How well do you know your U.S. history? It might have been awhile since your eighth-grade civics class, so we're giving you a brush-up on Colonial events with a real estate twist this Independence Day. From homes of Declaration signers to estates near Revolutionary War battlefields, we're touring 13 historic homes from the 13 colonies.
Virginia claims the honor as the first colony and the site of the first successful English settlement. This Urbanna home was built as a tavern more than 100 years after the colony was established. Urbanna was once a significant seaport, and this tavern hosted a number of passing dignitaries, including founding father Patrick Henry, who famously declared “Give me liberty or give me death!”
138 Baker Ave., Concord, Mass.
For sale: $985,000
The home of Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims’ Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts held some of the earliest European settlements. This home -- the Hosmer Homestead -- is located in Concord, one of the sites of the Revolutionary War’s first battle in 1775. Undoubtedly the residents of the Hosmer Homestead were witnesses to the battle and “the shot heard ’round the world.”
Although a separate colony, New Hampshire was joined to Massachusetts and ruled by one governor for many years leading up to the Revolutionary War. This small state was significant in moving the U.S. toward constitutional government; as the ninth state to ratify it, its vote put the Constitution into effect. This 18th-century farm is one of many historic properties in the neighborhood of Taunton Hill in Andover and is a restored Federal style building.
As royal colonies under the British empire, governors of each colony were established by the king. This home in Finksburg was built for one of Maryland’s first royal governors. The stone home sits on 45 untouched acres northeast of Baltimore.
Originally known as River Colony, Connecticut was another colony primarily established by Puritans. This Essex property for sale contains not just one 18th-century home but three separate houses joined together by an expansive lawn.
The smallest of the U.S. states was also one of the first colonies to declare itself independent from British rule. The small but mighty state is home to this Cape Cod-style home with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and attached garage.
Delaware was not only one of the 13 colonies but was also the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. This clapboard-shingled house for sale in “The First State” sits across the street from the water and has four bedrooms and 2.5 baths in 3,000 square feet of living space.
North Carolina was colonized primarily by Virginians steadily moving southward. This Edenton home for sale is one of the oldest in the area. The updated home has water views from its double porches and bay-facing windows.
Following North Carolina’s colonization, explorers migrated farther south along the East Coast, colonizing South Carolina in 1663. This four-story home in Charleston sits in a historically significant area with views of Charleston Harbor.
Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence — some well known, some not quite as recognizable. While you can’t buy Thomas Jefferson’s home, another residence owned by a Declaration signer, the Rev. John Witherspoon, is for sale in New Jersey. The Princeton home was built for him and was completely restored and enlarged by its present owners in 1998.
New York was the site of nearly a third of the Revolutionary War battles. Situated across the Hudson River from the West Point Military Academy, Garrison is home to this barn-turned-modern estate. The 18th-century barn sits on nearly 8 acres of land surrounded by conservation easements.
William Penn, Pennsylvania’s namesake, received land from King Charles II to settle a debt in 1681 and immediately sailed to the New World to set up his colony. Continuing along the historic thread, this townhouse in Philadelphia is also historically significant, as it was first owned by Maj. David Lenox, who fought in the Revolutionary War.
The last colony was founded some 50 years after the other 12 by James Oglethorpe, a prison reformer who wanted to ease crowded British prisons with new ones in the colonies. This home for sale in Cedartown is nothing close to a prison. The elegant plantation-style four-bedroom, three-bath home has formal dining and drawing rooms.