List of the oldest buildings in Massachusetts

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This article attempts to list the oldest extant buildings surviving in the state of Massachusetts in the United States of America, including the oldest houses in Massachusetts and any other surviving structures. Some dates are approximate and based upon dendochronology, architectural studies, and historical records. Sites on the list are generally from the First Period of American architecture or earlier. Only houses predominantly built prior to 1700 are suitable for inclusion on this list or the building must be the oldest of its type.


Building Image Location First Built Notes
Fairbanks House Fairbanks house dedham.jpg Dedham, Massachusetts 1637 circa Oldest wood-frame house in America, dated using dendrochronology, and the oldest house in Massachusetts.[1]
John Humphreys House Sir John Humphreys House.jpg Swampscott, Massachusetts 1637 circa Oldest house in Swampscott.
Richard Sparrow House Richard Sparrow House in Plymouth Massachusetts.jpg Plymouth, Massachusetts 1640 Oldest house in Plymouth.
Wing Fort House Wing Fort House.jpg East Sandwich, Massachusetts 1641
The Witch House The witch house salem 2009.JPG Salem, Massachusetts 1642 Also called the Jonathan Corwin House, this was the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin [3] and is the only structure still standing in Salem, Massachusetts with direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.[4] The house is now a museum operated by the City of Salem, and is open seasonally.
Sturgis Library Sturgis Library, Barnstable MA.jpg Barnstable (village), Massachusetts 1644 Oldest public library building in the country.
Hatch Homestead Hatch House in Marshfield MA.jpg Marshfield, Massachusetts 1647 circa Purportedly the oldest continuously occupied house in Massachusetts.
General Israel Putnam House Putnam House, Danvers, Massachusetts - front view.JPG Danvers, Massachusetts 1648
James Noyes House James Noyes House.jpg Newbury, Massachusetts 1646
Pickering House Pickering House - Salem, Massachusetts.JPG Salem, Massachusetts 1651 Oldest house in Salem still being lived in and the oldest house in U.S. occupied continuously by one family. It is located at 18 Broad Street in the Chestnut Street District.
John Alden House John Alden House in Duxbury, Massachusetts.jpg Duxbury, Massachusetts 1653 A National Historic Landmark, this is the only building still standing in the United States that was built by, and lived in by Pilgrims. Home of Pilgrim John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.
Goodspeed House Goodspeed House, Marstons Mills MA.jpg Barnstable, Massachusetts 1653
Macy-Colby House Macy-Colby House (front) - Amesbury, Massachusetts.JPG Amesbury, Massachusetts 1654
Newman-Fiske-Dodge House Newman-Fiske-Dodge House.jpg Wenham, Massachusetts 1658
Bellingham-Cary House Bellingham-Cary House Chelsea MA.jpg Chelsea, Massachusetts 1659
John Partridge House John Partridge House, Millis MA.jpg Millis, Massachusetts 1659
Parkman Tavern Parkman Tavern, Concord MA.jpg Concord, Massachusetts 1659
James Blake House James Blake House, Dorchester, Massachusetts - exterior.JPG Dorchester, Massachusetts 1661 Oldest house in Boston (dendrochronology in 2007 determined the actual construction date [5][dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org])
Reverend James Keith Parsonage Reverend James Keith Parsonage, West Bridgewater MA.jpg West Bridgewater, Massachusetts 1662 Old Bridgewater Historical Society, the oldest parsonage and garrison house in the Americas.
Job Lane House Job Lane House August 2003.JPG Bedford, Massachusetts 1664
Pickman House PickmanHouse Salem Massachusetts.jpg Salem, Massachusetts 1664 Located on Charter Street behind the Peabody Essex Museum, the oldest continually operated museum in America. The house abuts the Witch Memorial is also next to the second oldest burying ground in America.
Gedney House Gedney House (exterior) - Salem, Massachusetts.JPG Salem, Massachusetts 1665
Alexander Standish House Alexander Standish House in Duxbury MA.jpg Duxbury, Massachusetts 1666 Home of the son of Pilgrim Capt. Miles Standish.
Peter Bulkeley Esq/Reuben Brown House ReubenBrownHouse.JPG Concord, Massachusetts 1667
Jabez Howland House Jabez Howland House in Plymouth MA.jpg Plymouth, Massachusetts 1667 Only extant house in Plymouth occupied by Pilgrims. John Howland and his wife, Elizabeth Tilley Howland, who both came over on the Mayflower, spent their winters here with their son, Jabez, one of their 10 children. Also a National Historic Landmark.[2]
House of the Seven Gables House of the Seven Gables (front angle) - Salem, Massachusetts.jpg Salem, Massachusetts 1668 National Historic Landmark, setting of the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel.
Isaac Goodale House Built in Salem, Massachusetts; moved to Ipswich, MA in 1928. 1668 circa On the National Register of Historic Places.
Chaplin-Clarke House Chaplin-Clarke House, Rowley MA.jpg Rowley, Massachusetts 1670
Swett-Ilsley House Swett-Ilsley House - Newbury, Massachusetts.JPG Newbury, Massachusetts 1670
Judge Samuel Holten House Judge Samuel Holten House - Danvers, Massachusetts.JPG Danvers, Massachusetts 1670
Chandler-Bigsby-Abbot House AndoverMA ChandlerBigsbyAbbotHouse.jpg Andover, Massachusetts 1673 Oldest house in Andover.
Jerathmell Bowers House Jerathmell Bowers House.jpg Lowell, Massachusetts 1673 Oldest house in Lowell.
Hoxie House Hoxie House in Sandwich MA.jpg Sandwich, Massachusetts 1675 circa One of the oldest houses on Cape Cod.
Narbonne House Narbonne House - Salem, Massachusetts.JPG Salem, Massachusetts 1675 On the Waterfront in Salem at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and owned by the National Park Service.
Harlow Old Fort House Harlow Old Fort House in Plymouth MA.jpg Plymouth, Massachusetts 1677 House built using timbers from the Pilgrims' 1621 fort.
John Whipple House John Whipple House, 53 South Main Street, Ipswich (Essex County, Massachusetts).jpg Ipswich, Massachusetts 1677 National Historic Landmark.
Peter Tufts House Peter Tufts House, Medford, Massachusetts.JPG Medford, Massachusetts 1677–8 circa Possibly the oldest brick house in the United States.[3][4]
Rebecca Nurse Homestead RebeccaNurseHouse.jpg Danvers, Massachusetts 1678 Rebecca Nurse, executed in the Salem Witch Trials (1692), was the most notable resident.
Coffin House Coffinhouse2007.jpg Newbury, Massachusetts 1678 One of the oldest extant examples of the principal rafter/common purlin roof.
John Balch House John Balch House - Beverly, Massachusetts.JPG Beverly, Massachusetts 1679 circa
Paul Revere House Paul Revere House side view.jpg Boston, Massachusetts 1680 circa Oldest building in downtown Boston.[5]
Hoar Tavern North view of the Hoar Homestead, Lincoln MA.jpg Lincoln, Massachusetts 1680 Oldest home in Lincoln.[6]
Old Ship Church OldShipChurchView.jpg Hingham, Massachusetts 1681 Oldest church building in Massachusetts; only remaining Puritan 17th century meetinghouse in America; oldest church in continuous ecclesiastical use in America.
Ironmaster's House Saugus Iron Works - house.JPG Saugus, Massachusetts 1681 Also known as the Appleton House.
Cooper-Frost-Austin House Cooper-Frost-Austin House, Cambridge, Massachusetts - front.JPG Cambridge, Massachusetts 1682 Oldest house in Cambridge, verified using dendrochronology.
Butters-Avery House WilmingtonMA ButtersAveryHouse.jpg Wilmington, Massachusetts 1682 Oldest building in Wilmington.[6]
Parson Capen House Parson Capen House - Topsfield, Massachusetts.JPG Topsfield, Massachusetts 1683 Oldest houses in Topsfield.
Pierce House (Dorchester, Massachusetts) Pierce House Boston MA.jpg Dorchester, Massachusetts 1683 One of the oldest houses in Boston.
Old Indian Meeting House Old Indian Meeting House Church in Mashpee MA.jpg Mashpee, Massachusetts 1684 Oldest Native American church building in America.
John Ward House John Ward House.jpg Salem, Massachusetts 1684 This house is a National Historic Landmark at 132 Essex Street in Salem, Massachusetts in the Downtown Salem District; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1968.
Quincy Homestead Quincy Homestead Quincy MA 01.jpg Quincy, Massachusetts 1686 Home to four generations of Quincys, including Dorothy Quincy Hancock. Maintained by Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation as well as the National Society of Colonial Dames in America in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Jethro Coffin House Jethro Coffin House, Sunset Hill, Nantucket (Nantucket County, Massachusetts).jpg Nantucket, Massachusetts 1686 Oldest house on Nantucket Island.
Boardman House Boardman House - Saugus MA - general view.JPG Saugus, Massachusetts 1687 Formerly known as the Scotch Boardman House. Also known as the Bennet-Boardman House.
Joseph Willis House TauntonMA JosephWillisHouse.jpg Taunton, Massachusetts 1688 Oldest house in Taunton.
William Murray House William Murray House.jpg Salem, Massachusetts 1688 A historic house at 39 Essex Street
Claflin-Richards House Claflin-Richards House - Wenham, MA - front view.JPG Wenham, Massachusetts 1690 Constructed with ogee braces, an architectural hallmark of 16th- and 17th-century English dwellings.
Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm (front) - Newbury, Massachusetts.JPG Newbury, Massachusetts 1690 or earlier One of the oldest stone buildings in New England.
Old Jail Oldest wooden jail in America.jpg Barnstable, Massachusetts 1690 Oldest wooden prison in America.
Deane Winthrop House Deane Winthrop House Winthrop MA 02.jpg Winthrop, Massachusetts between 1675 and 1690 The original building was built about 1637 and was then rebuilt to its present size between 1675 and 1690. It belonged to Deane Winthrop, whose father John Winthrop was the first Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Currently it is owned by the Winthrop Improvement and Historical Association. This building is one of the oldest wood frame houses in the country and it is the oldest continuously lived-in home. Located at 40 Shirley Street, the Deane Winthrop House is a registered National Historic Site.
Kimball Tavern Kimball Tavern Antiques, Bradford MA.jpg Haverhill, Massachusetts 1692 The Kimball Tavern is among the oldest buildings in Massachusetts, and one of the oldest buildings in the city of Haverhill. A plaque identifies it as the site of the founding of Bradford College in 1802.
Sarah Cloyce House 657 Salem End Road, Framingham MA.jpg Framingham, Massachusetts 1693 Fleeing from the horrors of the Salem Witch Trials, Sarah Cloyce (younger sister of Rebecca Nurse and Mary Easty) and her husband Peter fled to a portion of Thomas Danforth's estate via the Old Connecticut Path. After surviving the winter in nearby caves, they built their home in what would become Framingham, Massachusetts.
Stanley Lake House Stanley Lake House, Topsfield MA.jpg Topsfield, Massachusetts 1693 Stanley Lake House, built in 1693, is a historic house at 95 River Road in Topsfield, Massachusetts. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
Browne House Browne House - Watertown, Massachusetts.JPG Watertown, Massachusetts 1694 Oldest house in Watertown.
Parker Tavern Parker Tavern Reading MA.jpg Reading, Massachusetts 1694 The saltbox tavern was built in 1694 by Abraham Bryant, a farmer and blacksmith. During the American Revolution, Ephraim Parker acquired the house and operated a tavern on the premises. Parker allowed Scottish prisoners of war to be housed in the tavern. The town of Reading acquired the building in 1914. In 1923 Reading Antiquarian Society purchased the building from the town for a nominal price and has maintained and operated the museum without public funding. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It is currently operated by the Reading Antiquarian Society.
Hart House Hart House, Lynnfield MA.jpg Lynnfield, Massachusetts 1695 circa
Dwight-Derby House Dwight-Derby House Medfield.jpg Medfield, Massachusetts 1697
Isaac Winslow House Isaac Winslow House, Marshfield MA.jpg Marshfield, Massachusetts 1699 Residence of a governor of the Plymouth Colony; now a museum.
Old Powder House Old Powder House (Somerville, Massachusetts) - DSC04316.JPG Somerville, Massachusetts 1704 Oldest stone building in Massachusetts
St. Michael's Church (Marblehead, Massachusetts) St. Michael's Church in Marblehead Massachusetts.JPG Marblehead, Massachusetts 1714 Oldest Episcopal parish church building on its original site in New England.
Boston Light Boston Light.jpg Boston 1716 / 1783 First lighthouse established in the USA, 1716. The current tower, built in 1783, is the second oldest existing lighthouse in the USA (after Sandy Hook Light, New Jersey).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Elsie Lathrop "Historic Houses of Early America" (Kessinger, New York: 2006) pg. 218 (accessed on Google Book Search)
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Coolidge, Ruth Dame. Round About Old Medford, Medford Historical Society, 1934.
  4. ^ Hooper, John H. “Some Old Medford Houses and Estates” Medford Historic Register. VII:3 (July 1904).
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ Barbara Rhines (May 1, 2008). "These old houses: Families living modern in historic homes". Wicked Local Lincoln. Perinton, New York: GateHouse Media.