GLOUCESTER, Mass. — Edward Haraden is not only recognized as the first settler in Gloucester’s northern village of Annisquam, but the house he built in 1657 is believed one of the oldest in the city.

The Haraden House, at what is now 14 Leonard St., is up for sale, placed on the block by the family of the late Norma Rogers Andrews, who lived there for decades prior to her death in June 2015 at the age of 91.

Betsy Bullock, the Realtor marketing the property through By-The-Sea Sotheby’s of Beverly Farms, acknowledges there are no deed restrictions stopping a potential buyer from renovating or even razing the 2 1/2-story house. She said she’s touting it for its history and a house that deserves to remain in place.

The home is the birthplace of Nathaniel Haraden, sailing master of the USS Constitution, known as “Old Ironsides.” And according to Prudence Fish, a member of Gloucester’s Historic District Commission and an expert on the old houses of America’s Oldest Seaport, it is believed to be one of the two oldest houses still standing within the city – the other is a home on Essex Avenue.

“I’ve been telling people it’s just like the Constitution, it needs preservation,” Bullock said. “I really do believe it’s a chance to buy and own a piece of history.”

The house has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1991, and is as much historic for the people who lived in it as for parts of the structure itself.

The home has been expanded and altered over the years; rooms were added onto both ends as early as the 1700s. Records from the city assessor’s office show the house as it now stands dating to 1875. The property is assessed by the city at just over $1.2 million, and is on the market for $1.3 million, Bullock confirmed, with an open house planned for Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.

“The framing of the early part of the house is covered by later layers,” Fish said, “and the first part of the house is rather small.”

That said, Fish emphasized that she hopes that any potential buyer will appreciate the house’s meaning to Gloucester and its heritage. She also noted that one clear sign of its architectural history is the distinctive steep pitch to the house’s roof.

“That was the style of the 17th century, and that’s one of its more visible features,” she said.

Bullock said she’s become fascinated by the house’s historical ties to its residents – most notably Nathaniel Haraden, who was sailing master aboard the USS Constitution during its 1804 sea battles with the Barbary pirates (including in the Second Battle of Tripoli Harbor) and who also led a refurbishing of the Constitution to prepare it for its role in the War of 1812.

The recognition of the house on the National Register of Historic Places does not carry some of the protections or development limitations other designations include.

“That can be an issue, but these houses are part of our heritage,” she said. “This house absolutely deserves to be preserved; we can only hope that, when the time comes, any buyer will recognize that, too.”

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