That the white chimneys with black rings or bands on many of the oldest houses are indicative of homes that supported the British? This was called a Tory chimney, and it was a secret sign that Loyalists occupied the house.
Loyalists were North American colonists who remained loyal subjects of the British crown during the American Revolutionary War. They were often referred to as Tories, Royalists or King’s Men. After the war those Loyalists that did not want to remain in the new USA settled in what would become Canada and were given the hereditary title of United Empire Loyalists. Their colonial opponents, who supported the Revolution, were called Rebels, Patriots or Whigs, but generally just thought of themselves as free Americans. From the Patriot’s perspective, the Loyalists were traitors who would not support the rebel’s cause and collaborated with what they thought was an oppressive British government. Whereas from the Loyalist perspective, they were the honorable ones who stood by the Empire and the Crown and considered the American rebels as the traitors to the mother country.
Today you still see white chimneys with black rings, but it is probably more for the aesthetics than any secret sign.
The tip for this post came from Allen Estes who I ran into working on this old home in Annisquam. In addition to his music knowledge, he is a wealth of those great little known facts I (and you) enjoy so much.