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“Oldest wooden frame house in North America”

The Fairbanks House
Ranked #4 of 12 things to do in Dedham
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Built by Jonathan and Grace Fairbanks in 1637, the Fairbanks House is the oldest timber frame house in North America. Eight generations of Fairbanks have lived here until 1904 when it was opened to the public as a historic site and house museum filled with period furnishings owned by Fairbanks descendants. IMPORTANT: MUSEUM IS OPEN MAY 3rd THROUGH OCTOBER 29th.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Dedham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
63 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Oldest wooden frame house in North America”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013

The fact that this house is 375 years old is its main attraction. There is simply no other house so old, and certainly very few even close to this age in this area. So it preserves a type of construction and specific details of early colonial life that few other places can approach. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area and have any interest in the earliest colonial period of the US. Good tour guides.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank DavidBenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
“Great example of tangible history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2013

Our family took a tour of the Fairbanks House and thoroughly enjoyed the up-close look at a piece of history in this part of the country. The oldest timber-frame house still standing was full of period pieces of furniture, work implements and other items that brought the house alive. The tour guide was fantastic, sharing stories of its inhabitants as well as parts of the history of the building itself. Fantastic addition to our tour of the North East.

Visited October 2013
Thank Yoli58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dedham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“One of the oldest wood frame houses in the USA.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

The Fairbanks House is set on the corner of East St. and Eastern Ave. in Dedham MA. If you are into old homes, you will enjoy a visit to this house. The old wooden beams are fully exposed and the large working fireplace makes me truly appreciate my own modern stove. I have visited this house with groups of school children and they really appreciate our modern conveniences once they see how early Americans lived. If you are into Colonial homes, construction and decor, the Fairbanks House is worth a visit.

Visited September 2012
Thank Celaluna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Very interesting historical site.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2013

Excellent from an historical perspective. Tours inside house begin every hour, on the hour and last about 45 minutes. Hot in summer-old structure, no A/C. Dark inside, even when it is sunny outside. Flashlights were available. Narrow stairs are not easy to negotiate. NOT for anyone with impaired vision or who has difficulty walking alone or on stairs. Very young children will probably lose interest quickly. Nothing can be touched. No photography allowed inside.

Visited July 2013
Thank runningretired
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, MA
Level Contributor
147 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
“Living History”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2013

This house is ancient -- at least by American standards -- yet its high standard of preservation aided by the excellent presentation by its curator brings it to life. Compared to many modern buildings this seems like a comfortable place to live despite its lack of modern amenities and somewhat ramshackle organization. Walking through you get the feel of what living was like over many generations of residents. A vital part of New England history, this is well worth a visit!

Visited June 2013
4 Thank patisson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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