Built in 1672, The Vincent House is the oldest residence in Martha's Vineyard. This unique Cape has quite the history to it. A testament to building construction, it was picked up and moved to the current location it resides at now in the 70's, and the chimney didn't even crack.
The Vincent House Cape was built as a single structure, where the beams in the floor ran the entire length of the house. At the time, this would have been extremely expensive, and was atypical of houses being built at the time. A more common approach was to build houses in stages, where you would start with the main house and living area, then add on to the house later when money allowed.
While it's nowhere near cost prohibitive now, the concept of a single base holds similar to modular home design. With a modular home, you have "boxes" or "modules" which are each self sustained with a solid base. The Vincent House Cape, if built today as a modular, would consist of two boxes; one for the entire front of the house, another for the entire back of the house. The upstairs could be a third box, or built with panels.
Built on a dry foundation, the Vincent House Cape was really ahead of its time. Each stone hand picked, hand placed, and then a house set on it that is actually level; be glad that any modular home built today doesn't require such effort and labor. For those who are curious, the foundation on a modular home is placed either on a full foundation (basement) or a crawl space. This is required to be able to run all the plumbing and wiring under the house, but also still being accessible to anyone who needs to service the plumbing or wires. Imagine if you couldn't get under the house to fix a broken pipe today!
Cape style homes have always been a popular option with modular design, because it allows for a spacious house without being cost prohibitive or unstylish. While obviously popular in the cape area, the Cape style still boasts an impressive commanding presence that screams vacation home. You don't need to travel to an island to have a little slice of privacy and comfort in your own vacation home. And who knows, maybe three centuries from now someone will be taking a tour of your Cape, too.