The Wooden Houses of the American Colony in Jaffa, Eretz Israel

  • Nili Liphschitz Tel-Aviv University
  • Gideon Biger Tel-Aviv University
Keywords: George Adams, American Colony, Wooden Houses, American Wood


During the second half of the 19th century, individuals and groups of Christians arrived in the Holy Land to settle and begin a new life. Among them was an American group headed by George Adams, which arrived during 1866-7 and established the American Colony in Jaffa. The newcomers brought with them parts of wooden houses, including logs, windows, and doors, in order to save time in building. After two disastrous years, most of the group members abandoned the whole idea and returned to the United States, while their houses were sold to the German Templars. Some of these houses, believed to be original, still exist today.                                      Identification of the wood used in the construction of some of the houses proved that the building materials were made of several northeastern American trees: eastern white pine, larch, hemlock, and beech. These findings support the historical written records, and show that the German additions to the original constructions were also made of American wood.


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