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The Book in a Nutshell

An Uncommon Cape: Researching the Histories and Mysteries of a Property tells the story of the author’s small Cape Cod house on one-third of an acre—a story with several mysteries. A wide-ranging investigation forms the basis of an eight-year research journey—like a segment of PBS’s History Detectives—not only to solve the mysteries but also to answer the broader question, “What came before?” The book includes more than 60 images and guidelines in twenty-two sidebars to help you find the story of your home. 



PART 1           Mysteries of the House

One                  Something Like a Sears House
Two                 The House Finds a Home
Three               The Cape Cod House: Why So Common, Why So Popular?

PART 2           Thirty-two Owners in 350 Years: A Focus on Four

                         The Owners
Four                Wappaquewam: Siwanoy Sakima
Five                 Caleb Heathcote: Manor Lord
Six                   Isaac Gedney Jr.: The Neutral Ground
Seven              Louis Block and Harry Rich Mooney: From Farm to Subdivision

PART 3           Mysteries of the Land

Eight               In New York or In Connecticut?
Nine                Moon Over Mamaroneck: When and Where?
Ten                  Monkey Business and More: The Possibilities
                        Epilogue – Kernels of Truth

Released September 2012, SUNY Press