The date of construction for this house is unknown. The first record of the property is from 1768, when Captain Peter Shores purchased the estate. Captain Shores and his wife, Sarah Ayers, had six children. One of their daughters, Susannah Shores married Samuel Gardner on December 15, 1782.
Samuel Gardner was the brother of Major William Gardner, who served as Commissary for the Revolutionary Army and became a United States Loan Commissioner after the war. Major Gardner lived in the Wentworth-Gardner House on Mechanic Street.
Samuel and Susannah inherited her parents' home, which became known as the Samuel Gardner house. They had three children:
John Gardner, who inherited this house after his parents died.
Samuel Gardner, who apprenticed with the New Hampshire Gazette and later published the newspaper as a partner in the printing firm of Peirce & Gardner.
Susan Gardner, who married Abraham Wendell, a successful Portsmouth merchant and brother of Jacob Wendell.
The house is easily identifiable as the one in the photograph that appeared in C. S. Gurney's 1902 book, Portsmouth . . . Historic and Picturesque. Both chimneys have been removed, the shutters are gone, and the front entryway has been altered; however, the two windows on the west (right) side are distinctive. The houses on either side are also the same in both photographs.