House of the Week: 1700s Colonial in Gloucester, MA

11 Lincoln St, Gloucester MA
For sale: $399,000

Around the time this home was built in the mid-1600s, the Anglo population in the colonies was around 275,000 and Boston was the largest city (pop. 7,000) with New York next (pop. 5,000). Homes like this one — Colonial-style — dotted the countryside and had huge fireplaces providing the only source of heat.

Massachusetts real estate agent Kristal Pooler says she’s represented old houses many, many times but the Haskell House listing is unusual, and not just because it’s on the National Historic Register of Homes.

“You can get old houses, but a lot of it has not been maintained as being an old house,” Pooler explained. “I’ve been selling antiques for a long time and I’ve never seen a house this pure.  I was very excited to have this listing.”

Settled on a little over two acres, the Haskell House appears nearly unchanged from 200-plus years of age. Two enormous, working walk-in fireplaces flank the living areas, and beams criss-cross the ceilings. According to historic documents about the home, it is one of the few forms of “plank and frame” constructed homes remaining in New England.

Situated on a salt marsh at the end of a winding country road, the Gloucester home listing reports the building was constructed in 1700, however, Pooler says documents have listed the home’s building date anywhere from 1650 to 1715.

The 3,045-square-foot home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms in the two-story structure. Despite the “pure” look of the structure, the Haskell House has had some significant renovations in the past five years, including a new heating system and pipes, an updated kitchen and new master bath.

But as Pooler explains, with this house it’s not about the updates.

“They have done a lot of ‘light’ things to preserve the house,” she said. “But it’s almost not [about] what has been done, but what hasn’t been done.”

According to Zillow’s mortgage calculator, a monthly payment on the home will be $1,472, assuming a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year-mortgage.