A Regression of Houses on Route 28, Cape Cod

We have been driving back and forth from Falmouth to Hyannis lately.

The other day was my turn to be a passenger, so I got to take pictures.

The road to and from these towns is Massachusetts Route 28. Route 28 was first designated as a state-numbered road in 1922, so in age, it’s nine years short of the century mark.

Factoid of the day: Route 28 passes through 28 towns as it winds from Orleans, at the “end” of Cape Cod to Methuen, on the New Hampshire border.


From Wiki: “Directional signs on Route 28 on Cape Cod are continuously marked as north–south, which is confusing for unfamiliar drivers. One travelling on Route 28 southbound is actually going northeast from Falmouth to Mashpee, east from Mashpee to Chatham, and north from Chatham to the Orleans-Eastham border. In fact, where Route 39 hits Route 28 in South Orleans, the directions on Route 28 are unsigned, since otherwise a driver heading north on 39 North and wishing to continue north into Orleans Center might inadvertently follow 28 North south to Chatham.”

We’d had a bit of snow, and the plows were still out. There wasn’t any snow to push around, but there was plenty of salty road water to fling into the air.


There are a lot of houses on Route 28, and some of them caught my eye. Here’s a sample, approximately from youngest to oldest. I may have them a little out of order, since the nineteenth century gave us Greek Revival, Queen Anne, Italianate Revivals, Gothics, Gingerbreads, and other Fancies. All those different styles are hard to keep track of.


The youngest of our houses. Basic box, adorned with dormer, ells, and an entry. The red trim says that the owners are not afraid. Not afraid of color and not afraid of the opinions of their neighbors.


More red. Red body, white trim. Jury-rigged cover over entry suggests lack of money or time and energy for repair work.


More people who have no fear of color. Or perhaps they got a deal on leftover siding. Whatever the case, this place has character. The entry door, with its two curved-top panes of glass, is a nice touch.


Little, and charming. Unfortunately close to the highway. No signs of occupancy, and the paint is peeling. Somebody loved roses. This was once a teeny house, and got several additions.


One of the grand old houses of Falmouth, located where Route 28 makes a sharp turn. Nice color. The shingle work is varied and interesting, too.


This Italianate residence is now a Bed and Breakfast. May I go up into the cupola, please?


Color and gingerbread grafted onto a late Greek Revival based house. A color scheme like this would make straight-laced Edgartown people fall down and have conniption fits. (In Edgartown, One uses white, with the darkest of greens for shutters and detail work.)


A plain old Greek Revival influence farm house. I suspect it’s had better days, but it’s a fine, basic house. That’s an interesting rectangular patch of snowmelt on the roof.


A classic, grand Greek Revival house. The pale yellow clapboard somehow looks just right. The shutters need some help.


The last is the oldest. A beautiful two-story “Full Cape”, with a gorgeous front door. Remember that that door was built when there was no electricity for power tools.

4 responses to “A Regression of Houses on Route 28, Cape Cod

  1. Hey Tom, Hope you are enjoying your travels.
    Referring to the first photo of the youngest house, you mention the owners aren’t afraid of color or what their neighbors think. The trim is very similar to the color on my house and lots of houses on the Vineyard. I think this is especially true of up Island farm houses. I just assumed it was the “Vineyard farm thing”. It is time for us to paint our trim. I assumed I would just go to the paint store and ask for the usual. You are more knowledgeable about this…what you say??

    sisimilar to the colors

    • You could always follow standard investing advice, but instead of having a monkey throw darts at the stock quotations, you have a monkey throw darts at a color wheel. If you don’t have a monkey, maybe you could borrow one. Or, do like the big stadiums do, but instead of selling naming rights, sell color rights…highest bidder gets to choose the color for you (they also have to buy you the paint.)

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