The Peter Tufts House on Riverside Avenue in Medford dates from the early 1680s, and is thought to be one of the oldest brick houses in America. The Medford Historic Society and Museum has owned it since 1982, and announced on Tuesday that it was putting the Colonial American up for sale.
Don't fret, though: A statement from John Andersen, president of the Medford society, assures buffs, preservationists, and others that any sale would not affect the aged structure:
The Peter Tufts House is NOT THREATENED in any way by this decision. When MHSM purchased the property, the deed included a permanent preservation restriction administered by Historic New England. The property cannot be subdivided or demolished. The entire exterior and many of the interior features are protected by the deed restrictions.
As for why the society-slash-museum is selling the house at all, it's because it's in apparent structural decline. A couple lived there for 34 years as caretakers in exchange for minimal rent. They moved out in 2013, and the house was rented "on a month by month basis to several responsible individuals," according to Andersen's statement.
Nevertheless: "Although the basic mechanical systems are safe and functional, a number of other repairs are needed that are beyond our ability to fund and manage." Thus the sale. No word yet on an asking price, but we're talking serious bragging rights here.
- Medford Historical Society to Sell Peter Tufts House [Transcript]