Oldest standing log cabin in America, with Washington-era artifacts included, could be yours… For $2.9 million (£2 million)
The oldest standing log cabin in America, with Washington-era artifacts included, could be yours for a whopping $2.9 million (£2 million).
Harry Rink, 88, and his wife Doris, 75, of Greenwich Township, New Jersey, USA, listed the 375-year-old Nothnagle Log House in June 2017 and ever since have been struggling to find a buyer who fits their unique situation.
The new owner would manage the property, but Harry and Doris would continue living in it and hosting tours. The couple decided on this after having a discussion about what might happen to the house if they die.
The original 16-by-22 structure was built around 1640 using oak logs, with the first addition being constructed around 1730 and another in 1900.
Just across the water from Philadelphia, with the site of the Revolutionary War’s Fort Billings less than two miles away, the homeowners believe that George Washington walked the grounds of their home.
After giving tours to thousands of people a year and making repairs by themselves to preserve the historic landmark, the couple wants to live the rest of their lives without having to worry about the future of the cabin.
Doris said: “People have started asking what’s going to happen to the cabin after we’re gone. We want it to remain an educational tool.
“We know there’s someone out there who wants to buy it. We just haven’t found them yet.
“We’re so happy to live here and we plan to give tours for the rest of our lives.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Washington walked these grounds.”
Christina Huang, the realtor who listed the property, added: “They want to just enjoy the rest of their time there and not have to keep worrying about the upkeep and the future of the home.
“It is going to have to be a buyer who is interested in running it as a tour place, like a company or a university.”
“Thousands of people visit the cabin each year, but no one has been serious about buying yet.”
While the price tag may seem high to many, Huang says it could be worth more.
The realtor does not have any plans to reduce the price.
Christina said: “Because of all the
artifacts and antiques that come with the house, it is probably worth well over $2.9 million.”
These valuables include antique chairs, dressers, chests and tables as well as shoes, hats, plates and bottles from the 17th and 18th centuries.
A lot of these items actually pop up randomly. Harry and Doris still find centuries old artifacts that they didn’t know they had on a typical day.
When Harry is on his tractor in the yard, he winds up finding china that was buried hundreds of years ago.
Doris said: “A lot of things that were buried many years ago have wound up turning up in the yard.”
Christina said: “They find something new in that house every day.
“Every single item in the cabin is an artifact or antique. There is nothing else out there like this place.”
In an effort to stay true to its history, Harry has been doing his own repairs on the house ever since he bought it from his uncle in 1968.
One of his most common ones is mixing clay and mud to fill in the cracks in the original oak logs.
Doris said: “We try to keep it as authentic as possible.
Christina said: “The only reason that place is still standing is because of the efforts of Harry and Doris.”
What Doris really finds fascinating about the property is that it makes her realize how difficult life was in the 17th Century, leading her to truly appreciate what she has now.
The fireplace in their living room was not only used to keep the family warm, but also to cook their meals each day.
Doris also feels that when guests step in her house, it’s almost as if they take a step back in history.
Doris said: “Knowing the history of their day-to-day survival really makes me grateful that we have the life that we have now.
“I think our visitors take a step back in time when they enter our house.
“When they take a step in here, it’s like they’re in a different world. They block out everything else that’s going on in their lives.”