The home was built around 1740. The first known owner was Wyseman Claggett, an irascible lawyer who came to Portsmouth in 1758 when he was appointed King’s Attorney. He married Lettice Mitchell (the fiancée of Nathaniel Warner) in 1759, and they lived here until 1761.
Claggett later supported the American independence movement and held the office of New Hampshire’s Solicitor General until 1784.
Blacksmith and whitesmith Noah Parker resided here during the American Revolutionary War years. Parker was a very religious man, and his large home became known as “Noah’s Ark.” Penhallow Street was originally called Ark Street, named after Noah’s Ark. Reverend Parker moved to the Noah Parker House on Market Street around 1784, when he became the first Universalist minister in Portsmouth.
Mrs. Hart lived in the Hart House until she died in 1845 at the age of 99.
The photograph above of Noah’s Ark, which at the time was known as the Hart House, appeared in C. S. Gurney’s 1902 book, Portsmouth . . . Historic and Picturesque. Today, the location is a parking lot.