The United States is a relatively young nation, but one with a rich and diverse history.
The first European colonies in America were founded at the beginning of the 1600s. These early settlers created some of the oldest constructions in what would later become the United States of America. However, Homo sapiens first appeared in America around 13 thousand years ago, and their descendants built and still occupy the oldest constructions in this nation.
From the ancient villages of New Mexico’s Pueblo people, which has 250 structures that have been continuously inhabited since the 12th century, to early Spanish pioneers in Florida, and Russian settlers of Alaska or 19th-century log cabins of the first missionaries in Utah, each of the 50 U.S. states has its own unique story to tell.
The map and the list below contains the oldest constructions still standing in the United States.
Table of Contents
- Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia
The Joel Eddins House is a hall-and-parlor log 1 1⁄2-story cabin built-in 1810 in Ardmore in Limestone County by Joel Eddins. It was moved from its original site to Burritt in 2007.
The floor plan of the Eddins House is unusual to the area with its entrance and chamber style.
The Kodiak History Museum, before known as the Baranov Museum, was built in 1810. The house is the oldest of four surviving buildings created by the Russians when Alaska was a Russian region.
The house has a foursquare log structure. The 2-1/2 stories building was finished in redwood siding, which covers older Russian in original old siding.
Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah
Hundreds of Ancestral Puebloan dwellings are located over the American Southwest constructed 750 CE. These dwellings were mostly blocks of hard sandstone, held together and plastered with adobe mortar overhangs along the canyon walls.
Many of these homes included many defensive positions, like the high sheer hills like the ancient Mesa Verde cliff dwelling complex.
The William Woodruff House is a historic 2-1/2 story stone construction in Little Rock, Arkansas. The house was constructed in 1853 for William E. Woodruff, publicist of the first newspaper west of the Mississippi River.
Inside the carefully restored print shop are original Woodruff furnishings and a copy of the Ramage press that he carried to Arkansas by sailboat.
Mission San Juan Capistrano in Californian Orange County was established in 1776 by Spanish Catholic missionaries of the Franciscan Order. Between 1797 and 1806, San Juan Capistrano created a cathedral-sized church with a 120 ft (36.6 m) bell tower.
The Mexican government secularized the Mission in 1833 and returned to the Roman Catholic Church by the American administration in 1865. A devastating earthquake damaged Mission in 1812.
The Henry Whitfield House is a historic house located in Guilford town, Connecticut. Henry Whitfield was a Puritan pastor from England. This home is the oldest stone house in New England; it was built in 1639.
The house, with its massive stone walls, served as a fortress to protect the community. It is the oldest dwelling in Connecticut and the oldest stone house in New England.
Ryves Holt House is one of Delaware’s oldest surviving buildings, standing on its original foundation, located in Lewes county. The house, which has been defined to 1665 using tree-ring dating, worked as one of the region’s earliest inns.
Nowadays, the Ryves Holt house features a museum gift shop and the Lewes Historical Society Visitor Center.
The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fortress in the continental U.S.; it is positioned on the western coast of Matanzas Bay in the city of Saint Augustine. The fort was created by the Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza, with building starting in 1672 and completed in 1695.
The fortress was attacked several times but was never held by force. Under the U.S. control, the Castillo de San Marcos was used as a military jail to imprison Native American tribes members.
Ocmulgee Earth Lodge is located in Macon-Bibb County, features a one thousand-year-old largest Mississippian mound complex, and served as the Mississippians’ council chamber for gatherings and ceremonies.
The site remained abandoned until around the 1700s when the Creek Indian tribes moved to the area.
The Malae Heiau, near the Wailua River’s mouth, is a luakini heiau (place of worship). It is the largest surviving temple platform in the Hawaiian Islands that was built in 1200. The heiau covers about two acres (0.81 ha), and the unique walls were 8-10 feet (2.4-3.0 meters) high and 8 feet (2.4 meters) wide with a “bench” running around the inside for seating. Malae Heiau was modified in the 1830s when Deborah Kapule, who at one time was married to Kaumuali’i, the last independent ali’i ‘ai moku of Kauai, tore down the inner walls of the heiau and used it as a cattle fence. In following years the neighboring field was bulldozed up to the temple platform’s outer walls and planted with cane.
Cataldo Mission is a national historic landmark. It includes the church itself, the church, and the neighboring property. Cataldo Mission was built in 1853.
Ingenious techniques were used to beautify and decorate the church.
The Cahokia Courthouse was initially built as a French residence around 1740.
The building is an outstanding representative of early French log construction. Upright hewn trunks are seated on a horizontal log sill; the places within logs are packed with gravel and mortar chinking. The house rests on its original stone foundation and includes 4 rooms that initially operated as a courtroom, a schoolroom, and legal offices.
Grouseland is the William Henry Harrison Mansion and National Historic Landmark significant for its Federal-style architecture and American history role. The two-story, red brick home was constructed in 1804 in Vincennes for the Indiana Territory Governor William Henry Harrison (1773–1841).
Louis Arriandeaux Log House is the oldest in Dubuque County double log cabin in the dogtrot style. It is a typical early rural house with a single room.
The house was built in 1833 and Occupied by the pioneer settler William Newman.
El Quartelejo is the name assigned to the northernmost Native American pueblo’s archeological remains and the only known pueblo in Kansas. Located in Lake Scott State Park, the rock and adobe pueblo remains built-in 1650 are located north of Scott City on Ladder Creek.
Historic Locust Grove is a farm built in 1790 located in eastern Jefferson County.
The property’s main feature is a Georgian mansion called the Croghan family’s house and gathering place for George Rogers Clark, Lewis and Clark, and United States Presidents.
Ursuline Conven is the most excellent surviving example of French colonial neoclassical architecture built-in 1748. It is a regular, symmetrical structure, rigorously designed in its lack of ornamentation.
The first floor was mainly used for the residence, classrooms, refectory, and hospital of the orphanage, supported by the nuns. The second floor contained rooms for the sisters, a library, a sickroom, and storerooms.
William Whipple House is the birthplace of a sea captain, Revolutionary War General, and Declaration of Independence Signatroy, William Whipple. The oldest part of the home dated 1660 and was occupied by Robert Cutt, who fortified it as a stronghold house to help settlers fight off attacks during early Native American wars.
Old Trinity Church is located in town Church Creek (Dorchester County). It is an Anglican (now Episcopal Church) brick church built by English settlers in 1675 and restored in the 1950s. It is the oldest church construction in constant religious use in the United States.
The Fairbanks House in Dedham is a historic dwelling built-in 1640, making it the earliest surviving timber-frame house in North America that has been confirmed by tree-ring dating. Puritanical settler Jonathan Fairbanks built the farmhouse for his wife Grace and their family. The home was owned and then passed down through 8 generations of the family until the beginning twentieth century.
The four-foot thick walls of the Officers Stone Quarters on Mackinac Island were constructed in 1780 amidst the Revolutionary War.
The building was intended to resist an attack, and it, along with many of the constructions built on the island, was reassembled from buildings torn down at Fort Michilimackinac.
Fort Snelling is a former military fortification on the hills overlooking the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers’ meeting. The military position was initially named Fort Saint Anthony, but it was renamed Fort Snelling once its construction was finished in 1820.
Over time the area was part of the Louisiana Purchase and was incorporated in the Missouri Territory.
The LaPointe-Krebs House was built on Lake Catahoula near Pascagoula city, on land given to the French Canadian Joseph Simon dit La Pointe.
According to the tree-ring dating, the house’s construction began in 1757. It is the state’s earliest surviving construction and the only French colonial-era structure in Mississipi.
The Louis Bolduc House is an example of Poteaux-sur-sol style (timber framing in which closely spaced posts rest on a timber sill). The house is located in the first European settlement in Missouri’s present-day state. The first historic building in Ste. Genevieve to be authentically repaired, the Louis Bolduc house is an excellent example of the traditional French Colonial architecture of the early eighteenth century in America.
Fort Benton was established in 1844 by the American Fur Company at the head of the Missouri River’s navigation. It was the main Blackfoot trading post in the Northwest of the country. Like all the other trading stations, Fort Benton was constructed in a quadrangle. It was over 150 feet square (~14 m2), exclusive of the 20-foot square two-story Blockhouses.
A hunter built the log cabin about 1835 in the Missouri River floodplains, and about 1850, it was relocated to its present-day place. It was used as a residence till 1954, owned by only three families.
The house was one and a half floors tall with a bedroom in the attic. Hand-hewn Populus logs enclosed a dirt floor and fireplace.
The Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort is the first building built by people of European ancestry to become Las Vegas 50 years later.
The fort was encircled by 14-foot (4.3 m) big adobe walls that stretched for 150 feet (46 m). While named a fortress, it was never home to any army troops, but like many Mormon forts, it gave a defense for the local settlers against an Indian raid. As a consequence of the start of the Utah War, the Mormons left the fort.
Strawbery Banke is the first neighborhood remaining in Portsmouth city. It features approximately 38 repaired houses constructed between the 17th and 19th centuries in the Colonial, Federal, and Georgian styles. The structures once gathered around a waterway known as Puddle Dock.
Strawbery Banke’s history goes back to 1630 when Captain Walter Neale chose the place to establish a settlement, naming it after the wild berries growing on Piscataqua River banks.
Mortonson-Van Leer Log Cabin is s one of the earliest original log cabins of old Swedish-Finnish architecture in the U.S. It consists of one little room with no windows and a single door. The Cabin’s walls are made of cedar trunks and lime mortar caulk.
The Mortonson-Van Leer Log Cabin was formerly built on the north bank of the Raccoon River by Morton Mortenson, a Swedish-Finnish man who arrived in the Delaware Valley, the colony of New Sweden, in May 1654.
Gardiner’s Island is a small island in the Town of East Hampton. The Gardiner family and their descendants have owned the Island since 1639.
Constructions on this Island include a carpenter’s shed built there in 1639, the oldest surviving wood-frame structure in New York state.
Lane House is a historic house in Edenton. According to tree-ring dating, this one 1⁄2-story house was built in 1718.
Steve and Linda Lane currently own the house. During the house’s restorations, which they were using as a rental property, the builder found older hand-hewn beams within the building.
Kittson Trading Post was established in 1843 by Norman Kittson, an American Fur Company agent.
The log structure of the store was used as a dwelling until the house was built. Much later, after the Trading Post had fallen out of use, the building was transformed into a barn. Later it was restored to its original appearance.
The Rufus Putnam House was built as part of the Campus Martius strengthening by General Rufus Putnam.
Construction of the building began soon after Putnam arrived in 1788 using a post-and-plank construction method or corner post-construction.
With the end of the Northwest Indian War, the Campus Martius strengthening was no longer needed. Putnam bought the nearby blockhouse and used the wood to add a four-room extension to the first four-room dwelling in 1795.
Fort Gibson is a historic army site stationed in Muskogee County. It defended the American frontier in Indian Territory from 1824 until 1888. When built, the Fort Gibson was located remote west than any other military post in the U.S.
Fort Gibson functioned as a starting point for many military campaigns that explored the West. It was used through most of the Indian removal period and then was abandoned in 1857. The fort was reactivated when the Civil War began.
This historic place includes 80 acres of areas with 29 historical structures and many archaeological remains.
The Molalla Log House, which has stood for hundreds of years in the Cascades’ foothills, is the oldest settler house in Oregon history.
The technique used during construction was unlike any other pioneer dwelling in Oregon. The logs are diligent hand-hewn with jagged and fitted corners that sit flush against each other, fastening it all together tight without the usage of nails.
Lower Swedish Cabin is a historic Swedish-style log house on Creek Road in Upper Darby Township. The Cabin may be one of the oldest log cabins in the United States.
It was likely built in 1650 by Swedish settlers who were part of the New Sweden colony. The dwelling operated as a private residence until 1937, and then the Cabin became the property of the Upper Darby Township.
The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista is the oldest Roman Cathedral in the U.S. and is the second oldest Cathedral in the Americas.
The original Cathedral in the city of Puerto Rico was built from wood in 1521. A hurricane damaged it, and the current building was constructed in 1540.
The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista holds the Spanish explorer’s tomb and settlement patron Juan Ponce de Leon.
The White Horse Tavern was built in Newport in 1673, and it is the oldest tavern structure in the U.S.
The building was also used for large gatherings, including a Rhode Island General Assembly meeting place, a courthouse, and a city hall.
Nowadays, the house worked as a private eatery, and it remains an attractive drinking and dining place today.
Middleburg Plantation is a historic colonial-era plantation in Berkley county (Huger community). The plantation house, built-in 1697 by the French Huguenot Benjamin Simons, is the oldest standing wood-frame building in South Carolina.
The plantation has approximately 400 acres (160 hectares) of land. The main building is a 2-story timber frame construction. The walls are covered in wooden clapboards. Every floor has 3 rooms.
Fort Sisseton, named after the nearby Sisseton Indian Tribe, was established in 1864 near Britton’s city. It has 15 of its original constructions.
Fort Sisseton was used by the U.S. Army from 1864 to 1889 as a cavalry and riflemen soldier position.
Christopher Taylor House is a historic cabin in the center of the city of Jonesborough.
The Christopher Taylor building is one of the several log houses still preserved, revealing how the first settlers lived. It was built in 1777 by Christopher Taylor, a veteran of the French and Indian wars and a major in the American Revolution War.
The Alamo Mission is a historic Spanish mission and fort established in the eighteenth century by Roman Catholic missionaries in San Antonio.
The Mission was built for local American Indians’ education after their conversion to Christianity in 1724. The Alamo Mission was secularized in 1793 and then abandoned; 10 years later, it was used to fortify soldiers, both Texian and Mexican, but was finally left. In 1849, several years later, Texas was annexed to the U.S., the U.S. Army started renting the buildings for use as a quartermaster’s base, before again abandoning the Mission in 1876.
The William Henry House in Bennington was built in 1769. It is a remarkable example of an evolutionary architecture of the eighteenth century. Now a bed and breakfast hotel.
The house’s main block is a 2 and 1/2 story wood frame construction, with a gabled roof and clapboard siding. The main block’s interior has almost intact finishes.
The William Henry house was built in Bennington in 1769 for Elnathan Hubbell and lately was considerably changed for William Henry. The Henrys were famous in the town and politics of Vermont for many years.
Jamestown Church, built-in Jamestown in 1639, is one of the oldest surviving house remnants built by Europeans in the first 13 colonies and the U.S.
The current building, working as part of the Anglican church, is still in usage now.
Fort Nisqually was a vital fur trading and agriculture post of the Hudson’s Bay Company. It was built in 1843 in what is now the city of DuPont.
The fort’s location was chosen for its excellent ship anchorage, its convenience for an overland journey, the friendship of local tribes, and its meadows for planting crops and herding animals.
The Old Stone House is the Pre-Revolutionary colonial building on its original foundation, built-in 1765.
The house was constructed as a one-story building. Extensions were later built, and it was used as an apartment and for business. In the 50s of the 20th century, it was the place of a used-car dealership. Nowadays here located a museum.
Rehoboth Church is a historic log cabin-style Methodist church in Monroe County built-in 1788. Newly come pioneers created the Church on the land of Edward Keenan, who had been a leading part of the construction effort. The Church is built using the log framing building methods used by first settlers in the Virginia Colony’s western reaches. After its foundation, the Rehoboth church was a center of Methodism.
French-Canadian fur trader Joseph Roi constructed the Tank cottage on the Fox River in 1776. He used the post-and-plank method standard in French-Canadian churches of the time. In 1805, Roi sold the house to Jacques Porlier, a collaborator of the British. During the War of 1812, the building worked as a regional headquarters for the British. After the war, Porlier declared loyalty to the U.S. In 1850, Norwegian Moravian preacher Nils Otto Tank bought the cottage.
Private fur-trading Fort Laramie ‘Old Bedlam’ was built in 1849 when the soldiery came to the state to defend travelers going on the Mormon, Oregon, and the Overland Trail across the Northern Plains.
The Greek Revival building of the Fort has a two-story center block with proportional wings and has frame brick and lime concrete walls.
In 1849, the U.S. Army occupied Fort Laramie ‘Old Bedlam’, established as Fort John.