrom says the court cost $80,000 to install, part of which has been recouped by renting the court to area tennis coaches to teach students of the game. Ernstrom says the court rents for $40 per hour and buyers might wish to consider maximizing this potential upon purchase.
1024 Orleans Road has three bedrooms and two bathrooms with an open first floor living area. One of the bedrooms is on the first floor to accommodate physical abilities and tastes. Enjoy the tour below.
The home also features a motorized French-made "Somfy" retractible awning for the ultimate convenience.
For additional information or to schedule a tour, call or text Maureen at 617-637-6711. Visit the property website, here.
For an interesting slide show of the various home designs by region, enjoy this gallery from our friends from HGTV.com.
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Question: What do Thomas Jefferson's landmark residence Monticello have in common with 60 Cedar Lane in South Eastham on Cape Cod? A Rumford fireplace, that's what.
Designed for fuel efficiency, the Rumford fireplace was an 18th century 5-Star energy saver.
The unique fireplace construction was designed by Benjamin Thomas, born in 1753 in Massachusetts, but a later resident of Europe. He moved to first to England, and then to Germany where he became an expert in the study of heat.
Thomas was anointed "Count of the Holy Roman Empire" and given the noble surname von Rumford. By then his unique fireplace design attracted the attention of architects worldwide.
The Rumford fireplace is characterized by a rounded throat to slow the escape of hot air up the chimney, and by a wide and shallow opening to deflect heat back into the room.
Owing to the many New England homes built in the 18th and 19th centuries, Rumford fireplaces take a prominent place in many a Cape Cod home. In fact, the Rumford fireplace was a design feature in homes well into the 20th century as evidenced by the video, above, of a Rumford fireplace in a 1973 home for sale in South Eastham, near the Cape Cod National Seashore.
The intersection of heat efficiency and warmth of mood and temperature, a Rumford fireplace is just right for living rooms and family rooms throughout the U.S., 250 years after the birth of the inventor who gave the unique heating method its name.
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For years, visitors to Harwich have scratched their heads over why one of the most picturesque locations on the Cape is obscured by a vacant lot and derelict building on 2.2 acres of land. A solution may be at hand.
The Saquatucket Harbor Redevelopment Committee will present its recommendations to Harwich town selectmen May 11th. Those recommendations include a harbor side restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch, a newly constructed harbormaster's building, a ferry ticket office on the south side of Rt. 28 versus the north side that exists now, and expanded parking for vehicles.
In addition, the committee will petition that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation extend a handicapped-accessible sidewalk connecting the business district of Harwich Port with the improved harbor amenities. The busy and narrow stretch of Rt. 28 is a treacherous section of road where automobiles, bicycles and pedestrians share space. Although dangerous, visitors continue to traverse it because it is a natural destination for those who have walked the small business district but wish to continue to explore.
Improvements to Rt. 28 and the harbor are years away as various regulatory hurdles are addressed. The town does not even yet own the land in question. Transfer of the Downey property, as it is known, has been in limbo for years as the Mobil Exxon corporation considers cleanup of a major gas spill at the abandoned service station on the site years ago. The sale of the land to the town is expected to occur within a few weeks, according to Harbormaster John Rendon.