Warner House

We stalked this house in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for a few hours hoping the driver of this truck would pull away and stop marring our view. But… no such luck. So we popped Snickers on a Stick in front to try and take the edge off.

According to Warnerhouse.org: “Built c.1716 for ambitious immigrant Capt. Archibald Macpheadris, the Warner House is one of the oldest urban brick residences in New England, boasting rich architectural features of early-Georgian style, including old growth-wood paneling and fine moldings. Ascend the center staircase and encounter four unique colonial wall murals, considered the oldest extant wall murals in the country. The murals offer a glimpse into the mind of Macpheadris. 

In 1760, surviving daughter Mary Macpheadris Osborne married Portsmouth merchant Jonathan Warner, and the house experienced extensive renovations to reflect the refined tastes of the Portsmouth elite. Throughout the 19th century, the family descendants (Sherburnes, Penhallows, Whipples) maintained the house, and by the later half of the century, the family used the Warner House as a summer home. 

“Those later occupants treated the house as a shrine to their ancestors and created a private museum of sorts.  Evelyn Sherburne, affectionately known as “Aunt Evvy,” even offered tours of the house to certain known people.  After her death, the Warner House Association saved the house from possible demolition in March of 1932 by raising the necessary funds and purchasing the empty house.  That summer, the newly-formed museum opened to the public. Over the years, much of the family furnishings have returned—including family portraits and handsome, 18th-century, Portsmouth-made furniture.  

Seasonally, the Warner House offers guided tours on a first-come, first-serve basis, no appointment necessary.  Knowledgeable guides will lead you through family-furnished rooms depicting different time periods of occupancy.”

It is a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places.

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