House Lust: A Pristine Eighteenth-Century Cape is on the Market for Less Than $300,000
The Robert Davis House, set on a winding country road in Foster, has stood the test of time (and beautifully).
Robert Davis was likely born in Swansea in 1723, married, had nine children and died in 1816 at the age of ninety-three. We don’t know what he did for work. We don’t know if he was friends with anybody famous. We don’t know how he voted. What we do know is this Cape on Rams Tail Road in Foster bears his name and, unlike so many of its eighteenth-century compatriots, the home has stood the test of time.
“His only claim to fame might be that his house has been taken care of and has survived since 1750,” says Adam Cardinal, a history buff and antique house aficionado who listed the property earlier this week on behalf of the family of the late homeowner, Kenneth J. Lewis.
Lewis was a lifetime member of the Foster Preservation Society. The owner before him was Heidi Colwell, an archivist with the preservation society who bought the property in the 1980s and whose husband restored it.
“Kenneth considered himself the curator of the house, taking care of it and holding onto it for the next generation,” says Cardinal. “It was his pride and joy.”
Because it is an estate sale, Cardinal says he’s not sure which updates were performed by the late owner and which came before him. However, neighbors confirmed the roof — with wood shingles akin to the roofing materials used in the mid-eighteenth century — was recently replaced.
“Honestly, if all the bedrooms were on one floor, I’d buy this house,” says Cardinal. “It has every bit of peace and tranquility that me and my wife dream of. It’s the type of home you’d see in some Airbnb in a foreign country, except it’s in Foster.”
He says his favorite element is the old fireplace in the living room, which, in 1750, would’ve been the kitchen of the house. It has a built-in bread oven, a nook for firewood and cast iron arms for swinging cauldrons over the fire.
“This is the space where everybody gathered for 95 percent of their lives,” he says. “It’s just amazing to see that still intact in a normal, livable house.”
The property itself is about an acre in total and sits at the edge of a winding country road. It’s a ten-minute stroll to the Ram Tail Trail (which leads to the supposedly haunted Ramtail Mill ruins).
“If you turn off your ringer on the phone and you just sit there and quiet yourself, you feel like you’re in another place and time,” says Cardinal. “And it’s just so warm and welcoming and peaceful. I think it’s something we’re missing in today’s society.”
Cardinal says he is showing the house on a deferred schedule this forthcoming Sunday, with interested buyers submitting proof of funds through their real estate agents prior to booking a time slot. Before the showings, Cardinal is planning a morning walk-through with the previous owner, Colwell, and the Foster Preservation Society. He says he asked Colwell to pose for a picture with the house; she is, after all, part of its story. Its next stewards will be, too.
Living history lovers, here’s your House Lust:
For more information on 9 Rams Tail Road in Foster, contact Adam Cardinal at 401-261-1936 or visit homesmart.com.
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