Pickering House

The Pickering House is the oldest house in Salem, Mass.

Built in 1660 by English settler and carpenter John Pickering, it was home to ten generations of the same family for more than three and half centuries. It is believed to be the oldest house in the United States continuously owned by one family.

Originally a two-room farmhouse, the property changed over time and with successive family members. Wings, gables and Gothic peaks were added. Ceilings and rooflines were raised. The unique fence created to frame this lovely slice of history.

Colonel Timothy Pickering (1745-1849) spent his adult life in service to his country. On April 19, 1775, he led 300 men to cut off British soldiers on their retreat from the Battle of Lexington, one of the precursors to the Revolutionary War.

“Appointed by Washington as Quartermaster General in the Revolutionary War, he was present at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown and at Cornwallis’ surrender,” says the official Pickering House website.

“Pickering is the only person to serve three cabinet posts: Secretary of State, Postmaster General, and Secretary of War — which included administration of the Navy and Indian affairs. He oversaw the building of three noble frigates, the ‘USS Constitution,’ ‘United States,’ and ‘Constellation,’ starting a love of things marine for succeeding generations.”

In 1998, the Goodhue family moved into the house, with Albert Goodhue as the caretaker.

The home is available for tours and event rentals. Find more information, and loads of interior photos on the official website, linked above.

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