Location, location, location. As any real estate agent will tell you, location is everything. What to do then with your house when that perfect spot is no longer what it was?
If you were a resident of Long Point in the 1850s you would have faced that exact dilemma. Long Point, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, was settled in 1818 because of its proximity to abundant fishing grounds, and by 1846 it had more than 200 residents, a school, a post office, a bakery and a lighthouse. Shore fishing became more difficult, however, and people’s livelihoods declined.
Residents, presumably practical and somewhat frugal, decided to move house, literally. Beginning in 1850, between thirty and forty of the houses were placed on rafts and floated across the harbor to Provincetown. Today these Long Point Floaters, as they’re known, are marked with a white-on-blue plaque showing a house in the water.
There are small clusters of them on Atwood, Nickerson and Point Streets and a few on Commercial Street. Some retain their original simple form, while others have been expanded and made quite grand overtime. As you wander Provincetown, it is great fun to look for them proudly wearing the symbol of their journey.