Over the river and through the woods

This cottage is like something out of a fairy tale.

Ever since I have come to the Cape, I have been fascinated by the cottage, perched on the top of a small hill above the Centerville River marsh. Above scrubby oaks and twisted pines, you can catch glimpses of the cottage’s stucco walls and red tile roof. If you stand on the bridge over the river—where kids still spend hours jumping into the water on summer days—you have a great view of the cottage’s boathouse. The boathouse—a charming replica of the cottage—has a long wooden walkway out across the marsh.

Over the River and Through the Woods

On walks to Craigville Beach, I have lingered on the bridge sometimes and wondered: who lives in the cottage? What happens in the boathouse? Are there lovely parties there, where guests in fancy dress arrive by boat in glimmering cocktail hour light to sit on the cottage’s deck high above the marsh, watching blue heron dance and osprey soar?

I once asked my mother-in-law, who came to Cape Cod every summer for 83 years, about the cottage. She knew the family, but she hadn’t been there often and couldn’t tell me enough to satisfy my imaginings about the cottage on the marsh.

Over the River and Through the Woods

Somehow I knew this was a magical place, and when I was lucky enough to get to know the owner, I asked if I could come see the cottage. As soon as I walked up the winding stone path for my first full view of the house, I felt as if I stepped into one of the fairy tales I once loved.

In our special story on page 24—illuminated by Eric Roth’s marvelous photographs—pass through the big studded wooden door (which once inspired Walt Disney to design one just like it for Cinderella’s Disneyland castle) into this much loved home. Share it with your grandchildren who will tell you it is more fanciful than any place in Harry Potter’s world. On Cape Cod, there is real magic all around us.

Susan Dewey

Susan Dewey, Associate Publisher & Editor


Susan Dewey is the associate publisher and editor of Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME, and Cape Cod ART. She lives in Centerville on Cape Cod and enjoys gardening, sailing, walking on the beach, gallery hopping, cooking with fresh seafood, and exploring Cape Cod and the Islands from shore to shore.

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