There are many unusual houses in the United States, but there’s only onde made entirely out of the newspaper. Yes, you’ve heard it right, newspaper. And before you start thinking that the house is new and that it will not last, you’ll e surprised to know that the house is almost 100 years old. So where can you find this house? It is located along Pigeon Hill Street in Rockport, Massachusetts. It has been standing there since 1922 when its owner Elis F. Stenman built it.
An engineer by profession, Stenman but other things out of newspaper, but the house is his greatest creation. Many of you are probably wondering if Stenman lived in the house. He did live in it for two years. And when he died in 1942, the house was turned into a museum. Now, it’s open to the public and a worthwhile destination if you are in the Rockport area. So what motivated Stenman to create a house entirely of the newspaper? No one knows. Even Stenman’s relatives and descendants are in the dark about what drove the engineer to create such a unique house.
There’s one theory, though. Maybe Stenman was looking for cheap building materials. Keep in mind that the house was built during the time of the Great Depression. It’s also possible that Stenman loves to create stuff out of paper. One can consider him as the ultimate arts and crafts and DIY guy. Even the glue that he used to stick the layers of newspapers together is homemade. It is made of flour, water, and apple rind. To this day, no one has ever achieved was Stenman was able to do. But the most significant thing about Stenman’s newspaper house is that it is still standing up to this day. Many houses made of concrete or wood don’t even last that long.
What people do know is that the construction of the house started like any other. Timber frames were erected, and then the roof was added, followed by shingle roofs. But when it came to the walls, Stenman was struck with a genius idea: to use layers upon layer of newspaper for the walls. The paper wall was coated with varnish, so from afar, Stenman’s house looks like an ordinary log cabin.
The walls are not the only thing made of newspaper in the house. Everything inside is built from glued layers of newspaper and magazine pages. The tables, chairs, bookshelves, and even the clock and curtains inside the house are made of newspaper. There’s also a newspaper-covered piano. The house has a fireplace, but it is made of bricks. All in all, it was estimated that Stenman used more than 100,000 newspapers to build the house.
Some of the newspaper house layers are starting to peel off, which is understandable for a 90 plus year-old house made of newspapers. But even the exposed pages have become an attraction as visitors like to read them and get a glimpse of history.
The Paper House is located in the Pigeon Cove neighborhood of Rockport, Massachusetts—there are signs directing visitors to the house from the main road but they are small. The house is open daily for self-guided tours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., April through October.
Address: 52 Pigeon Hill St, Rockport, MA 01966, United States