York's local historical society oversees the bulk of the town's collection of historic buildings, some of which date to the early 18th century, and most of which are astonishingly well preserved or restored. Tickets are available to eight Old York-operated properties in all; one good place to start is at the barn-red Old Gaol , which still has its (now-musty) dungeons and was built in 1719 as a jail to hold criminals, debtors, and other miscreants. It's the oldest surviving public building in the United States. Next, cross the street to the yellow Jefferds Tavern, near the old burying ground. Inside, changing exhibits document various facets of early life. A 10-minute walk along Lindsay Road brings you to Hancock Wharf, next door to the George Marshall Store. (Also nearby is the Elizabeth Perkins House, with its well-preserved Colonial Revival interiors.) Finally, just down the hill from the jail is the Emerson-Wilcox House, built in the mid-1700s and periodically added onto through the years; it's a virtual catalog of architectural styles and early decorative arts.
- Brian Kevin