Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Oldest Surviving Timber-Frame House in North America

The Fairbanks House is the oldest surviving timber-frame house in North America.
Built c.1637 in Dedham, MA, by Jonathan Fairebanke for his wife Grace (Lee Smith) and family.

 Floor plan of the first floor, from "American Architect and Building News", 1881.

The house was occupied through eight generations of the family until the early twentieth century.
It is now owned and operated by the Fairbanks Family in America as an historic house museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Joan said...

Thanks for that bit of history. Eight generations shared and created memories --amazing.

Leah said...

I'm a descendant of Jonathan and Grace. I knew a little about the house but not that much. How great that eight generations called it home! I'll have to look into the Fairbanks Family in America, I had never heard of the organization before. Thanks for posting this!

TCasteel said...

Leah - you might be interested in this article:
Crime History - Prominent son convicted of murdering sweetheart
By: Scott McCabe
Examiner Staff Writer
August 8, 2010 On this day, Aug. 8, in 1801, Jason Fairbanks, the son of a prominent early American family who lived in what now is the oldest house in the country, was convicted of killing Elizabeth Fales after she resisted his marriage overtures.

Fairbanks, of Dedham, Mass., showed up at the Fales' house covered in blood and holding a knife. He told the family that she had committed suicide and he tried to kill himself too. She was stabbed 11 times.

Fairbanks, 20, escaped with help from family and friends, but was recaptured in New York. This time, Fairbanks was jailed in Boston and sentenced to death. More than 10,000 showed for his execution.

The Fairbanks House, built in 1637, is the oldest timber-frame house in North America.