The earliest homes in Provincetown were reminiscent of the cottages the early settler left behind, yet adapted to life on a sand bar. They were shingled, built close to the ground with small circular cellars that could withstand the pressure of the ever-shifting sand.

A large central chimney allowed fireplaces on two sides to heat both rooms, and the front door opened onto a small front hall behind which a steep staircase rose against the chimney block.

Early Provincetown Homes

Roofs were pitched low with windows on the gable sides; beneath the roof were the family’s sleeping quarters.

Most of the earliest Provincetown Cape houses are gone or have undergone so many modification that they’re no longer recognizable.

Early Provincetown Homes Diagram

Check out all of our articles on Provincetown History here!