The restoration of this Pilgrim-era Saltbox from the 1660s kinda blew me away. It and the surrounding buildings were moved here to create a new homestead on 12 acres. There’s even a one-room schoolhouse from the 1700s that looks like something out of Little House on the Prairie. Take a look…
It’s on the market now, and the listing says: “This masterpiece restoration of a 1665 Pilgrim era saltbox garrison style home, along with its ancillary structures, artfully blends pristine historic architecture with modern conveniences.”
“This homestead consists of the main home, a colonial-era ell leading to the carriage house, a magnificent barn, water tower, corn crib, and a late 1700’s one room school house.”
“Period details include original wide pine floors, oak framing, raised paneling, plaster walls, original hardware, five fireplaces, Indian shutters, gunstock corners, & barricade doors.”
It has been updated with central air and modern plumbing.
The restoration was completed in 2010 but the house has not been lived in yet (in this incarnation).
Yahoo! Homes wrote about the house: “For Doug Towle, restoring old homes is second nature. He fixed up his first Colonial in 1969 and has been preserving historical properties ever since. But it wasn’t until house No. 14 that Towle could say he’d saved one of the oldest homes in America.”
This Saltbox was originally built by George Farley of Billerica, Massachusetts, in 1665. He was one of America’s earliest settlers. Twelve generations of Farleys lived in the house.
When the Farley family wanted to sell the Massachusetts land, they knew it would be more valuable without the house on it. They dismantled the property and put it in storage.
“Most historical societies want to keep properties like this but don’t have funds to restore and keep them,” Towle explained. “The family came to me because they knew my work.”
“Towle transplanted the home piece by piece to a green hilltop with mountain views in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, near his workplace.”
“The property was saved down the last nail and will be around for hundreds of more years in a place where people can see it,” Towle said.
“A saltbox is a building with a long, pitched roof that slopes down to the back. It has just one story in the back and two stories in the front. The flat front and central chimney are recognizable features, but the asymmetry of the unequal sides and the long, low rear roof line are the most distinctive features, which takes its name from its resemblance to a wooden lidded box in which salt was once kept.” (Source.)
Towle created an Early-American homestead on this new site complete with a one-room schoolhouse from the 1700s that he found a mile away and moved here. It had been closed since 1917.
“I had to reconstruct it entirely, but I found a picture from 1909 of how it looked,” he said. “I collected all the desks and textbooks from that period.”
I just love this. Maybe a homeschooling family will buy it and put it to use! 🙂
The Homestead is on the market for $1.495 million, which may sound like a lot until you consider that Towle put $2.4 million into it.
“People say, ‘Why are you doing this?’ I love the legacy I have left behind. I guess it’s obsessive. Even though I turned 71 today, I still enjoy doing it.”