Like many homes in Portsmouth, the origins of the Fernald House are questionable. Sarah Haven Foster's 1876 Portsmouth Guidebook and C. S. Gurney's 1902 Portsmouth . . . Historic and Picturesque claim that Samuel Frost built the home in 1732. According to modern researcher Richard M. Candee in his 2006 edition of Building Portsmouth, an unknown builder constructed the original house, and Joshua Lebby moved it to this lot sometime between 1733 and 1739. The old home has been enlarged and modified over the years, including the addition of the gambrel roof.
Captain Samuel Nichols, a merchant seaman, lived here during the Revolutionary War. The house is named after Captain Daniel Fernald, who married a daughter of Captain Nichols and moved into this home in 1788.
Captain Fernald sailed in merchant ships at the time of the American Revolution. During the War of 1812, he captained the schooner Sally and played cat-and-mouse with British warships as he moved merchandise and armaments along the Atlantic coast between Down East Maine and Boston.
Captain Fernald lived here until he died, an old and respected man, in 1866.
According to a biographical sketch of Charles W. Brewster written by William H. Y. Hackett for the second Rambles About Portsmouth, Captain Fernald was a living historical resource whom Brewster consulted for both of his Rambles About Portsmouth books.
A man named John Lewis Lord lived in this home after Daniel Fernald’s death.
After Portsmouth Preservation, Inc. bought the Fernald House in the late 1960s, George and Erica Dodge restored the home.
I like the two whimsical squirrels with acorns topping fence posts that greet visitors!