De Vargas Street House – Santa Fe, New Mexico - Atlas Obscura
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Santa Fe, New Mexico

De Vargas Street House

This southwest-styled home in Santa Fe claims to be the oldest house in America thanks to an ancient bit of foundation. 

Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the De Vargas Street House claims to be the oldest house in the United States thanks to a portion of its foundation that is several hundred years old. 

As a little plaque on the wall outside the front door tells visitors, the west section of the De Vargas Street House is made of pueblo foundations that date back to the 13th century. The original pueblo that stood on the site belonged to a tribe of Native Americans who vacated the site in the early 1400s leaving the pueblo behind. Eventually the spot was resettled by the Spanish who brought Tlaxcalen warriors in tow. The Indian warriors ended up establishing their own neighborhood that became the El Barrio de Analco, but this settlement too was mostly disbanded during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. After retreating during the fighting, the Spanish eventually returned to the area, and by the end of the 19th century Navajo and Apache tribesmen had moved in as well.

Through all of the turmoil, some remnant of that original pueblo has always remained, making the De Vargas Street House a sort of keystone to the history of Santa Fe. Existing for all of its peoples and cultures.   

Currently there is a craft shop and museum inhabiting the space. Even though it has been refurbished, the old western portion of the building still has the dirt floors, low ceilings, and adobe-style walls that it had hundreds of years ago. It may or may not be the oldest house in America, but it would would be hard to find one much more full of history.

Know Before You Go

Alley is one way. Google maps will get you there, but there is also a sign to turn. There are a couple of free parking spaces if they are not already filled.