One of the Country's Oldest Houses Is for Sale in New Jersey
In the quaint country setting of Gibbstown, New Jersey sits “the oldest log home in the western hemisphere,” and we’re happy to report that it can be all yours for $875k. The property, which sits on 1-acre just 25 minutes from the heart of downtown Philadelphia, was completed in 1643 as part of the New Sweden colony. Using Nordic log home building practices, their designs then became the common blueprint for log homes of pioneer villages across the United States, making this property both historically and architecturally significant.
Could this be the ultimate history-lover passion project? We think so. To put things in perspective, this property was erected just 22 years after historians believe the first Thanksgiving occurred. The United States wouldn’t declare independence for another 133 years; when construction began on the house, Galileo was still alive. Only a handful of properties predate the original 16’ x 22’ section of this home, and they very rarely come up for sale.
Renovations of the Oldest Log Home in America
Originally constructed without nails, this property, in its 378-year history has undergone a few changes. In 1750, the dirt floor was covered with wooden flooring. The second story addition, which features 3 beds and 1 bath, was also added sometime in the 18th century, and the auxiliary buildings, like the garage, were built by Amish carpenters fairly recently.
Today, Dorris Rink — the current owner who has been giving tours of the house since 1973 — operates the property as a museum where countless historians, archeologists, professors, writers, politicians, and regular people have come to appreciate this piece of living history. In fact, she and her late husband’s restoration efforts have helped unearth a variety of interesting artifacts like a 240-year-old boot, toys, a fork, and an iron thimble. The ironwork by the fireplace is also reportedly from 1590 and came from Finland.
Rink says that she’s willing to part with many of the antiques they’ve collected over the years, making the turn-key museum even more lucrative and that she’s “hoping to find a buyer that loves the history of the home and the area.”
The home is listed on the New Jersey Historic Properties List and the National Register of Historic Properties, meaning it is likely eligible for a 20% investment tax credit for the rehabilitation of the historic structure. If you or one of your clients is an experienced preservationist or historian, this might just be the buy of their lives.
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