Oldest Historic Town in Every State

Print Email

Source: Thinkstock

31. New Mexico
> Oldest town: Santa Fe
> Year of first settlement: 1607

At an elevation of 7,000 feet, Santa Fe is one of the highest cities in the United States. Santa Fe has always been a capital city. In the early 17th century, conquistador Don Pedro de Peralta established the town as the capital of the Spanish Kingdom of New Mexico. It remained a capital after Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821 and when New Mexico became a U.S. territory in 1846.

Source: Thinkstock

32. New York
> Oldest town: Albany
> Year of first settlement: 1614

Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth were both in Albany at the same time in 1861, shortly after Lincoln was elected president. The Lincolns were staying in Albany on their way to Washington, D.C., and Booth was performing in a play at the city’s Gaiety Theater.

Source: Southern Churchman Co. / Wikimedia Commons

33. North Carolina
> Oldest town: Bath
> Year of first settlement: 1705

Bath was founded by French Protestants from Virginia, and the early settlers struggled to survive epidemics, battles with Native Americans, and piracy. The area around Bath was once the home of the pirate Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard. The buccaneer roamed the Bath environs in the decades after the town was founded.

Source: Andrew Filer from Seattle (ex-Minneapolis) / Wikimedia Commons

34. North Dakota
> Oldest town: Pembina
> Year of first settlement: 1797

Pembina was established as a fur-trading post by the French. The Hudson Bay Company built a new post in 1803 and operated out of Pembina under the assumption that it was located in Canada. However, when the first international boundary marker west of the Great Lakes was placed near Pembina by the U.S. in 1823, putting Pembina in the United States, Hudson Bay Company decamped to what is now Winnipeg.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

35. Ohio
> Oldest town: Martins Ferry
> Year of first settlement: 1779

Martins Ferry was a stop on the Underground Railroad before the Civil War. It is also the birthplace of basketball great John Havlicek and home to William Dean Howells, noted novelist and adviser to Mark Twain and Henry James.