The Peter Tufts House (formerly and incorrectly known as the Cradock House) is a Colonial American house located at 350 Riverside Avenue, formerly known as Ship Street in Medford, Massachusetts. It is currently thought to have been built between 1677-1678. Some historians consider it to be the oldest all- brick house in the United States.

The house has been called the "fort" and the "garrison house" because of its thick walls and portholes. For many years it was believed that the house was built by Mathew Cradock, one of 35 founding members of the Massachusetts Bay Company who reputedly owned the first wooden toll bridge in America (1632), however, Cradock only owned the land and never actually lived or even visited America. In 1677, Richard Russell of Charlestown sold the land with “one dwelling house and barn” to Mr. Peter Tufts of Charlestown, although a prior agreement may have been made with Tufts Sr. likely already settled on the land. The house was probably built by Peter Tufts Sr. (1628–1702), who sold it to his son, Peter (Captain) Tufts Jr. (1648–1721) in 1680. It is the son for whom the house is named. In 1728, the eastern side was sold to Edward Oakes of Malden. In 1887, General Samuel Lawrence saved the house from demolition when he purchased it as a wedding gift for his niece. The interior was remodeled at this time in the Colonial Revival style. Only the support beams and parts of the staircase were kept intact from the original period. Much of the exterior remains original except the front porch was added between 1889-1900. In 1892, when the City of Medford was incorporated, an image of the house was placed within its city seal. The house was purchased for $9,700 by William Sumner Appleton with donations. He offered it to the Medford Historical Society, however they claimed to be unfit to take care of it at that time. In 1930, ownership was transferred to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England). in 1982, it was purchased by the Medford Historical Society which now maintains the property. Charles Tufts (1781–1876), a descendant of Peter Tufts Sr. would later donate land for the campus of Tufts University.

Building Activity

  • updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator
  • updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via