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Shadrach Standish House
Shadrach Standish House

Timber-frame Houses in the Historic American Buildings Survey

A Select List

Page 1: Introduction, Connecticut through Massachusetts

Shadrach Standish House
Shadrach Standish House

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In colonial America, and particularly New England, the abundance of wood and the English tradition of building made the timber frame house popular. Until balloon frame construction began to supersede it in the mid-1800s, timber frame construction was the construction method for all frame houses in 17th and 18th century America. Timber framing, often called post-and-beam construction, is a form of carpentry which involves taking large pieces of wood and joining them together with woodworking joints, using mortise-and-tenon construction, without metal construction such as nails. Wooden pegs, bents, braces, and sometimes trusses are employed. Many types of colonial houses can be considered to be timber-frame houses, including saltbox houses.

Since the 1970s the timber frame house has grown in favor following a revival of interest in traditional methods of construction. The Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record has documented timber frame houses since its inception in 1933 and continues to do so.

This select list includes examples of HABS-documented timber-frame buildings where the documentation in its entirety provides a good picture of the building and shows some aspect of framing. All examples include drawing documentation (except for Sarum in Maryland, which has extensive photos of framing). Saltbox houses are included in this list when their framing is particularly featured; see the separate Saltbox Houses reference aid for a fuller selection of HABS-documented sites that are especially good examples of that house type.

Select the Call Number of the structure to retrieve, via the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC), a bibliographic record for the entire group of documentation. The bibliographic record will provide fuller information about the house in question (such as owners' names) and will link to all digitized documentation for the site.

The Library of Congress cannot give or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its collections, but a rights statement for the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record is available. Photographic and other types of copies can also be ordered from the Library of Congress Duplication Services by selecting the "Obtaining Copies" tab and following the instructions given there.


General Walker House, Stratford, Fairfield County
Built 1690.
Call number: HABS CONN, 1-STRAT, 1-
Glebe House, Hollow Road, Woodbury, Litchfield County
Built 1771 [information from: White Pine Series, vol. 2, no. 5, page 9]
Call number: HABS CONN, 3-WOO, 1-
Nathaniel Baker House, North Plain, Middlesex County
Built late 17th century
Call number: HABS CONN, 4-NOPLA, 1-
Colonel Stephen Ford House, Milford, New Haven County
Built 1685.
Call number: HABS, CONN,5-MILF,2-
Ward-Heitmann House, West Haven, New Haven County
Built 1684.
Call number: HABS CONN, 5-HAVW, 1-
Painter House, West Haven, New Haven County
Built 1684 or 1685.
Call number: HABS CONN, 5-HAVW, 2-


Grogan House (Eureka), Middletown, Elbert County
Built 1870-1873. Demolished 1980.
Call number: HABS GA, 53-MIDTO, 1-


McIntire Garrison House, Scotland, York County
Built ca. 1665.
Call number: HABS ME, 16-BERN.V, 1-


Eltonhead Manor, near Little Cove Point, Calvert County
Built 17th century.
Call number: HABS, MD,5-____,1-
Sarum, near State Route 234, Newport vicinity, Charles County
Built ca. 1680.
Call number: HABS MD, 9-NEPO.V, 1-


Governor Thomas Prence House, Eastham, Barnstable County
Built 1646. Demolished.
Call number: HABS MASS 1-EAST, 2-
Waite-Potter House, Sanford Road, South Westport, Bristol County
Built 1677
Call number: HABS MASS, 3-WESPOS, 1-
Benjamin Abbot Farmhouse, Andover and Argilla Road, Andover, Essex County
Built 1685. Has a saltbox roof.
Call number: HABS MASS, 5-ANDO, 1-
Benjamin Pierce House, 305 Cabot Street, Beverly, Essex County
Built 1802.
Call number: HABS MASS, 5-BEV, 8-
William Appleton House, Ipswich, Essex County
Built 1766.
Call number: HABS MASS, 5-IPSWI, 20-
John Kimball House, Ipswich, Essex County
Built 1680. Saltbox.
Call number: HABS MASS, 5-IPSWI, 9-
Proctor House, Jeffrey's Neck Road, Ipswich, Essex County
Built between 1700 and 1749. Demolished 1939.
Call number: HABS MASS, 5-IPSWI, 13-
Renault-Foster House, Water St., Ipswich, Essex County
Built between 1600 and 1649.
Call number: HABS MASS, 5-IPSWI, 21-
Robert Hooper House, 8 Hooper Street, Marblehead, Essex County
Built 1745.
Call number: HABS MASS, 5-MARB, 53-
Waters House and Bakery, Marblehead, Essex County
Built 1683. Demolished 1937.
Call number: HABS MASS, 5-MARB, 4-
Swett-Ilsley House, 4-6 High Street, Newbury Old Town, Essex County
Built 1670-1700; 1760. Saltbox.
Call number: HABS MASS, 5-NEWB, 4-
General Benjamin Hawkes House, 4 Custom House Place, Salem, Essex County
Built 1801.
Call number: HABS MASS, 5-SAL, 31-
Captain Samuel Trevett House, 65 Washington Street, Marblehead, Essex County
Built ca. 1750.
Call number: HABS MASS, 5-MARB, 6-
Stephen Daniel House, Daniels & Essex Streets, Salem, Essex County
Built 1693.
Call number: HABS MASS, 5-SAL, 20-
Pike-Haven-Foster House, Framingham, Middlesex County
Built 1696.
Call number: HABS, MASS, 9-FRAM, 8-
Phineas Upham House, 253 Upham St., Melrose, Middlesex County
Built 1703.
Call number: HABS, MASS,9-MELRO,2-
Micah Coffin House ("Auld Lang Syne"), Broadway, Siasconset, Nantucket County
Built ca. 1675.
Call number: MASS, 10-SCON, 2-
Shanunga (Betsey Cary Cottage), Siasconset, Nantucket County
Built ca. 1682. Altered 1780.
Call number: HABS MASS, 10-SCON, 1-
Jonathan Fairbanks House, 511 East St., Dedham, Norfolk County
Built 1636. Oldest timber-frame house in the U.S.
Call number: HABS MASS, 11-DED, 1-
The Peak House, Medfield, Norfolk County
Built 1680.
Call number: HABS MASS, 11-MED, 1-
Daniel Shute House, Main and S. Pleasant Streets, Hingham, Plymouth County
Built ca. 1690.
Call number: HABS MASS, 12-HING, 7-
Old Oaken Bucket House, Scituate, Plymouth County
Built 1835.
Call number: HABS MASS, 12-GREBU, 2-
George Ward House, Lakeville, Plymouth County
Built 1712.
Call number: HABS MASS, 12-LAKVI, 1-
Bryant Cushing House, Norwell, Plymouth County
Built 1698.
Call number: HABS MASS, 12-NOR, 1-
Shadrach Standish House, Halifax, Plymouth County
Built ca. 1730.
Call number: HABS MASS, 12-HAL, 3-
Samuel Stetson House, Hanover Center, Plymouth County
Built 1694.
Call number: HABS MASS, 12-HANO, 3-
Fearing-Warr House, Wareham, Plymouth County
Built 1665 and 1765.
Call number:HABS MASS, 12-WARH, 1-
Hyde-Worthen House, Charlestown, Suffolk County
Call number: HABS MASS, 13-CHAR, 1-
Robert Pierce House, 24 Oakton Avenue, Dorchester, Suffolk County
Built ca. 1650. Saltbox.
Call number: HABS MASS, 13-DORCH, 7-
General Salem Towne House, Old County Road, Charlton, Worcester County
Built 1796. Moved to Sturbridge Village.
Call number: HABS MASS, 14-CHAR, 1-

Prepared by: Marilyn Ibach, Reference Specialist. Last revised: May 2003. Reformatted April 2014.
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