Monday, August 7, 2017

Oldest Brick House in America

Should you be in the market for history and nostalgia, this just might be the house for you.

Solid as a Rock, America's Oldest Brick House Has Been Standing Since 1680

At over 300 years old, this house is considered by many historians as the oldest all-brick house in America.
It is located in Medford, MA.

Now, to put into perspective just how old 300 years really is, here are some details.

 This home has been around for eight wars, including the American Revolution, 17 world’s fairs, and 45 U.S. presidents.

The 2,640-square-foot home sits atop a small knoll behind a granite wall. According to the listing agent, Louise Ivers, the historic home was recently taken off the market so that a new driveway could be installed. The sellers still want to find a buyer, she adds.

The home has four bedrooms and one bathroom, and most of the rooms come with a fireplace. Nine-over-nine windows let in plenty of sunlight; on days when the light is scarce, there are seven fireplaces that provide illumination. The first floor features hand-hewn wooden beams and a staircase.

Front exterior
Front exterior
Plaque outside home
Plaque outside home
“The house is so interesting because it is a classic example of a circa 1680 solid brick house.

The home is believed to have been built around 1680 by Peter Tufts (yes, as in the university, which his descendant later donated the land for).

The solid brick exterior is a combination of Flemish bond and English style, but the materials are local—the family owned a brickyard in Medford.

After a close call with the demolition ball in the late 1880s, the property was saved when Gen. Samuel Lawrence gave it, along with an interior remodel, as a wedding gift to his niece.

It’s also been known as the “Fort” or “Garrison House” due to the thick walls and porthole windows on the west side and front of the house. The home was placed on the city seal of Medford in 1892.

Massive fireplace
Massive fireplace
Nine-over-nine windows
Nine-over-nine windows
The Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now known as Historic New England) acquired the home near the turn of the previous century and managed it for the next 50 years. It was eventually purchased by the Medford Historical Society and Museum in 1980.
According to a 2016 report in Wicked Local Medford by John Anderson, president of the Medford Historical Society and Museum, the house has been rented out on a month-by-month basis since the caretakers moved out in 2013. The MHSM has spent more than $45,000 to address safety and livability issues, but has run out of funds to continue its stewardship of the property.

Living with so much history is not without its conditions. The deed includes a permanent preservation restriction administered by Historic New England, which states that the property cannot be subdivided or demolished and protects the whole exterior and much of the interior. The group performs annual inspections for compliance and must approve any work done on the house.
According to Ivers, the home, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is ideal for someone who appreciates history and old homes. Potential buyers with a deep love for the history of New England will feel right at home here.

Keep out eye for it's new listing as soon as the driveway is completed.


  1. Wow! I really do enjoy reading about historical homes. thanks for the introduction to the Peter Tufts House -- oldest all brick house.

  2. Beautiful!!!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  3. How interesting...the oldest all brick home. I love history and these walls could speak

  4. Wow! I am so impressed. Thank you for sharing.


  5. Hello!! I'am glad to read the whole content of this blog and am very excited.Thank you.

  6. Greetings from a fellow blogger on Blogger. I live in Medford and this house is a few blocks north from where I live. I had no idea about this house even though I have driven passed it many many times and it wasn't until I walked passed it and read the plaque that I learned of it. Though I must say there are a few places around the country that make the same claim.


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