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Boston’s oldest house, the James Blake House, sits on Dorchester’s Columbia Road, about 400 yards from its original location on what is now Massachusetts Avenue. The house is one of only a few examples of West England country framing in the United States. Most of the early colonial homes in Dorchester, such as the Pierce House, were built by housewrights from the south and east of England, where brick and plaster building predominated. However, the Blake House was built in the manner of the homes of western England, which had long used heavy timber-framing methods. nEllen Berkland performed an archaeological dig and found a huge number of artifacts and a truncated shell midden, providing evidence of a Native American presence at the site.

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