We wonder about the season ahead and what we’ll find at the other side. There are surely lessons to be learned from the historic houses around us and the people who lived in them. Built in 1800, Belvernon, in Wellfleet, was purchased by Lorenzo Dow Baker in 1889. Baker’s enterprising spirit had taken him from Wellfleet to Jamaica, where he discovered a tropical fruit that would become his empire. The family of the “Banana King” gathered at the house when they returned here every summer. They must have had some fun: Baker installed a bowling alley and a tennis court and hung bananas from his front porch to share with his neighbors. So many of our houses hold stories, both amazing and ordinary, to depend on when sailing into heavy weather. —Molly Newman
The rambling floor plan of the house makes it easy to get lost. Behind every door is a new discovery. (Photos Molly Newman)
The wallpaper evokes Baker’s adventures as a sea captain traveling the world, but he always returned to his home town of Wellfleet.
The kitchen is now outfitted with modern ovens, but the antique Hub range remains, with a plaque that reads, “Hub ranges are used and recommended by the Boston, New York, Providence, Hartford, New Haven, Worcester, and other cooking schools. Is stronger endorsement possible.”