Monday, July 11, 2011

John Paul Jones House

The mansion known as the John Paul Jones House is located at 43 Middle Street, on the northeast corner of Middle and State Streets. This house is sometimes referred to as the Samuel Lord House.

Captain Gregory Purcell, a Portsmouth merchant and mariner, built the home in 1758. After he died, his widow boarded guests in the large house. 

John Paul Jones rented a room during 1781 and 1782 while supervising construction of the 24-gun warship, USS America. When completed, the America was immediately given to France to compensate them for the accidental loss of their warship Magnifique after it ran aground in Boston Harbor, puportedly due to an error by the harbor master.

The vintage black & white picture is from the 1921 book, An Architectural Monograph on Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The shutters have been removed, but otherwise the house has barely changed.

Incidentally, the brick building in the background on the left is the same in both pictures. Formerly the North Church Parish, built in 1876, it is now home to the Salvation Army in Portsmouth.

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