8 Atwood Avenue

8 Atwood Avenue, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

8 Atwood Avenue, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

When you spot a white-on-blue plaque of a house aboard a scow — as there is on this lovely three-quarter Cape — you’re in the presence of a building that was floated over from Long Point, an early 19th-century settlement on the thin finger of land separating Cape Cod Bay from Provincetown Harbor. By the late 1860s, as the near-shore fishery grew depleted, the settlement had to be abandoned. Almost 40 structures were salvaged, however, and floated over to town as the plaque suggests, including this one and two nearby, at 10 and 12 Atwood.

10 Atwood Avenue

10 Atwood Avenue, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

10 Atwood Avenue, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

Clustered around Atwood Avenue and Point Street are many of the Long Point floaters whose historical provenance seems most solid. At the heart of the property at No. 10 is a house that was believed to have belonged to Joseph Butler when it stood out at the point, somewhat in the center of the settlement. By the 1860s, it had been moved across the harbor. In 1862, it became the home of the newly wedded Adelia (Morgan) Atwood and Stephen Atwood. Her great love was the Centenary Methodist Church, where she sang in the choir. Joseph Collins and Harry Clark of San Francisco bought the house in 1999 and undertook a renovation that preserved a lot of the distinctive architectural features that had grown by accretion over the decades.