Humans have called America home for over 13,000 years. While most of the historical housing that exists in America today is a result of colonialism, there are still extant ancient dwellings created by indigenous populations. What are the 10 oldest homes in America? Along with pictures, we’ll discuss these homes now.
10. Pictured: John Bowne House in 1662 CE
The first on our list of the 10 oldest homes in America, The John Bowne House is located in Flushing, New York, and was built around 1662 CE. At that time, New York was a Dutch colony that had banned Quakers from meeting in public. John Bowne offered the local Quaker community his house.
He was put on trial when he was caught holding these religious meetings. He won because he cited his right to religious freedom. The house has operated as a museum since 1947.
9. Wyckoff House in 1652 CE
In New York City’s Brooklyn borough, an old Dutch-American farmhouse has been standing since 1652. It is New York’s oldest existing building.
In 1937, The Wyckoff House & Association, an organization created by descendants of Pieter Claesen Wyckoff, bought the Wyckoff House and saved it from demolition. In the 1960s, the Wyckoff House Foundation turned ownership of the house over to the New York City Parks Department. It was restored in the 1980s.
8. Pictured: General Israel Putnam House: 1648 CE
The General Israel Putnam House in Danvers, Massachusetts, was built in 1648. Israel Putnam was a famous general in the American Revolution. He was born in the house in 1718 as the grandson of Thomas Putnam. Thomas Putnam was responsible for the home’s construction.
Today, it’s privately owned by the Emerson family, who run a town candy and ice cream shop. It’s been augmented over the years though part of the original house remains.
7. Pictured: C.A. Nothnagle Log House from 1643 CE
This house in New Jersey is the oldest standing log cabin in the USA. Construction began in 1638 and finished in 1643. There aren’t records with these exact dates stated. However, dendrochronology unraveled the history of this home.
Dendrochronology is the use of tree rings to determine a tree’s age. The rings of a tree’s cross-section are counted, with each ring usually representing one year.
6. Pictured: Fairbanks House from 1641 CE
The Fairbanks House was built for Jonathan and Grace Fairbanks in 1641 by a master carpenter and a master mason. Jonathan Fairbanks made spinning wheels, and he was immensely successful since Colonial America badly needed the device.
This house now serves as a museum in Dedham, Massachusetts, after the family created a nonprofit and bought it in 1904. It was previously passed down as a private residence through the family until this time. The house has been renovated and expanded a few times, the most recent addition being in 1881.
5. Pictured: Wing Fort House from 1641 CE
The Wing Fort House is the oldest home still in the original owner’s family. It was built in 1641, and the Wing family inhabited the home until 1942. It’s off Route 6A in East Sandwich, Massachusetts.
The Wing Family of America currently owns the home. All of the organization’s members are descendants of brothers Stephen, John, and Daniel Wing. The organization helps others discover the genealogy of people possibly connected to their families.
4. Pictured: Richard Sparrow House from 1640 CE
This former home is located in Plymouth, Massachusetts at 42 Summer Street, and is the oldest left in the area. In 1653, the Sparrow family moved and sold the house to George Bonum. Today the Sparrow House is an art gallery and a museum.
Richard Sparrow brought his wife and son from England to New Plymouth, where he was given 6 acres of land. Four years later, the Richard Sparrow House was ready for move-in.
The Sparrow family was small, so they also had an apprentice that lived in their house. In exchange for housing, food, clothes, and a lamb, Mary Moorecock became the apprentice of the Sparrow family for 9 years. In 1644, the family adopted Elizabeth Hopkins was adopted, increasing the occupancy to 5.
3. Pictued: Henry Whitfield House from 1639 CE
The Henry Whitfield House was built in 1639, just before the town it resides in was settled by Europeans. This house in Guilford, Connecticut, is currently a museum owned and operated by the state. Its establishment in 1899 makes it the first state museum in Connecticut.
It’s the oldest house made of stone in New England and the oldest in Connecticut. It was built by Henry Whitfield, a Puritan minister who came to America to dodge religious persecution.
There was so much stone available at the time that the walls are 2 feet thick. Crushed oyster shells and yellow clay were originally used as mortar. The house served as a church, meeting hall, and fort in its early days as the Whitfields’ primary residence.
2. Pictured: Acoma Pueblo from 1200 CE
The Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico is still used as dwellings and is some of the oldest continually inhabited structures in the United States. It’s believed that the immediate area has been occupied for over 2000 years.
Some parts of the pueblo are from the colonial period. Dendrochronology shows that the colonial pueblo structures within the complex date to about 1652 CE.
1. Pictured: Taos Pueblo from 1000 CE
North of the modern New Mexican city of Taos, the Taos Pueblo is still a residential building. It belongs to an indigenous Puebloan tribe. It has accommodated inhabitants since construction began in 1000 CE.
This settlement is located below the Taos Mountains, part of the Sangre de Cristo Range. The residential building features multiple stories. Its architecture is based on a style that spans back at least another few hundred years from the original construction date.
Honorable Mentions: Other Very Old Homes In America
There are other very old homes in America that didn’t make our top 10 list, but are noteworthy for their age and history. We wanted to shine a spotlight on one in particular as Halloween 2023 quickly approaches.
The Jonathan Corwin House (The Witch House)
This home not only has historical significance–the history behind this house is associated with one of the darker parts of “New World” history.
Now a historic museum, The Witch House, located at 310 Essex St. in Salem, Massachusetts, was the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin (1640-1718), who presided over the Salem Witch Trials after the resignation of Judge Nathaniel Saltonstall. The horror-filled affair resulted in 19 people going to the gallows.
The house, which the judge bought in 1675, was built in 1642 (though that’s an estimate as the exact building date is unverified, and some historians think it is older), making it older than four of the houses on our list. It features 17th-century New England architectural design.
Summary Of The 10 Oldest Homes In America
|1||Taos Pueblo||Taos, NM||1000 CE|
|2||Acoma Pueblo||60 miles from Albuquerque, NM||1200 CE|
|3||Henry Whitfield House||Guilford, CT||1639 CE|
|4||Richard Sparrow House||Plymouth, MA||1640 CE|
|5||Wing Fort House||East Sandwich, MA||1641 CE|
|6||Fairbanks House||Dedham, MA||1641 CE|
|7||C.A. Nothnagle Log House||Greenwich Township, NJ||1643 CE|
|8||General Israel Putnam House||Danvers, MA||1648 CE|
|9||Wyckoff House||Brooklyn, NY||1652 CE|
|10||John Bowne House||Flushing, NY||1662 CE|
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.