Do you love traveling out of your way to visit the quirkiest, strangest attractions you can find? Then we have just the side trip for you on your next trip to Boston.
Just an hour northeast of Boston, you’ll find a quirky house in Rockport, Mass. Rather than using traditional building materials like stone, wood or concrete, Rockport’s Paper House is made of just that: paper.
What started as a hobby in 1922 is now one of the country’s quirkiest travel finds. Mechanical engineer Elis F. Stenman built this two-bedroom summer home from old newspapers, which were thought to be great insulation. Taking paper mache to a whole new level, the Paper House was meticulously built by pasting around 100,000 newspapers with a homemade glue of water, apple peels and flour. The walls are about an inch thick, which converts into 215 newspaper sheets.
It’s not just the walls that are made of newspaper, either. All of the furniture within the one-story Paper House is also made of newspaper, including chairs, a desk, a grandfather clock, curtains, bookshelves, lamps and cabinets. In fact, the only two items in the home that aren’t made of paper are the grand piano and the fireplace, but rest assured, both are covered in enough varnished newspaper to fit the home’s paper theme.
The house continues to be a unique testament to early 20th century history, too. As the decades pass, the outer layers of those 215 sheets have slowly begun to peel back, revealing tidbits of news and history with every layer. A visit to the Paper House is like reading through the news archives of the 1920s and ’30s, where you can pick up all sorts of interesting tidbits just by reading the walls and furniture.
Learn more about this quirky travel find on the Rockport Paper House website.
(Main image: Danielle Walquist Lynch)