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The History of Saltbox Houses

Saltbox houses are found mostly in New England, especially in the southern and coastal areas of Maine, as well as in Connecticut and Rhode Island. The style originated during the 17th and 18th centuries in America and is named after the wooden salt containers commonly used during the Colonial period. Saltbox houses typically feature a one-sided, sloped roof, a simple colonial façade, and a symmetrical brick chimney. They started out as additions to two-story homes — a quick, economical way to add living space to the back of an existing structure — and then evolved into an actual purpose-built home style with their characteristic sloped roofs. These sloped roofs didn’t just allow for additional living space, but also encouraged snow to melt more quickly and helped deflect strong New England winds. While the style has its roots in Colonial America, it remains a popular type of home today, particularly in the New England region.

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