Building Upon a Legacy

A century’s worth of generations have shaped this Harwich Port cottage, and now its latest generation of ownership has put their own unique touch on the historic home

Steve Trowbridge’s life has taken him many places—from his birthplace in the Philippines, to New York for 13 years, to Dallas, Texas for much of his adult life. Yet wherever life has taken him, he has always found his way back to one particular place—Harwich Port. 

In the early 1900s, Trowbridge’s grandfather visited a friend in Harwich Port, and it didn’t take him long to fall in love with the area. Soon after that first visit, he bought an 1828 classic Cape Cod-style cottage to be a getaway from his teaching life at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. What was once a simple, standalone home, where everyone cooked around the fireplace in the keeping room and went outside for the bathroom, has since received a loving, distinct touch from each Trowbridge generation. With the help of Alison Alessi of A3 Architects and George Davis of George Davis, Inc., Trowbridge and his wife, Peggy, made their mark this past summer with a complete revamp of the 1950s kitchen.

The 1828 antique part of the home has largely remained the same over the past 100 years, and is fondly referred to as the “museum” by the homeowners. When Trowbridge’s grandfather remarried, he extended the home to have a separate kitchen space. Then, in the 1980s, Trowbridge’s father added the “annex,” which still followed traditional Cape Cod-style living. With Steve and Peggy Trowbridge now retired and hoping to eventually become year-rounders in Harwich Port, they decided to rejoin the oldest and newest spaces with a very modern kitchen and dining area. “We now have the very old, very new and sort of new attached,” says Trowbridge.