The Oldest House in New Jersey Is More Than 380 Years Old

Written by Erica Scassellati
Updated: November 7, 2023
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Key Points

  • The C.A. Nothnagle Log House was built somewhere between 1638 and 1643.
  • Though its original builder and date of completion are unknown, a man named Benjamin Braman may have constructed the original building.
  • The home is located at 406 Swedesboro-Paulsboro Road in Gibbstown, New Jersey.

New Jersey is one of the oldest states in the country, with a rich history dating back thousands of years. After the Revolutionary War, New Jersey was the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights in 1789.

Long before this, the first European settlers to arrive in New Jersey were of Dutch, Swedish, and Finnish descent. They arrived in the 17th century and began constructing settlements and homes. One of the oldest structures still stands today and is estimated to be around 380 years old!

History of New Jersey

Long before Europeans arrived in the area, the region of modern-day New Jersey was occupied by indigenous people which European explorers called the “Delaware Indians.” This group lived in the area at least 10,000 years ago and spoke an Algonquian dialect, according to the Official Site of the State of New Jersey.

By the 17th century the Dutch, Swedes, and Finns became the first Europeans to settle the area. Eventually, the British seized control of the area from the Dutch, and New Jersey became one of the original Thirteen Colonies.

New Jersey broke away from British control during the American Revolution. The land holds the site of a major turning point in the war known as the Battle of Trenton.

New Jersey gained statehood in 1787 and is the third oldest state in the country. Over the years the state gained fame for its beautiful beaches, wilderness experiences, exciting casinos and boardwalks, and amazing food.

Aerial Drone of Ocean City New Jersey

New Jersey contains a number of beautiful beaches.


Origin of the C. A. Nothnagle Log House

The oldest house in New Jersey is the C.A. Nothnagle Log House, which is sometimes known as the Braman-Nothnagle Log House. This historic building is nearly 400 years old and was built sometime between 1638 and 1643.

It is believed that the home was originally constructed by Swedish or Finnish settlers. Though its original builder and date of completion are unknown, a man named Benjamin Braman may have constructed the original building.

Layout and Renovations

The C.A. Nothnagle Log Cabin is believed to be the oldest log cabin in the United States. Its original construction included white oak logs, dovetailed at the corners to provide a close fit. This detail indicates that the design is of early Finnish origins.

On the other hand, the one-room layout with a corner fireplace bears the nickname, the “Swedish Plan” according to a data sheet from National Park Services. An article from the Wayback Machine also notes that the cabin’s brick fireplace may have been constructed from Swedish bricks brought to New Jersey by the home’s builder.

Over the years, the C.A. Nothnagle Log Cabin underwent a number of additions and restorations. One of these took place in the early 18th century, during which the dirt floors were covered with pine board flooring.

In the 1930s, the newer portion of the building underwent massive alterations, including changes to the floor plan and stairs and the removal of the fireplace. It’s also believed that the log section of the house was closed off at this time.


In 1968 Harry and Dorris Rink bought the C.A. Nothnagle Log Cabin. It was also added to the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1976.

According to, Harry and Dorris held their wedding at the site of the log cabin. They also lived in the updated addition until Harry’s death in 2018. The couple worked to preserve the historic home and even opened it up for free tours to the public.

The unit has three bedrooms and one bathroom. The property includes 1.3 acres of land with 100-foot redwood trees, a 4-car garage, a machine shop, and a shed.

Where is the Oldest House in New Jersey Located on a Map?

The C. A. Nothnagle Log House is located at 406 Swedesboro-Paulsboro Road in Gibbstown, which is in Gloucester County, New Jersey. The city is located on the southwestern side of the state near the Delaware River and the border with Pennsylvania. It is about a 35-minute drive from Gibbstown to Philadelphia.

Gibbstown is an unincorporated community with a population of around  3,739 people, according to the 2010 United States census.

Purchase the Oldest House in New Jersey

Today potential buyers can own a piece of history and the oldest log cabin in the United States. In 2022 the C.A. Nothnagle Log House entered the news when 80-year-old Dorris Rink put it up for sale with an asking price of around $475,000.

“I want to get it into the hands of someone who is capable and loving and willing enough to put as much work into it as my husband and I have over the years,” Rink told

The Rinks reportedly put the home up for sale a number of times before. As of 2023 it appears to still be under Dorris Rink’s possession and is listed on Zillow for an asking price of $262,000.

The unit has three bedrooms and one bathroom. The property includes 1.3 acres of land with 100-foot redwood trees, a 4-car garage, a machine shop, and a shed.

Visit the C. A. Nothnagle Log House

As far as we know, Dorris Rink still owns the C.A. Nothnagle Log House and hopes to sell it. The home is located at 406 Swedesboro Rd and interested buyers can request a tour through Zillow.

It’s not clear if the home is still available for tours to the curious public. The site reads “temporarily closed” on Google, though it does list a phone number. Visitors may be able to ask Dorris Rink to see the home.

Other Points of Interest in Gloucester County

There are a number of things to do and places to explore in Gloucester County, where the C.A. Nothnagle Log House lies. Explore the area’s beautiful parks, historical sites, restaurants, wineries, and more!

Historic Sites

Gloucester County is home to several castles and a number of historic sites. One of these buildings, known as Ladd’s Castle or Candor Hall, is the oldest brick home in the county.

According to the Historical Marker Database, John Ladd constructed this building in 1688. Ladd reportedly helped William Penn plan the city of Philadelphia hundreds of years ago.

Wineries and Breweries

There’s no shortage of wineries and breweries in Gloucester County. One of the best spots to visit is Cedarvale Winery. The area has been a family produce farm since 1905. Almost a century later a vineyard was planted and the winery opened to the public in 2008.

Today locals and tourists alike can visit the vineyard, try local wines, and attend events that include live music, tarot card readings, floral design, and more.

A number of breweries lie within Gloucester County as well. Surprisingly this industry is relatively new in the area. The first brewery in the county, Kelly Green Brewing, opened its doors in Pitman, NJ in 2016, according to its website. Today it serves a selection of options from sour ales to dark stouts.

Group of happy friends drinking and toasting beer at brewery bar restaurant - Friendship concept with young people having fun together at cool vintage pub - Focus on middle pint glass - High iso image

Gloucester County, NJ holds a number of fun and unique wineries and breweries.

©View Apart/

Parks and Recreation

Gloucester County is home to several state parks. The area’s first state park, known as Tall Pines State Preserve, was established in 2016. Prior to this, it served as a golf course before being abandoned and unmaintained for a period of around 10 years, writes New Jersey State Park Services.

Another beautiful site worth visiting is located in National Park, NJ. There visitors can see the Red Bank Battlefield. This spot is the county’s historic park along the Delaware River.

It marks the site of the Battle of Red Bank during the American Revolutionary War in 1777. The area also holds the James and Ann Whitall House, which served as a hospital for some of the men wounded in the Battle of Red Bank.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Smallbones, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons – License / Original

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About the Author

Erica is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on history, food, and travel. Erica has over 3 years of experience as a content writer and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which she earned in 2018. A resident of Kansas City, Erica enjoys exploring her home town and traveling around the world to learn about different cultures and try new food.

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