This Is the Oldest Building in Your State
A few of these places are older than the country itself!
Whether you're a history buff or not, there's something to be said about visiting—or learning about—some of our country's oldest buildings. Sure, many of these structures may look like simple farmhouses and modest log cabins from the outside, but within them lies priceless pieces of our American heritage.
To help you find a historical building near you, we've rounded up the oldest still-standing structures in every state. From Jamestown Church, the house of worship at the center of the 17th-century Jamestown Settlement, to the buildings in New Mexico's Acoma Pueblo community, which have been around since 1150, these relics will remind you just how incredible history can be.
Alabama: Joel Eddins' House
Year Completed: 1810
Settler Joel Eddins built his log home in Ardmore, Alabama, around 1810, which means it was constructed years before Alabama became a state in 1819. The house is 1.5 floors and includes an open downstairs "parlor," plus a staircase to the upper level. The structure was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 and moved to Hunstville in 2007, where it was rebuilt "piece by piece and log by log," according to The Decatur Daily.
Alaska: Baranov Museum
Year Completed: 1808
The Baranov Museum claims the title of the oldest building in Alaska. The original structure was erected between 1805 and 1808 and was once a warehouse for the Russian Kodiak settlement and later the home of the Erskine family. In 1886, it was the location of an unsolved murder, which may be why it's now supposedly haunted, according to Alaska Public Media. Today, the building is a museum dedicated to the history of Kodiak.
Arizona: Mission San Xavier del Bac
Year Completed: 1797
Residents of Arizona can head to Tucson to see one of the oldest buildings in their state. Mission San Xavier del Bac was established back in 1692 by Jesuit priest Father Eusebio Kino. Construction of the surviving building began in 1783 and was completed in 1797. The Catholic church still holds services today. A comprehensive restoration effort began in 1992 and continues today.
Arkansas: The Jacob Wolf House
City: Baxter County
Year Completed: 1829
This two-story dog-trot structure was constructed by Jacob Wolf, a merchant, carpenter, blacksmith, and elected representative to the General Assembly of Arkansas Territory in 1829, as the first public courthouse in Arkansas' Izard County. Today, it is the oldest surviving example of a building constructed for a civic purpose in the state, according to the National Register of Historic Places.
California: Mission San Juan Capistrano
City: San Juan Capistrano
Year Completed: 1782
The Serra Chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano was built in 1782 and is currently recognized as the oldest building in the state of California. The mission was founded as the seventh of nine missions established by Saint Junipero Serra.
Colorado: Mesa Verde Cliff Palace
City: Mesa Verde
Year Completed: 1190
While there are around 600 cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park, the Cliff Palace of the Ancestral Pueblo people is surely the most impressive structure. Dating back to 1190, the palace is made of sandstone, mortar, and wooden beams, and is thought to have had a population of about 100 people. The space has 150 private rooms, as well as 23 meeting areas (or kivas), which were likely social and ceremonial spaces. The palace is thought to be the largest cliff dwelling in North America.
Connecticut: Henry Whitfield House
Year Completed: 1639
A picturesque building sitting on a lovely green lawn, the Henry Whitfield House is Connecticut's oldest building as well as the oldest stone house in New England. Built in 1639 for Puritan minister and leader Henry Whitfield, the home also served as a place of worship and a fort to protect the community in case of attack. It's been the Henry Whitfield State Museum since 1904.
Delaware: The Block House
Year Completed: 1654
In the mid-1600s, Johan Risingh was the last governor of the colony of New Sweden, which was located in what is now the area of Claymont, Delaware. Risingh was responsible for the construction of the Block House, a small two-story stone structure that's the only building remaining of the original Swedish Naamans Creek settlement. According to the National Park Service, the house was used for defense, noting "the small loopholes beneath the eaves enabled muskets to be fired at attackers."
Florida: Castillo de San Marcos
City: St. Augustine
Year Completed: 1695
Built during a lengthy stretch between 1672 and 1695, the Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. It's also an unusual structure as it's one of only two fortifications in existence that was constructed using a semi-rare limestone called coquina.
Possession of the fort has changed six times between four governments: Spain, Great Britain, the United States, and the Confederate State of America. In 1933, the National Park Service took over the Castillo de San Marcos and it's been a popular tourist destination ever since.
Georgia: The Horton House
City: Jekyll Island
Year Completed: 1743
The Horton House on Georgia's historic Jekyll Island went up in 1743 using "tabby," a concrete made of lime, sand, ash, shells, and water. The home belonged to Major William Horton, the man behind the state's first brewery and a top military aide to General James Oglethorpe (the founder of the colony of Georgia).
Hawaii: Frame House (Hale La'au)
Year Completed: 1821
Although it was constructed at Hawaii's Mission Houses in Honolulu back in 1821, the materials for the Frame House (Hale La'ua) were shipped from Boston a year earlier. In its prime, the home was shared by missionary families, island visitors, and boarders. You can still visit it today at the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives.
Idaho: The Mission of the Sacred Heart
Year Completed: 1853
Construction on the church at Idaho's Sacred Heart Mission, also known as the Cataldo Mission, was completed in 1853 by the combined efforts of Catholic missionaries and members of the Coeur d'Alene tribe. Because there were limited resources available to construct the church, the interior walls are decorated using fabric and painted newspaper, and the chandeliers are made of tin cans.
A painting of the mission hangs on the first floor of the Senate wing at the U.S. Capitol. Of the thousands of murals and frescoes in the Capitol, this painting is the only one that features a building that still exists, according to the Idaho Statesman.
Illinois: Fort de Chartres
City: Prairie du Rocher
Year Completed: 1753
Fort de Chartres was built by the French in 1753 during their 18th-century colonization of the Illinois County. But today, only parts of the original structure remain. In fact, it's merely a restored powder magazine inside of the fort that is believed to be the oldest building in the state. The remainder of the original foundations were used to create modern reconstructions.
Year Completed: 1804
A stately two-story red brick building in Vincennes, Indiana, Grouseland was constructed between 1802 and 1804 as the home of William Henry Harrison who served as the president of the United States from March 1825 until May 1828. While it's now the William Henry Harrison Mansion and Museum, Grouseland went up while Harrison was still the first governor of the Indiana Territory.
Iowa: The Settler's Cabin
Year Completed: 1827
The settler's log cabin is believed to be the oldest standing building in Iowa, constructed in the late 1820s by a French fur trader. The home was originally located on the corner of Second Street and Locust Street in downtown Dubuque. In 1967, it was moved to share a lot with the equally historic Mathias Ham House at the Mathias Ham Historic Site, which is part of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.
Kansas: The Rookery
City: Fort Leavenworth
Year Completed: 1827
Not only is Fort Leavenworth a historic site that's a popular tourist destination for visitors to Kansas, but it's also still in operation, which makes it the oldest active army post west of the Mississippi. Erected in 1827, the oldest building at the complex as well as in the state is the Rookery, which was originally used as quarters for bachelor officers, according to Soldiers Mag.
Kentucky: Springfield (The Zachary Taylor House)
Year Completed: 1790
"Springfield," the 2.5-story Georgia Colonial brick house where the 12th U.S. President Zachary Taylor grew up, was built in 1790 (with another section added onto the original structure between 1810 and 1830). Taylor lived there until 1808, but even after moving away, he continued to return to the property, including in 1810 when he married Margaret Smith there. Five of his six children were born at the home, too.
Louisiana: Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
City: New Orleans
Year Completed: 1723
New Orleans is full of beautiful buildings, but if you're on a tour of historic structures, then be sure to stop by Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop. Completed in 1723, the shop is now a bar and claims to be the oldest building used as such in the United States. Between 1772 and 1791, the property is thought to have been the base of a smuggling operation run by the Lafitte Brothers, Jean and Pierre.
Maine: McIntire Garrison House
Year Completed: 1707
Dating back to 1707, the McIntire Garrison House is a (purposefully) daunting example of a New England Colonial log garrison house. A black two-story structure covered in wooden clapboards, the home was likely constructed by the son of Scotsman Micum McIntire, who would have built the home to protect its inhabitants from raids.
Maryland: Old Trinity Church
City: Church Creek
Year Completed: 1675
While the Old Trinity Church is only 38 feet long and 20 feet wide, it still features an original black walnut altar from 1675. The cemetery at this Protestant Episcopal house of worship dates back to the American Revolution and is the final resting place of soldiers who fought and died in the war.
Massachusetts: Fairbanks House
Year Completed: 1637
Although it likely wasn't completed until 1641, the Fairbanks House in Dedham, Massachusetts, proudly displays the year 1637 on its chimney. Built by Jonathan Fairbanks for his family, which included his wife and six children, the tradesman used every skill he had to construct the building. It's now the oldest known wood structure still standing in North America. It remained the Fairbanks family home for 268 years and eight generations.
Michigan: Fort Mackinac
City: Mackinac Island
Year Completed: 1780
Built by the British Army in 1780, Fort Mackinac sits on a bluff 150 feet above Mackinac Island Harbor. Given to the U.S. just over a decade and a half after it was constructed, the fort was occasionally left empty over the years until 1875 when Mackinac National Park was established as the country's second national park.
Minnesota: Fort Snelling's Round Tower
City: Saint Paul
Year Completed: 1820
Established as Fort Saint Anthony in 1819, Fort Snelling was renamed after Colonel Josiah Snelling, the man who led its construction, once it was completed in 1825. However, the fort's Round Tower went up in 1820, making it the oldest surviving structure on the grounds. Built as a defensive tower, it has also been used as a washhouse, a guardhouse, a prison room, a coal storage room, an office, and a private family residence.
Mississippi: The Old Spanish Fort
Year Completed: 1718
Built in 1718 (by most reports, though some say 1757), the Old Spanish Fort constructed by French Canadian Joseph Simon de la Pointe, "was neither Spanish nor a fort," according to Britannica. Instead, it was a lumber-shipping port located on Lake Catahoula (Krebs Lake) near the area that we now know as Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Missouri: Louis Bolduc House
City: Sainte Genevieve
Year Completed: 1785
Plan a trip to Missouri's Sainte Genevieve if you want to check out the Louis Bolduc House, which is also known as Maison Bolduc. As part of the area's first European settlement, construction on the French Colonial home began in 1740. It features one story with a large central room where the French-Canadian Bolduc family would have done most of their living.
Montana: Old Fort Benton Blockhouse
City: Fort Benton
Year Completed: Around 1846
Once a fur trading outpost, Old Fort Benton sits on the banks of the Missouri River in Montana. Built around 1846, it was abandoned in 1881 but is now a historical site that's being restored. According to the Daughters of the American Revolution, "Like all the other trading posts of this region, Fort Benton was built in a quadrangle. It was over 150 feet square exclusive of the 20 foot square two-story Bastions or Blockhouses."
Nebraska: The Bellevue Log Cabin
Year Completed: 1835
Nebraska is home to the Bellevue Log Cabin, built back in 1835. The cabin was erected near the Missouri River as an outpost that was owned and operated by John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company. Started in 1830 and completed five years later, the cottonwood log cabin was moved in 1835 due to an outbreak of cholera. It moved again to its current home on Hancock Street in 1850, when it was property of the area's Presbyterian Mission.
Nevada: Old Mormon Fort
City: Las Vegas
Year Completed: 1855
There's no building in Nevada that outdates the Old Mormon Fort. Built in 1855 by 32 missionaries, there were originally eight two-story homes inside the 150-foot square adobe fort that housed the group that had arrived from Utah. However, most of the inhabitants left by 1857, and in 1865, the adobe became the farming headquarters of Octavius Decatur Gass. Then, in 1882, Helen J. Stewart bought the property and eventually sold it to the San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad in 1902. The area was transformed into a state park in 1991.
New Hampshire: Richard Jackson House
Year Completed: 1664
New Hampshire's Richard Jackson House is an American Colonial construction that was built in 1664. The oldest surviving timber-framed house in the area, Historic New England notes that while it "resembles English post-medieval prototypes, [it] is notably American in its extravagant use of wood." They also explain that Jackson's descendants increased the size of the original structure, which is now a historic house museum.
New Jersey: C. A. Nothnagle Log House
Year Completed: 1643
One of the oldest surviving log buildings in the country, New Jersey's C. A. Nothnagle Log House was built between 1638 and 1643. The work of Finnish settlers, the home is now owned by Harry and Doris Rink. Mr. Rink spoke to The New York Times about the historic property in 2000, saying, "We know the ironwork for hanging pots in the fireplace is from the 1590s and was brought from Finland. The bricks in the fireplace were probably brought over as ballast on a boat that brought the immigrants. The logs are oak, which is what was in the area. The hardwood is one of the reasons it is still standing. There were two other cabins near here until not long ago, but they were destroyed by fire or torn down."
New Mexico: Acoma Pueblo
City: Acoma Pueblo
Year Completed: 1150
The Acoma Pueblo is the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, according to New Mexico's Sky City Cultural Center. Dating back to 1150, the "City in the Sky" sits on the top of a 367-foot sandstone bluff and stretches for more than 430,000 acres. With 250 buildings, it's the home of around 4,800 Acoma People.
New York: The Old House
Year Completed: 1649
In Cutchogue, New York, on State Route 25, is a building simply known as the Old House. Built in 1649 by John Budd, who later gifted it to his daughter when she got married, the structure is the oldest English medieval-style house in the state. Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council explains that the building is "considered to be one of the finest examples of Pilgrim Century architecture in the nation."
North Carolina: Lane House
Year Completed: 1719
A modern renovation revealed that this private residence in Edenton, North Carolina, dates back to 1719, making the Lane House the oldest known home in the state. While researchers are still looking into the building's past, The Virginian-Pilot reported that, according to one of the homeowners, the "house could have been moved from another place and might have been a tavern closer to the water at one time."
North Dakota: Kittson Trading Post
Year Completed: 1843
In 1843, trader Norman W. Kittson showed up in Pembina, North Dakota, on behalf of the American Fur Company. His job was to build a trading post in what is now called Walhalla (which itself was established two years later in 1845) as well as two other posts in the area. Now the oldest building in the state, the post is located in the Walhalla State Historical Park.
Ohio: Old Stone Fort
City: West Lafayette
Year Completed: 1689
Built over a 10-year span between 1679 and 1689, Ohio's Old Stone Fort is a mysterious place that "may be the oldest structure in the Midwest but no one knows for sure," according to Travel Inspired Living. What makes it so mysterious is that historians can't tell who built it or why it was constructed, although it may have been the work of French Canadian Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, who founded forts to protect the fur trade from the British.
Oklahoma: Fort Gibson
City: Fort Gibson
Year Completed: 1840
Originally a military garrison deemed Cantonment Gibson, which was founded in 1824, Fort Gibson was used as a stop for members of the Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole tribes who were being forcibly removed from their land during the Trail of Tears. According to the National Registry of Historic Places, the two-story barracks, the oldest of which date back to the 1840s, are the only part of the original stone fort that still remains. Restored during the 1930s, the site is now owned by the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Oregon: Molalla Log House
City: Now Mulino, Originally Molalla
Year Completed: 1790s
Like Alaska's Baranov Museum, this old house might be another work by Russian settlers. "I looked at it and thought, this is really unusual craftsmanship, and we ought to save it," architectural historian Gregg Olson told Oregon Public Broadcasting of the Molalla Log House. "It was in a state of collapse and it was starting to rain. It was … clear that it wasn't going to get through the winter. So, we decided to disassemble it, store it, and then study it." While no one can say for sure who built the cabin, it's thought that it was the work of Russian settlers who were sent to what is now Oregon by Catherine the Great.
Pennsylvania: Lower Swedish Cabin
City: Drexel Hill
Year Completed: 1640
Built around 1640, the Lower Swedish Cabin in Pennsylvania's Drexel Hill is not only the oldest building in the state, but it's also is one of the oldest log cabins in the country. Constructed by settlers from Sweden, the building was a trading post that was meant to help the settlers do business with native people in the area. Since then, the cabin has been used as a private residence and a space for Girl Scouts' activities. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Rhode Island: The White Horse Tavern
Year Completed: 1652
As the oldest operating restaurant in the U.S., the White Horse Tavern in Rhode Island first opened its doors in 1673. However, the building was originally constructed in 1652 as a home for area resident Francis Brinley. For almost 100 years after that, the tavern was used as a meeting place for the Colony's General Assembly, Criminal Court, and City Council
South Carolina: Pink House
Year Completed: Around 1688
Located at 17 Chalmers Street in Charleston, South Carolina, the Pink House is aptly named for the rosy shade of its exterior, made of Bermuda stone. Built in 1688 by John Breton, the 1,017 square-foot building has been a tavern, a family home, a law office, and an art gallery over the years.
South Dakota: Fort Sisseton
City: Lake City
Year Completed: 1864
What is now known as Fort Sisseton (named for the Sisseton tribe) was founded as Fort Wadsworth in 1864 on top of the Coteau des Prairies in South Dakota. Today, parts of the fort still stand as a historic state park. Other original buildings that remain and are open to the public include the army's officer quarters, the stone barracks, the powder magazine, and the guardhouse.
Tennessee: The Carter Mansion
Year Completed: Around 1780
Built by John and Landon Carter around 1780, the Carter Mansion is the oldest standing frame house in the state of Tennessee. The home features two over-the-mantle paintings which are even considered to be the oldest paintings in the state.
Texas: Mission Concepción
City: San Antonio
Year Completed: 1716
Established in 1716 in East Texas as Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de los Hainais, Mission Concepción moved to its current San Antonio location in 1731. The stone church was completed and dedicated in 1955 and is thought to be the oldest unrestored church in the U.S. In 2015, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Utah: Fielding Garr Ranch
Year Completed: 1848
In 1848, Mormon widower and father of nine Fielding Garr established a ranch in what is now the Antelope Island State Park. Garr was sent by the church to manage their animal herds in the area, and he erected an adobe ranch house, which was continually inhabited from that time until 1981. Today, it's one of the oldest buildings in the state.
Vermont: William Harris House
Year Completed: 1768
The William Harris House is also known as the Joseph Caruso House in Brattleboro, Vermont, due to the fact that it was first named after the man who built it, but was later owned by Caruso during the 1950s. The Cape Cod-style home's 1.5-story wood-frame structure features a central chimney that dates back to the home's construction, thought to be 1768 thanks to a date carved into one of the building's beams.
Virginia: Jamestown Church
Year Completed: 1608
When you visit Jamestown Church in Virginia, you're actually seeing the sixth version of the structure, which has stood on the site for hundreds of years. According to Historic Jamestowne, "as part of a rebuilding effort following a fire that burned much of the fort in January 1608, the settlers built the first church building. [Captain John Smith] said it was 'a homely thing like a barn set on crachetts, covered with rafts, sedge, and earth.'" It was also the church where John Rolfe married Pocahontas in 1614. The church continued to be rebuilt as needed, which is why the current structure is still partially erect today.
Washington: The Fort Nisqually Granary
Year Completed: 1833
A trading post built in 1833 and used by the Hudson's Bay Company, Fort Nisqually was originally located in what is now DuPont, Washington, but was moved and reconstructed in Tacoma in the 1930s. Run as a living history museum nowadays, the fort's granary can still be seen and appreciated as the oldest building in the state.
West Virginia: Aspen Hall
Year Completed: 1778
Completed in 1778, West Virginia's Aspen Hall is a large Georgian-style limestone house located in Martinsburg. The first 20-by-20 foot portion of the house was built by Edward Beeson I in 1745 and the later sections were added by Edward Beeson II—so some locals may know it as the Edward Beeson House.
Wisconsin: Wakely House
Year Completed: 1842
Nekoosa, Wisconsin, is where you can find the Wakely House, a 2.5-story structure built in 1842. Originally the home of Robert and Mary Wakely, the couple "bought a raft full of lumber in New York City and began traveling westward by way of rivers. They sold the lumber in Cincinnati and poled up the rivers in a keelboat to what would be known as Point Basse, the place they would build their home," according to Volume One. (You can find out more about the Wakely House from Wisconsin Rapids Community Media.)
Wyoming: Fort Laramie
Year Completed: 1834
Another fur trade post, Fort Laramie was established in 1834 by two men, Robert Campbell and William Sublette. Located where the Laramie River and the North Platte Rivers meet, this 100-by-80 foot fort was made of hewn cottonwood logs, which helped the structure stick around long enough to become the oldest building in Wyoming. And for more incredible structures worldwide, These Are All the "World's Tallest Buildings" Throughout History.
To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to follow us on Instagram!