Design Architecture

15 Saltbox Houses Worth Their Salt

Popular in 17th- and 18th-century America for its ability to accommodate large families, the saltbox house features a catslide roof that extends below the eaves, creating one story that juts out on the back of the home and two or more on the front. The genius of the design is that any ordinary colonial home could be quickly and affordably upgraded to a saltbox simply by adding a leaning rafter to the rear. Specimens of this type of residence still stand to this day. Scroll through to see some of the most iconic examples of saltboxes in the country.

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John Adams Birthplace in Quincy, Massachusetts via James Walsh

October 30, 1735, marked a historic day in U.S. history: the birth of our second president, John Adams, in this humble abode on a six-acre plot in rural Quincy. Adams lived in the two-and-a-half story wooden saltbox home with chocolate-colored clapboard siding until he tied the knot with Abigail Smith in 1764. He and his bride moved into the house right next door, where eventually John Quincy Adams, our nation’s sixth president, was born.

Related: Winter Retreats of Presidents Past and Present

Ephraim Hawley House in Trumbull, Connecticut

Wikimedia Commons via Tomticker5

This cheerful dwelling situated in the historic village of Nichols in Trumbull didn’t start off as a saltbox home, but rather as a Cape Cod-style cottage. Built by farmer Ephraim Hawley in 1690, the house was expanded with the addition of two lean-tos (one in 1840 and another around the time of the Civil War) across the back of the house, giving the structure its current saltbox silhouette.

Related: 13 Homes from the Original Colonies That Still Stand Today

Hoxie House in Sandwich, Massachusetts via Jasperdo

Reverend John Smith built this saltbox home and lived there with his wife and their 13 children during the final quarter of the 17th century. The dwelling boasts such historic architectural elements as gunstock posts to support the walls and pumpkin pine beams from Maine. The house earned its name from its subsequent owner, whaling captain Abraham Hoxie, before it was acquired and restored by the small town of Sandwich in the 1950s.

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Macy-Colby House in Amesbury, Massachusetts

Wikimedia Commons via Daderot

Built by Amesbury town clerk Thomas Macy circa 1649, this expansive plum-colored saltbox was sold to sawmill owner Anthony Colby in 1654 and remained in the Colby family for nine generations. Now a house museum open for private tours, Macy-Colby House earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.

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Edward Waldo House in Scotland, Connecticut

Wikimedia Commons via Cathy Cline

Sheathed in clapboard and topped with a gable roof, this saltbox home was occupied by six generations of the Waldo family over the course of 250 years before it was passed on to a local historical society. Among the notable names who called it home were clergyman Daniel Waldo and artist Samuel Lovett Waldo.

Related: The 14 Best Governor’s Mansions in America

Hyland House Museum in Guilford, Connecticut

Wikimedia Commons via Versageek

Although George Hyland acquired the land on which this property was built in 1657, it was not until 1713 that his son-in-law, Isaac Parmele, completed construction on Hyland House. The five-bay-wide red saltbox house was restored by the architectural historian Norman Isham in 1917 and opened to the public as a house museum in 1918.

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Glebe House in Woodbury, Connecticut

Wikimedia Commons via LisaHendricks

Ecclesiastical enthusiasts can plug 49 Hollow Road into their GPS to navigate to the site of the election of the first American Episcopal bishop in 1783. The hallowed event was held in secret at this two-and-a-half-story wood-framed saltbox, occupied at the time by Woodbury rector Reverend John Rutgers Marshall and his wife, Sarah.

Related: 18 Small Towns with Strange Claims to Fame

Jethro Coffin House in Nantucket, Massachusetts via Jimmy Emerson, DVM

A wedding gift to Jethro Coffin, the grandson of Nantucket proprietor Tristram Coffin, this one-and-a-half-story saltbox on Sunset Hill Road is the oldest home in Nantucket. Though there have been a few notable brushes with disaster—a fire in the 1860s and a lightning storm in 1987—the house has been restored and maintained by the Nantucket Historical Association, which acquired it in 1923. 

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Samuel Huntington Birthplace in Scotland, Connecticut

Wikimedia Commons via Magicpiano

Students of history will know that Samuel Huntington served as a delegate to the Continental Congress and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but few know that the distinguished statesman was born in this very saltbox home in 1731. The two-and-a-half-story dwelling with a Georgian-style chimney still stands on its original foundation on a 32-acre farm dotted with stately trees and abandoned roads.

Related: Our 12 Favorite Farmhouses Across America

Captain Ebenezer Fiske House in Marlborough, Connecticut

Zillow Digs home in Marlborough, CT

Built circa 1740, this saltbox, formerly the home of Ebenezer Fiske, is situated on a six-acre estate and still bears architectural relics of its colonial past, from a formal parlor to a beehive oven. It is said that the nearby well is where James Hayward of the Minutemen received his mortal wound after a surprise attack by the British during the Revolutionary War.

Related: 17 Parts of Your Home You Never Knew Had Names

The Dudley House in Madison, Connecticut

Zillow Digs home in Madison, CT

This idyllic three-bedroom saltbox home, believed to be the oldest in Madison, was once a popular tavern frequented by travelers on the Boston Post Road. George Washington himself enjoyed lunch at the 2,241-square-foot property owned by the locally prominent Dudley family.

Related: You’ll Never Believe What These 6 Amazing Homes Used to Be

Sunny Saltbox in Norwich, Connecticut

Zillow Digs home in Norwich, CT

This two-story saltbox in Norwich stands out from its bucolic surroundings both for its mustard-colored exterior and its rich past. Built in 1670, the 1,138-square-foot property on a lush two-acre lot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been so painstakingly maintained that it received the Preservation Award by the Historic District Commission in 1998.

Related: 15 100-Year-Old Houses That Haven’t Aged a Day

Contemporary Saltbox in Underhill, Vermont

Zillow Digs home in Underhill, VT

Despite contemporary features, including a two-story garage and a tiled mudroom, this modern 3,281-square-foot residence, built in 2005, perfectly re-creates the charm of a classic saltbox with its catslide roof and five-bay-wide facade.

Related: 11 Vintage Houses That Came from a Catalog

Stone Saltbox in Pawling, New York

Zillow Digs home in Pawling, NY

This three-story saltbox, located just off of State Highway 55, beautifully balances its rugged stone exterior with a warm and intimate wood-clad interior decked out with three stone fireplaces. Constructed in 1776, this is one of a small subset of saltboxes that are as old as America!

Related: 10 U.S. Towns That Are Older Than America

Sinuous Saltbox in Westborough, Massachusetts

Zillow Digs home in Westborough, MA

Stepping into this modern take on a colonial classic is like walking back in time. Its old-timey elements, including bay windows and a wood stove, belie the home’s true age of only 32 years.

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