List of the oldest buildings in Massachusetts

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This article attempts to list the oldest extant buildings 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 dendrochronology, 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.

The town of Ipswich has the largest number of First Period houses; at least 57 still exist. Here is more information on Ipswich's First Period houses: http://www.historicipswich.org/1st-period-houses/

Building Image Location First Built Notes
Fairbanks House Fairbanks house dedham.jpg Dedham, Massachusetts 1637 c. Oldest wood-frame house in America, dated using dendrochronology, and the oldest house in Massachusetts.[1]
Richard Sparrow House
Richard Sparrow House
Plymouth, Massachusetts 1640 c. The Richard Sparrow House is a historic house at 42 Summer Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts and the oldest surviving house in Plymouth.
Wing Fort House Wing Fort House exterior.jpg East Sandwich, Massachusetts 1641[2] The oldest home in New England continuously owned by the same family; now a museum.[2]
Hatch Homestead Hatch House in Marshfield MA.jpg Marshfield, Massachusetts 1647 c. 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
Newman-Fiske-Dodge House Newman-Fiske-Dodge House.jpg Wenham, Massachusetts 1658
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 [3][dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org])
Pickering House Pickering House - Salem, Massachusetts.JPG Salem, Massachusetts 1664[3] Oldest house in Salem still being lived in. It is located at 18 Broad Street in the Chestnut Street District.
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
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.[4]
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.
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
The Witch House The witch house salem 2009.JPG Salem, Massachusetts 1675 Also called the Jonathan Corwin House, this was the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin [4] and is the only structure still standing in Salem, Massachusetts with direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.[5] The house is now a museum operated by the City of Salem, and is open seasonally.
Hoxie House Hoxie House in Sandwich MA.jpg Sandwich, Massachusetts 1675 c. 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.
Deane Winthrop House Deane Winthrop House Winthrop MA 02.jpg Winthrop, Massachusetts 1675 Dated by dendrochronology to 1675,[5] with an addition of 1695. 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.
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 c. Possibly the oldest brick house in the United States.[6][7]
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 c.
Paul Revere House Paul Revere House side view.jpg Boston, Massachusetts 1680 c. Oldest building in downtown Boston.[8]
John Adams Birthplace John Adams birthplace, Quincy, Massachusetts.JPG Quincy, Massachusetts 1681 Oldest existing building within which a future President of the United States was born (John Adams, October 30, 1735)

[9]

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.
Parson Capen House Parson Capen House - Topsfield, Massachusetts.JPG Topsfield, Massachusetts 1683 Oldest house in Topsfield.
Pierce House (Dorchester, Massachusetts) Pierce House Boston MA.jpg Dorchester, Massachusetts 1683 One of the oldest houses in Boston.
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.
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.
Boardman House Boardman House - Saugus MA - general view.JPG Saugus, Massachusetts 1692[10] Formerly known as the Scotch Boardman House. Also known as the Bennet-Boardman House.
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.
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 c.
Isaac Goodale House Built in Salem, Massachusetts; moved to Ipswich, MA in 1928. 1695 c. Date from architectural survey, available on Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System website.[11]
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.
John Alden House John Alden House in Duxbury, Massachusetts.jpg Duxbury, Massachusetts ca. 1700 A National Historic Landmark, dating to ca. 1700 .[12]
Rebecca Nurse Homestead RebeccaNurseHouse.jpg Danvers, Massachusetts ca. 1700 This house was built around ca. 1700.[13]
John Humphreys House Sir John Humphreys House.jpg Swampscott, Massachusetts 1700 c.[14]
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).
Josiah Day House Josiah Day House.jpg West Springfield 1754 Oldest known brick salt-box style home in the United States.

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. ^ a b "Wing Fort House". Wing Family of America. Wing Family of America, Inc. Retrieved 27 August 2016. 
  3. ^ "Oxford Dendrochronology". 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Oxford Dendrochronology". 
  6. ^ Coolidge, Ruth Dame. Round About Old Medford, Medford Historical Society, 1934.
  7. ^ Hooper, John H. “Some Old Medford Houses and Estates” Medford Historic Register. VII:3 (July 1904).
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ National Park Service description of the John Adams Birthplace, as part of the Adams National Historic Park in Quincy, MA.
  10. ^ "Boardman House". 
  11. ^ "MACRIS". 
  12. ^ "National Historic Landmark Nomination, page 4" (PDF). 
  13. ^ Cummings, Abbott (1979). The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay 1625-1725. Belknap. p. 123. 
  14. ^ "MACRIS".