This week our country celebrates a birthday—we’re now a robust 243 years old. This is nothing in the grand sweep of centuries gone by, but it’s still a long time.
Which is why we’re always fascinated to find American homes—still standing and occupied—that are even older than the country itself. Before there even was a United States of America to speak of, sturdy structures were sprouting in the Colonies.
In fact, we turned up eight homes currently for sale that were built before the momentous year of 1776. From a tavern-turned-abode in New Hampshire to the oldest residence in Newport, RI, there’s something for every type of historical home buff.
And thankfully for prospective buyers, these homes have been updated with modern kitchens and baths—a true feat considering the homes were built without electricity and plumbing.
Many have been lovingly preserved by their owners over the years, retaining original features like wood beams, arched doorways, stained-glass windows, and locally sourced stone. Journey back in time with us and enjoy these historic marvels.
Price: $375,500 Behind the red door: Look at the inviting red front door on this antique Cape! Located just north of the Massachusetts state line and built in 1763, the three-bedroom home’s interiors have been featured in magazines. The home featuring a whopping five fireplaces hasn’t been on the market since 1977, so it’s a rare opportunity indeed. There’s a cobblestone walkway to the custom pine kitchen (featuring an iron washtub). Modern tweaks include an outdoor pool, detached two-car garage, and updated electric and plumbing systems.
Price: $1,090,000 Salty and loving it: Dating all the way back to 1668 (!), the saltbox-style Thomas Folansby House is among the state’s oldest. The three-bedroom home is located in New Hampshire’s easternmost town and is fresh off a restoration completed in 2016. Key historical details were honored, including exposed-beam ceilings, wainscoting, and wide-pine flooring. Within the two-room kitchen are luxuries like birch and oak countertops, Bertazzoni range, and Bosch dishwasher, with the baths converted into luxe sanctuaries. Included with the property is a cute detached cottage—an artist’s studio, perhaps?
New Castle, NH
Price: $549,900 Sweet and sour: Lemon Hill Farm (built in 1745) is located on 2.5 acres in Bucks County. It’s also the town’s second home to be built and the oldest remaining stone homestead. Original details like pie stairs, wide-plank pine flooring, exposed beams, a stone wall, built-ins, and the stone wood-burning fireplace are immediate reminders of its history. A downstairs powder room and sliding doors out to a tiered deck overlooking the yard and gazebo make this historic home feel like a retreat.
Price: $449,900 Classy Colonial: Twenty minutes southeast of Providence sits this three-bedroom Colonial built in 1728. The nearly 300-year-old home sits on a 1.5-acre lot—the neighborhood’s largest yard. Featuring a new roof, remodeled kitchen and bath, and recent rewiring, the home doesn’t have much left for the next owner to do. Historical accents like the wood-beam ceilings and brick fireplaces honor the home’s heritage.
Price: $799,999 Pure bliss: This pretty peach three-bedroom home was built in 1680 and is dubbed the John Bliss House. This example of Rhode Island stone ender Colonial style is just a short walk from Easton’s Beach and is thought to be the oldest residence in Newport. Quartz countertops, sleek white cabinetry, and stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen bring the home up to date, and new wide-plank flooring throughout fits the home’s historic roots.
Price: $499,000 Closing time: The current owners have done a great job dialing the interiors back to the date this tavern-turned-residence was built—1763—but not without also modernizing some features, like the chef’s kitchen. You might recognize the Dudley Pike Tavern from a recent issue of Country Living magazine. Two additional buildings come with the 2,236-square-foot main home: a 450-square-foot cottage and a 900-square-foot converted barn.
Price: $425,000 No trouble rubble: Equidistant from Hartford and New Haven, this four-bedroom home was built in 1700 out of rubblestone. A new kitchen and baths, plus refinished floors, bring this home into the modern day. Historic details like two brick fireplaces (one on each level) and multipane windows painted a pretty blue are nods to the past. French doors off the back of the house frame the surrounding woods and brook.
Price: $1,195,000 Worth it: The most expensive pre-1776 property we turned up is this 2,743-square-foot Dutch Colonial in Westchester County. Built in 1730, the five-bedroom home sits on 8.3 acres along the Mianus River. Thoughtful restorations have left the home’s vintage millwork, four-over-two windows with original glass, and a 19th-century barn intact.