On the Market: A Charming Cape Cod Home Made from an Old Vermont Barn
Once home to legendary newscaster Tom Ellis, this wood-loving Sandwich abode comes with another conversion: a post office-turned-studio.
4 Lookout Lane, Sandwich
Size: 4,142 square feet
If you can’t find your dream house, make it yourself. That’s what Tom Ellis, the late and legendary Boston news anchor, and his wife Arlene did to build their home three decades ago—patching together perfectly repurposed elements from other inspiring properties.
It started with a simple barn in Williamstown, Vermont. The 19th-century structure was made from hand-hewn timbers sourced from an old-growth forest in Vermont, and served as a main farm building for 200 years until it was bought in 1986. After being laboriously disassembled, the planks were transported on flatbed trucks some 230 miles southeast to Sandwich, Massachusetts. There, over the course of nearly five years of construction, it got a whole new life. Its wood-shingled exterior makes the Lookout Lane home look like a typical Cape house—but one step into the living room, a timbered sanctuary framed by repurposed posts and beams, reveals its Green Mountain State roots.
The barn was just one piece of the Ellis’s larger puzzle, though. The wide planks of white oak flooring were pulled from the attic of a 200-year-old Connecticut home, while the epic fireplace was made from Vermont fieldstone—intentionally sourced to harmonize with the time period of the barn. And then there’s a small post-and-beam outbuilding, which once functioned as a Rowley, MA post office, and which now makes a perfect studio.
As neat as all of its elements are, the home’s cozy cohesiveness comes from the care that Arlene Ellis put into its outfitting, according to the listing agent. Metal railings and high ceilings call back to the home’s farm days, while antique furnishings make the space feel well lived-in. And, most important for a home on the Cape, it’s rife with French doors and transom windows to inundate the wood-toned rooms with sea breezes through the summer and warm sunlight through the winter.
For information, contact Douglas Azarian, Kinlin Grover Real Estate, dougazarian.kinlingrover.com.
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