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 Museum is closed for the season
We will reopen May 1, 2020
for tours on the hour 10 am to 4 pm
Wednesday through Sunday
May through October
Go to our Visit page for more information
Aboard “Old Ironsides”
for Boston Harbor Sail
The board, docents and staff of the Fairbanks House were aboard the USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides,” for its Turn Around sail in Boston Harbor on October 18th. We were guests of Commanding Officer John Benda, who grew up in Dedham and is an avid history buff and fan of the Fairbanks House. He and his crew visited and toured the Old Homestead on Flag Day June 14, 2018, and we are delighted to celebrate this historic partnership between the oldest wood frame house in North America c.1637 and the oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat, built in 1897.
~ 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.