There are many ways to define when a city was founded. To determine the oldest city in every state, we did our best to remain consistent in defining the founding of a city by the year of its first settlement – when people arrived and established a place.
The unfortunate reality is that many towns that were “founded” were home to Native American communities dating back thousands of years, the members of which were expelled or wiped out by colonizing settlers who claimed the land as their own.
The history of colonial America often erases their stories, but people like Matika Wilbur, a photographer who set out to photograph members of every Native American tribe, are doing important work to keep them alive. History isn’t always pretty, but it is fascinating. Keep reading to learn about the oldest city in every state.