It’s not too often one comes across a piece of old Cape Cod so well preserved that experiencing it feels like a step back in time, but the 18th-century Benjamin Godfrey House on Stage Harbor Road in Chatham is such a place. Evoking the feeling of a bygone era, the Cape-style dwelling is situated on an acre of undulating lawns, which feature moss-covered stone walls, an old barn, an ancient fruit orchard, and views to Mill Pond. The Benjamin Godfrey house was first deeded in 1789. Although there are no documents showing the actual build date, Smith believes the house was erected circa 1750. Benjamin Godfrey operated the town gristmill, which was once located north of the property and was moved to Chatham’s Chase Park. Godfrey lived in the house until he passed away in 1818.
When Smith, a native to Cape Cod, had the opportunity to purchase the house, he jumped at the chance. “This property embodies the feeling of old Cape Cod,” notes Smith. Owner of Minglewood Homes, Smith loves the antique cape houses dotting the area’s coastal landscape. “It’s always fun to work on older houses, although not always easier,” he says with a laugh. Smith intended to restore the old structure while improving on its livability by incorporating sensitive additions to the original house. “We wanted to maintain the integrity of the existing building as well as the unique plantings on the property, which include the only known Sequoia Redwood Tree on Cape Cod,” notes Smith.