List of the oldest buildings in Massachusetts
This article attempts to list the oldest buildings in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States of America, including the oldest houses in Massachusetts and any other surviving structures. Some dates are approximate (indicated with a "circa" or "c.") and based on architectural studies and historical records, while other dates are based on dendrochronology. All entries should include citation with reference to: 17th century architectural features; a report by an architectural historian; or dendrochronology. Sites on the list are generally from the First Period of American architecture. Only First Period houses built prior to 1700 are suitable for inclusion on this list or the building must be the oldest of its type.f
The Fairbanks House (built 1637-1641) is the oldest house verified using dendrochronology, followed by the James Blake House (built in 1661), but most First Period structures in Massachusetts have not yet been tested with dendrochronology surveys. The town of Ipswich, Massachusetts, is believed to have approximately 60 First Period houses, purportedly more than any other town in America.
|Fairbanks House||Dedham, Massachusetts||1637-1641||Oldest verified wood-frame house in America, timbers dated from 1637-1641 using dendrochronology, and the oldest house verified with dendrochronology in Massachusetts; largely preserved in original state.|
|Williams-Barker House||Scituate, Massachusetts||circa 1630-1640||Core of house is believed to date from as early 1634, but is now extensively renovated and currently operated as a tavern. No dendrochronology survey.|
|Thomas Bourne House||Marshfield, Massachusetts||1639 c.||Located at 1308 Ocean Street; House is believed to date from 1639. No dendrochronology survey.|
|Richard Sparrow House||Plymouth, Massachusetts||1640 c.||The Richard Sparrow House is a historic house and museum at 42 Summer Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the allegedly the oldest surviving house in Plymouth. No dendrochronology survey.|
|Samuel Lucius-Thomas Howland House||Plymouth, Massachusetts||1640 c.||Located at 36 North Street near Plymouth Rock; House is believed to date from 1640. No dendrochronology survey.|
|Joseph Andrews-Perez Lincoln House||Hingham, now in Chatham||1640 c.||House is believed to date from 1640 and was moved from Hingham to Chatham. No dendrochronology survey.|
|Capt. Thomas Willett House-Upland Meadows||Kingston, Massachusetts||1640 c.||Located at 27 Wapping Road; The back ell of the house is believed to date from 1640. No dendrochronology survey.|
|Wing Fort House||East Sandwich, Massachusetts||1641||The oldest home in New England continuously owned by the same family; now a museum. Dendrochronological dating was attempted in 2007, but was unsuccessful due to "many of the samples having too many narrow rings, some having too few rings, and to the lack of reference chronologies from the south-eastern part of Massachusetts."|
|Edmond Hawes-Barker Hunt House||Duxbury, Massachusetts||1641 c.||aka as the Edwin Hunt House at 8 Hounds Ditch Lane; House is believed to date from 1641. No dendrochronology survey.|
|John Doane House||Kingston, Massachusetts||1644 c.||Located at 34 Wapping Road; House is believed to date from 1644. No dendrochronology survey.|
|Nathaniel Felton Sr. House||Peabody, Massachusetts||1644||Oldest house in Peabody. No known dendrochronology survey.|
|James Noyes House||Newbury, Massachusetts||1646|
|Shatswell Planter's Cottage||Ipswich, Massachusetts||1646 c.||Currently located on the property at 53 Jeffrey's Neck Rd where it was moved in the twentieth century from another location: "originally located at 88-90 High Street [where it was] the earliest of the three First Period structures on the site, dating to before 1646"; House is believed to date from 1646. No dendrochronology survey.|
|John Ellis House||Sandwich, Massachusetts||c. 1647||located at 76 Main Street|
|General Israel Putnam House||Danvers, Massachusetts||c. 1648|
|Capt. Gideon Woodwell House||Newburyport, Massachusetts||c. 1649||Located at 2 Woodwell Avenue. Possibly built using beams from the owner's merchant ship|
|Edward Wilder House||Hingham, Massachusetts||c. 1650||oldest house in historic district at 597 Main Street.|
|Edward Brown House||Ipswich, Massachusetts||c. 1650||located at 27 High Street|
|Ford House||Marshfield, Massachusetts||c. 1650||91 Old Colony Lane|
|Samuel Robinson-Michael Chapleman House||Salem, Massachusetts||c. 1650||located at 69 Essex St; large eighteenth century addition|
|Watson Freeman House||Sandwich, Massachusetts||c. 1650||possibly demolished|
|Bickman House||Weymouth, Massachusetts||c. 1650||located at 84 Sea Street. Right side of building is the oldest house in Weymouth|
|John Harding House||Medfield, Massachusetts||c. 1651||74 Harding St. from the timbers of the old garrison, used as protection during the Indian attacks |
|Goodspeed House||Barnstable, Massachusetts||c. 1653|
|John Chenery House||Belmont, Massachusetts||c. 1654||52 Washington Street|
|Retire Beckett House||Salem, Massachusetts||c. 1655||Currently serves as the museum store at the House of Seven Gables after being moved to that location.|
|Keyes House||Westford, Massachusetts||c. 1656||16 Francis Hill Road|
|Thomas Dane House||Concord, Massachusetts||c. 1657||47 Lexington Rd.|
|Nicholas Wade House||Scituate, Massachusetts||c. 1657||located at 200 Country Way, ca. 1657.|
|Newman-Fiske-Dodge House||Wenham, Massachusetts||1658|
|Thomas Lord House||Ipswich, Massachusetts||c. 1658||17 High Street|
|James Moulton House||Wenham, Massachusetts||c. 1658||123 Cherry St|
|Caleb Moody House||West Newbury, Massachusetts||c. 1658||803 Main Street|
|Dillingham House||Brewster, Massachusetts||c. 1659|
|Cpl. John Andrews-Richard Dummer House/The White Horse Inn House||Ipswich, Massachusetts||c. 1659||34 High Street|
|Philip Call House||Ipswich, Massachusetts||c. 1659||26 High Street|
|John Partridge House||Millis, Massachusetts||c. 1659|
|Dillingham House||Sandwich, Massachusetts||c. 1659||71 Main St|
|Wade House||Scituate, Massachusetts||c. 1659|
|Parkman Tavern||Concord, Massachusetts||1700 ca.||Cited source estimates date of late 17th or early 18th century|
|James Blake House||Dorchester, Massachusetts||1661||Oldest house in Boston (dendrochronology in 2007 determined the actual construction date [dorchesterhistoricalsociety.org])|
|Pickering House||Salem, Massachusetts||1664||Oldest house in Salem still being lived in. It is located at 18 Broad Street in the Chestnut Street District. Dated using dendrochronology in 2007.|
|Pickman House||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||Salem, Massachusetts||1665||dated using dendrochronology in 2002|
|Jabez Howland House||Plymouth, Massachusetts||1667||Only surviving house in Plymouth where Pilgrims lived|
|House of the Seven Gables||Salem, Massachusetts||1668||National Historic Landmark, setting of the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel. Dated using dendrochronology in 2005.|
|Swett-Ilsley House||Newbury, Massachusetts||1670|
|Judge Samuel Holten House||Danvers, Massachusetts||1670|
|Chaplin-Clarke House||Rowley, Massachusetts||1670 c.||Oldest part built around 1670, leanto section added around 1700 before a change in ownership.|
|Merchant-Choate House||Ipswich, Massachusetts||1670/71||Also, known as Tuttle House (103 High Street). The House is definitely dated from 1670/71 by tree rings. Dendrochronology dating it from 1670s with some earlier beams and bracing, and possibly an earlier construction date.|
|The Witch House||Salem, Massachusetts||1675||Also called the Jonathan Corwin House, this was the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin  and is the only structure still standing in Salem, Massachusetts, with direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. The house is now a museum operated by the City of Salem, and is open seasonally.|
|Hoxie House||Sandwich, Massachusetts||1675 c.||One of the oldest houses on Cape Cod.|
|Narbonne House||Salem, Massachusetts||1675||The house is on the waterfront in Salem at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site and owned by the National Park Service. The site has 12 historic structures, including the Customs House, and a replica of the sailing ship Friendship of Salem. Dated using dendrochronology in 2002.|
|Deane Winthrop House||Winthrop, Massachusetts||1675||Dated by dendrochronology to 1675, 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.|
|Auld Lang Syne (house)||Nantucket, Massachusetts||1675||possibly the oldest house on Nantucket, and a former fisherman's cottage in Sconset|
|Capen House||Milton, Massachusetts||1675||Dating using dendrochronology in 2002.House was moved from Dorchester to Milton in 1909 and "[d]espite the opposition of the Historical Commission, a new owner of this property had the Capen house disassembled and removed from the Hillside Street site in 2006. The commission has no information regarding any future reconstruction of this important building."|
|John Whipple House||Ipswich, Massachusetts||1677||National Historic Landmark. Dating using dendrochronology in 2002.|
|Peter Tufts House||Medford, Massachusetts||1677–8 c.||The oldest brick house in Massachusetts.|
|Coffin House||Newbury, Massachusetts||1678||One of the oldest extant examples of the principal rafter/common purlin roof. Dated using dendrochronology in 2002.|
|John Balch House||Beverly, Massachusetts||1680||dated using dendrochronology in 2006|
|Paul Revere House||Boston, Massachusetts||1680 c.||Oldest building in downtown Boston.|
|Hart House||Ipswich, Massachusetts||1680||Now a tavern. It is located at 51 Linebrook Road and was dated using dendrochronology in 2006 One room is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.|
|Old Ship Church||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, Massachusetts||1681||Also known as the Appleton House. This was part of the Saugus Iron Works, which was a major industrial complex. It has been restored and is open to the public.|
|Cooper-Frost-Austin House||Cambridge, Massachusetts||1681||Oldest house in Cambridge, verified using dendrochronology in 2002.|
|Pierce House (Dorchester, Massachusetts)||Dorchester, Massachusetts||1683||One of the oldest houses in Boston. Dated using dendrochronology in 2002.|
|20 White Place||Brookline, Massachusetts||1683||Dated using dendrochronology in 2007. Possibly the oldest surviving house in Brookline, and a private residence protected through Historic New England's stewardship easement program.|
|John Ward House||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, 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||Nantucket, Massachusetts||1686||Oldest house on Nantucket Island on its original foundation.|
|William Murray House||Salem, Massachusetts||1688||A historic house at 39 Essex Street|
|Claflin-Richards House||Wenham, Massachusetts||1690||Constructed with ogee braces, an architectural hallmark of 16th- and 17th-century English dwellings.|
|Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm||Newbury, Massachusetts||1690 or earlier||One of the oldest stone buildings in New England.|
|Old Jail||Barnstable, Massachusetts||1690||Oldest wooden prison in America.|
|Boardman House||Saugus, Massachusetts||1692||Formerly known as the Scotch Boardman House. Also known as the Bennet-Boardman House.|
|Kimball Tavern||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||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||Watertown, Massachusetts||1694||Oldest house in Watertown.|
|Parker Tavern||Reading, Massachusetts||1694||Believed to have been built in 1694 by Abraham Bryant. Operated as a tavern during the Revolution by Ephraim Parker. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. No dendrochronology.|
|Parson Capen House||Topsfield, Massachusetts||1694||Oldest house in Topsfield.|
|Hart House||Lynnfield, Massachusetts||1695 c.|
|Isaac Goodale House||Built in Salem, Massachusetts; moved to Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1928.||1695 c.||Date from architectural survey, available on Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System website.|
|Manning Manse||Billerica, Massachusetts||c. 1696|
|Deacon Wrestling Brewster House||Kingston, Massachusetts||1696 c.||Located at 18 Brewster Brewster Road. It is believed that the house dates to c. 1696 to 1700. No dendrochronology survey.|
|Dwight-Derby House||Medfield, Massachusetts||1697||dated using dendrochronology in 2007.|
|Isaac Winslow House||Marshfield, Massachusetts||1699||Residence of a governor of the Plymouth Colony; now a museum.|
|Solomon Kimball House||Wenham, Massachusetts||c. 1700||Although the house is named for its nineteenth- and early twentieth-century owner Solomon Kimball, it was built by Thomas and Mary (Solart) Kilham (or Killam). The date of construction is based on a March 6, 1695/6 timber grant to Thomas Kilham by the town of Wenham, of enough pine timber to yield 700 boards.|
|Hatch Homestead||Marshfield, Massachusetts||1700 ca.||Purportedly the oldest continuously occupied house in Massachusetts.|
|John Alden House||Duxbury, Massachusetts||ca. 1700||A National Historic Landmark, dating to ca. 1700.|
|Rebecca Nurse Homestead||Danvers, Massachusetts||ca. 1700||This house was built around ca. 1700.|
|John Humphreys House||Swampscott, Massachusetts||1700 c.|
|Dickinson-Pillsbury-Witham House||Georgetown, Massachusetts||1700 c.||The Dickinson-Pillsbury-Witham House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.|
|Old Powder House||Somerville, Massachusetts||1704||Oldest stone building in Massachusetts|
|Capt. Timothy Johnson House||North Andover, Massachusetts||1720||First Period Colonial home|
|Peak House||Medfield, Massachusetts||1711||The Peak House is a first period cottage featuring peak style architecture and post-and-beam construction. It is the only freestanding structure of its kind and one of the earliest surviving examples of Post-medieval (Elizabethan) architecture in the United States. First built in 1668, the original structure burned during King Philip's War in 1676 and was later reconstructed.|
|St. Michael's Church (Marblehead, Massachusetts)||Marblehead, Massachusetts||1714||Oldest Episcopal parish church building on its original site in New England.|
|Samuel Chase House||West Newbury, Massachusetts||ca. 1715||One of the few brick houses of the period.|
|Boston Light||Boston||1716 / 1783||First lighthouse established in the US, 1716. The current tower, built in 1783, is the second oldest existing lighthouse in the USA (after Sandy Hook Light, New Jersey).|
|John Adams Birthplace||Quincy, Massachusetts||1722||Oldest existing building within which a future President of the United States was born (John Adams, October 30, 1735)|
|Bellingham-Cary House||Chelsea, Massachusetts||1724||The Bellingham-Cary House is a historic house museum at 34 Parker Street in Chelsea, Massachusetts. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.|
|Josiah Day House||West Springfield||1754||Oldest known brick salt-box style home in the United States.|
- Images and histories of First Period houses in Ipswich are at the Historic Ipswich website.
- Elsie Lathrop "Historic Houses of Early America" (Kessinger, New York: 2006) pg. 218 (accessed on Google Book Search)
- Oxford Dendrochronology Survey https://www.dendrochronology.com/fhd-1.html
- Douglas J. Smith, Chairman Scituate Historical Commission "WILLIAMS - BARKER HOUSE: Garrison House During King Philip War Former Block-House now site of The Barker Tavern," (Plymouth Registry of Deeds, BOOK 73, PAGE 49) https://www.plymouthdeeds.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif4881/f/u60/williams-barker_house.pdf
- Old Scituate (1921), p. 84
- "The Barker Tavern - Fine Dining Restaurant in Scituate, MA".
- Marshfield House Survey https://www.marshfield-ma.gov/historical-commission/pages/house-survey
- "Houses". 20 March 2017.
- William Thomas Davis, Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth: Part I. Historical Sketch and Titles of Estates. Part II. Genealogical Register of Plymouth Families, Volumes 1-2 (A. Williams, 1887), 177-178
- Donna DeFabio Curtin, Plymouth (2011), p. 46
- "17th-century house moved to new home," Jul 14, 2013, The Boston Globe https://www.bostonglobe.com › regionals › south › 2013/07/13 ›
- Massachusetts Historical Commission http://kplma.org/hh/hh63.pdf
- "Wing Fort House". Wing Family of America. Wing Family of America, Inc. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
- "ODL: Massachusetts".
- LOCATING 17TH CENTURY HOMESITES IN DUXBURY: A preliminary Assessment Prepared by Craig S. Chartier, Plymouth Archaeological Rediscovery Project, for The Duxbury Rural and Historical Society
- "The Hount House 1641" Thursday August 29, 1968, Duxbury Clipper, https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b16b2389772aeb3c1acfbc1/t/5c658bd77817f7b5b388e15a/1550158807829/Hunt%2C+Edmond+1641_1968.08.pdf
- "Descendants of Edmund Hunt (542)".
- "John Doane House, 34 Wapping Road".
- "Nathaniel Felton Sr. House | Essex National Heritage Area".
- "Nathaniel Felton Sr. House | Essex National Heritage Area".
- "52 Jeffreys Neck Road, Shatswell Planters Cottage (c 1646)" https://historicipswich.org/shatswell-planters-cottage-jeffreys-neck-road/
- "House Stories – 2 Woodwell Avenue – the Captain Gideon Woodwell House". 29 April 2013.
- "NRHP nomination for South Hingham Historic District". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
- "27 High Street, the Edward Brown House (1650)". 8 December 2012.
- First Period houses of Salem, Massachusetts BY GORDON HARRIS https://historicipswich.org/2016/11/06/first-period-houses-of-salem-massachusetts/
- "First Period houses of Salem, Massachusetts". 7 November 2016.
- CAPE COD CANAL TRANSPORTATION STUDY pg. A94 https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2019/10/21/CCTSAppendices19.pdf
- DeSorgher: It's All in the Name; Who is Your Street Named After? https://patch.com/massachusetts/medfield/desorgher-it-s-all-in-the-name-who-is-your-street-named-after
- 1656: Westford’s first house is born: November 12, 2009
- Inside Keyes House - News - Wicked Local - Boston, MA https://www.wickedlocal.com › Inside-Keyes-House
- "Keith Walo for Selectman," Scituate Mariner, Scituate, MA - Wicked Local... https://scituate.wickedlocal.com May 20, 2016
- Own One of the Oldest and Most Haunted Houses on Cape Cod https://fun107.com/own-one-of-the-oldest-and-most-haunted-houses-on-cape-cod-photos/ https://fun107.com/own-one-of-the-oldest-and-most-haunted-houses-on-cape-cod-photos/
- "MACRIS Details". mhc-macris.net. Retrieved 2020-04-27.
- "Oxford Dendrochronology".
- Coolidge, Ruth Dame. Round About Old Medford, Medford Historical Society, 1934.
- Hooper, John H. "Some Old Medford Houses and Estates" Medford Historic Register. VII:3 (July 1904).
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-15. Retrieved 2013-06-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Boardman House".
- Massachusetts Historical Commission http://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=KIN.313
- "MACRIS Details". mhc-macris.net. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
- Wenham Historical Society, Wenham Town Records, 1642–1706 (Salem, Massachusetts: Newcomb & Gauss, 1930), 1:130.
- "MACRIS Details". mhc-macris.net. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
- "National Historic Landmark Nomination, page 4" (PDF).
- Cummings, Abbott (1979). The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay 1625-1725. Belknap. p. 123.
- "Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory".
- National Park Service description of the John Adams Birthplace, as part of the Adams National Historic Park in Quincy, MA.
- "Oxford Dendrochronology Lab".