Tour the Farley Garrison House

Originally built in 1665 in Billerica, Mass., this saltbox garrison-style residence is believed to be one of the oldest homes in the country. It’s been masterfully rebuilt – along with several other period structures – in Gilmanton, N.H.
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August 17, 2015
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Home Exterior

Originally built in 1665 in Billerica, Mass., this Pilgrim-era saltbox garrison home had remained in the same family for 12 generations. Believed to be one of the oldest homes in the country, it was carefully dismantled in 2000, stored and subsequently moved to this breathtaking hilltop property after being purchased by Gilmanton resident, Douglas Towle.


At the front of the main house, a bump-out foyer showcases the original stairway, leaded glass windows and a double-thick barricade door.

Great Room

The lean-to portion of the home was the site of the original kitchen, complete with a six-foot-high fireplace, gunstock corners and brick floors.

Birthing Room

As in most homes of this period, just past the kitchen is a small borning room. While you may not be inclined to use the room for its originally intended purpose, it could be a cozy spot for reading or napping.


The modern country kitchen has been updated with a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a Viking gas stove, yet still retains a period look with soapstone sinks and cabinetry made from hand-planed panels.

Dining Room

The first-floor garrison room currently serves as an elegant dining room with its own fireplace and original, never-painted paneling and hard-pine flooring.

Bedroom and Bathroom

On the first floor, what was once the parlor now serves as a master bedroom. Upstairs, two additional bedrooms come with fireplaces, original unpainted wide-pine flooring and charming baths tucked under the slope of the shed roof.


Besides the main residence, several additional buildings were reconstructed board-by-board on the 12-acre property, including this 1800s barn.

Corn Crib

This rustic building was once used to dry and store corn. Slatted walls allowed air to circulate, while the elevated design protected the corn from pests.

School Exterior

Possibly the most charming building on the property is the 1700s one-room schoolhouse, surrounded by a picturesque stone wall.

School Interior

Owner Douglas Towle thought this space would make a charming guest cottage or studio for whomever makes this property their home.

Water Tower

The top of the water tower offers breathtaking views of the 12-acre property.

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