Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Penhallow House

Penhallow House is located on the east side of Washington Street, halfway between Court Street and Hancock Street.

Samuel Penhallow built this modest saltbox house on the southeast corner of Pleasant and Court Streets around 1750. A greatly respected resident of Portsmouth, he served as the local magistrate and a deacon of the North Church.

Judge Penhallow held court in a small room on the front right (southwest) corner of the building. Guilty offenders were subject to fines, time in the stocks, a number of lashes, or (rarely) hanging. Portsmouth used the town pump, located in the center of Market Square near the intersection with Daniel Street, as their whipping post. The town stocks, where shamed people were confined, stood near the southeast corner of the old North Church.

Samuel Penhallow and his wife, Prudence, kept a small shop in the front left room, opposite the courtroom, where they sold sewing items, snuff, and other sundries. John Paul Jones is said to have visited the store while boarding at the home of Captain Gregory Purcell's widow.
(See John Paul Jones House)

The Reverend Dr. Buckminster, who later owned the Buckminster House on Islington Street, boarded with Deacon Penhallow when he first came to Portsmouth in 1779.

Samuel Penhallow died in this house in 1813 after having lived here for more than 60 years.

The building was moved to Washington Street in 1862. Today the Penhallow House belongs to Strawbery Banke Museum, which is restoring it.

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