Drivers on Sandwich Road who can recall a dilapidated house near the Sagamore Bridge might find that they do not recognize the dwelling these days.
The house at 946 Sandwich Road had fallen into shabby disrepair in recent years which, combined with its location adjacent to the 19th-century and supposedly haunted Sagamore Cemetery, gave the house a mysterious appearance.
For this upcoming Halloween season, however, those looking for spooky sites will have to go elsewhere.
J.P. Rutledge bought the Sagamore house in March and has spent the past six months doing a complete remodel.
On the house’s exterior he has maintained the front porch and basic structure of the house, but vital repairs and a new coat of paint make it look brand new. The color, which he called “Sagamore green,” has garnered attention from neighbors, who have called to ask Mr. Rutledge for samples of the paint.
The lawn is neatly maintained, and a row of pink roses lines the front yard near Sandwich Road. The homeowner said by next year he expects the flowers to grow as high as a hedge.
“They’ll be phenomenal,” he said. “When I have people come here, I’ll just say, ‘Go to the house with the roses.’”
Mr. Rutledge has lived in both Brewster and Bourne for the past 35 years. He lived on Pleasant Street in Sagamore years ago and had bought the house to come back to the neighborhood.
“I always liked this house, and it has pretty much looked like this since I moved here 35 years ago,” he said.
Mr. Rutledge wanted to keep the outside mainly the same, but he made several changes to the house’s interior.
He knocked down a wall between the entry and living room, made two bedrooms upstairs into one and added a full bathroom on the first floor to replace a half-bathroom and kitchen pantry.
Walking into Mr. Rutledge’s modern gray-and-white kitchen, there is no hint of the ghostly rumors that surround the house. There are white cabinets, an electric stove, and his daughter’s art hanging on the wall.
Large windows in every room soak the whole house in sunlight. In the back, the homeowner has transformed what he thinks might have been a horse stall into a sunroom.
Mr. Rutledge was a commercial floor contractor and has done other types of construction on houses in the past. Though he had some help, most of the remodel was his own project.
Upstairs, four bedrooms have been transformed into one master bed, an office and an extra room. Mr. Rutledge knocked down a wall separating the two smaller bedrooms to create the master bedroom.
The doors, molding and hardware are almost all original. They were in fine shape when Mr. Rutledge bought the house, he said, and with supply chain issues this summer, buying everything he needed for the renovation was difficult. He decided to restore the original woodwork instead of replacing it.
While the Sagamore house looks completely transformed, the work is not entirely done. The homeowner plans to repaint the front door and restore some molding around the porch. Mainly, though, he is concerned that he has not installed gas in the house yet.
He said he applied for a gas permit in April and the gas company applied for a state permit in June. Seventeen weeks later, he does not have access to the gas lines on his property yet.
His newly installed gas fireplace has not gotten any use and Mr. Rutledge is concerned about the incoming cold weather, as there is no heat due to the permitting issue.
Despite these hiccups, Mr. Rutledge is excited to be back in the neighborhood he has always loved.
“The highlight of living here is the Cape Cod Canal,” he said. “You can go for a walk down there. There are always people fishing, so if you feel like having the gift of gab, there’s always people to chat with. It’s really a great place to live.”