The Northeast and New England are home to some of the most historic estates in the country. If you drive through almost any small town in New England you'll notice houses that proudly wear signs giving the year the home was built, with many dating back to the 1700s. Many of these homes have fortunately been preserved and opened to the public as museums.
The area isn't just full of old colonials, either. Mansions in Rhode Island, estates in Vermont, tenement buildings in New York City, and even a few modern feats of architecture in Connecticut sprawl across the region. Here's a list of 10 must-see homes-turned-museums in the Northeast:
1. Mark Twain House, Connecticut
In 1873, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) and his recently wed wife, Olivia began work on their home in Hartford, Connecticut. Twain would go on to live what he described as the happiest and most productive years of his life. The museum holds many artifacts from Twain and his family, including his last pair of spectacles.
2. The Glass House, Connecticut
The Glass House is a 49-acre experiment in modern architecture that lies in New Canaan, Connecticut. The structures on the estate were built in 1949 with industrial age materials like steel and glass (the main house being comprised of glass).
3. The House of Seven Gables, Massachusetts
Salem, Massachusetts is mainly associated with the Salem Witch Trials and various pop-culture references that tie it to the supernatural. Most of the witch trials of 1692 involved residents of neighboring Danvers (then Salem Village). The House of Seven Gables was built by a Salem sea captain named John Turner in 1668.
4. Old Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts
As its name suggests, Old Sturbridge village is a reconstructed village that depicts an average New England village in the 1830s. It includes a school, country store, bank, a working farm, and several homes.
5. The Breakers, Rhode Island
The Breakers was constructed as the summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II in 1893. It is a gilded age mansion on the ocean that represents the opulence and grandeur of its time.
6. Hildene, Vermont
The home of the Lincoln family built in Manchester, Vermont in 1905. It was constructed by Robert Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln and was excluseively the home of Lincoln decendents until 1975.
7. Jackson House, New Hampshire
The Jackson House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire is the oldest wood-framed house in New Hampshire. It was built ca. 1664 and has post-Medieval English architectural motifs.
8. Castle Tucker, Maine
Castle Tucker was built in 1807 in coastal Wiscasset, Maine. Visitors are offered a glimpse into the lives of the Tuckers, a well-known shipping family. Economic difficulties meant the home was seldom renovated and one of the most well-preserved Victorian era homes in the region.
9. Tenement Museum, New York
While many homes on the list tell the story of well-to-do families, the NYC tenement museum takes visitors through a multi-floor tenement building that housed over 7,000 working class immigrants.
10. Lyndhurst, New York
Lyndhurst, an estate overlooking the Hudson river in Tarrytown, New York, is an American Gothic revival mansion. It housed many prominent figures including a a New York City mayor and a railroad tycoon.