Visit our Museum. Visit History.
The oldest Timber Frame House in North America.
The Fairbanks House in Dedham, MA is the oldest known wood structure still standing in North America. Built circa 1637 for Jonathan and Grace Fairbanks and their six children, it was home to eight generations of the Fairbanks family over the course of 268 years. The Fairbanks House is now a historic house museum and on the National Register of Historic Places.
~ Like No Other Historic House ~
Abbott Lowell Cummings, former Charles F. Montgomery Professor of American Decorative Arts at Yale University, said that the Fairbanks House… “is one of the most important historic houses now standing in the northeastern part of the United States. Its value to the area and to the nation as a whole lies not so much in its claim to being the oldest house in New England but in its architectural significance… It may be said quite simply that no other house of the mid-17th century in New England has survived in such unbelievable unspoiled condition. It is extraordinary that so early a structure should preserve such a high percentage of original features. It is a veritable storehouse of information concerning the small handful of houses which survive from this early period.”
~ What’s New ~
The Fairbanks House Museum is temporarily closed
due to the coronavirus/Covid 19 national emergency
We will reopen as soon as the non-essential business ban is lifted
and we can ensure the safety and health of our visitors, staff and docents
Our guided tours begin on the hour from 10 am to 4 pm
Wednesday through Sunday
Go to our Visit page for more information
~ Our Mission Statement ~
The Fairbanks House Museum is the oldest timber frame home still standing in North America and a prime example of early colonial architecture. The museum seeks to preserve, conserve, research, and interpret the Fairbanks family homestead, its collections, and the stories of all the generations that lived and worked there. We hope to engage and educate the Fairbanks family, the community, and the public at large about the house, its tenants, and their important place in both local and national history.
We welcome volunteers and docents to help us with museum tours and special projects. Immerse yourself in Colonial America.
Membership in the Fairbanks Family in America is open to all – lineal descendants and friends of the Fairbanks House.