miniroadtrip

8 Of The Oldest Things We Found In New England

History rules! We were amazed at how many of “the oldest ____” we hit during our MINI NOT NORMAL Road Trip. Here’s a round up of some of our favorites.

1. The Flying Horse Carousel

This beautiful antique carousel was built in New York in 1876, and is now the oldest operating carousel in the country. It was originally built for and used by a traveling carnival. In 1879, the carnival’s last stop was in Watch Hill, RI, where the attraction remains today.

Unlike most carousels, the Flying Horse has no wooden platform beneath the horses. Instead, the horses hang from chains. As the carousel spins faster, the horses fly out away from the center of the circle.

In the middle of each ride, a device holding metal rings is lowered for riders to grab at as they pass. The last ring is brass, and whichever rider grabs it, wins a free ride.

2. The White Horse Tavern

The White Horse Tavern in Newport, RI, has been serving up delicious meals since 1673, making it America’s oldest tavern.

3. Boston Common

This beautiful 50 acre park in the heart of Boston dates back to 1634, making it the oldest city park in the country.

4. The Fairbanks House

The Fairbanks House in Dedham, MA, is thought to be the oldest standing timber frame building in North America. Built circa 1636 for Jonathan and Grace Fairebanke and their six children, it was home to eight generations of the Fairbanks family.

“Timber frame” means that this house was built, and stands today, without nails. The wood beams are held together by wooden pegs.

5. The Spring Lake Arcade

Established in 1931 in Burrillville, RI, the Spring Lake Arcade is the country’s oldest operating penny arcade. Read more from our visit to this awesome arcade here.

6. Haven Brothers Dinner

Haven Brothers Diner in Providence, RI, is one of the oldest restaurants on wheels in America. It was founded in 1888 as a horse-drawn lunch wagon, and has been serving delicious burgers and sandwiches ever since.

7. The Paper House

Completed in 1942 after 20 years of construction, the Paper House in Rockport, MA, is the oldest (and perhaps only) house made out of newspaper.

Elis Stenman, a Swedish immigrant and mechanical engineer, built the house (and all of its furniture inside) as a hobby. Elis and his wife, Esther, lived in Cambridge, and the couple purchased the land were the Paper House stands today to use as a summer retreat.

Approximately 100,000 copies of newspapers were used in the construction of the house and furniture. The house’s walls are a half an inch thick and made of 215 sheets of paper. Elis read three newspapers a day, he also received several donations from neighbors and friends.

This clock was built from papers collected by a neighbor. She wrote to each capital city and requested a paper for the project. Each of the then 48 states are represented.

8. The Union Oyster House

The Union Oyster House has been serving up fresh seafood in downtown Boston since 1826 making it America’s oldest operating restaurant.

All photos by Joseph Lin / BuzzFeed

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