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Photographer: Kelbert McFarland Photography

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Boston's Oldest House

Today in history coming up on 400 years ago (1630), the city of Boston was founded. Boston is where Elinor's husband and Ginny's father grew up but not somewhere we have visited a ton- the family moved to Santa Barbara from Boston. Next trip we make to Boston we want to go by its oldest house, the James Blake House from 1661. There are few houses in our country older than this one. James Blake had come from England and the house was built in the style of timber framed houses in Western England.


The house was originally part of a large estate (almost 100 acres) with orchards, gardens, and two outbuildings. The Blake family was very successful and James was a town official and pillar of the community. The estate had several businesses within it including a tanner's shop and a weaver's. This went on for centuries and the house remained in the family until just before the 20th century when it was purchased and sold to the city of Boston. The city went about preserving and restoring the house and they moved it from its original location by a few hundred yards.


This old front view photo of the house in the snow shows the way it is laid out. The house is often studied by architecture students and we can see why.


A news story last year by Tracee Herbaugh tells us that the house is currently being lived in by a caretaker and preservation planner, Barbara Kurze. Barbara has hired interior designer Sarah Cole to help her with the renovation. Step one was to repaint.


They will choose period appropriate paint colors in conjunction with the preservation society rules.


There is certainly a lot of paneling in the house to paint and they would have used this high gloss look in colonial times which we love.

Shown above is the fireplace with a sconce above. And below is a different brick fireplace.



The hole on the left is the oven essentially.

One thing we love about old houses is the hardware. The door hinges here remind me of some in my in-laws' house and husband's childhood home which is also a historic marked house you can read about here.


This is the direction Sarah C. Interiors is going with furnishing the house. We love this rug and color of the couch. Hopefully the final result is covered in the media or on her portfolio page of her website.


Above is one more pretty photo of the house in the fall. Looks like the perfect house to us!

Our last photo is from The Boston Globe in an earlier story about restoring the house which says it was built around 1648 so it could be even older. We love the sign here calling it "Ye Olde Blake House."