Friday, May 4, 2012

Reverend Samuel Haven House

Reverend Doctor Samuel Haven’s home was located on the south side of Pleasant Street, midway between Edwards and Livermore Streets, in what is now Haven Park.

Samuel Haven was originally from Framingham, Massachusetts and educated at Harvard. His popularity as a preacher brought him invitations from parishes in Brookline and Portsmouth. He chose our South Parish, moved to Portsmouth, and built this house on Pleasant Street in 1751. He was ordained as the minister of the South Church, located where the South Meeting House stands today, on May 6, 1752.

At about this time, he married his first wife, Mehitable Appleton, and they had nine children over the next fifteen years. A year after Mehitable died in 1777, Reverend Haven married a widow named Margaret Marshall. Together, they had an additional six children.

Reverend Haven passed away on March 3, 1806 at the age of 79. His wife, Margaret Haven, attended him on his deathbed, and then she also died a few hours later.


The house to the right of Reverend Haven's home in this 1902 photograph was built in 1799 by Edward Parry, a merchant originally from Wales. Edward Parry is best remembered for almost starting a Portsmouth Tea Party. Six months after the Boston Tea Party, in June 1774, he received twenty-seven chests of tea from Halifax. He immediately returned them untouched in protest of the British Tea Act. After Parry received another thirty chests of tea in September, patriotic Portsmouth residents were so outraged that he was forced to send these back to Halifax as well.

A provision of Samuel Haven's will stipulated that when the last member of his family died, his house was to be razed, and the land and any buildings between Edwards and Livermore Street were to be purchased for the creation of a public park. Accordingly, in 1898 his daughters gave the town $25,000 for the creation and future maintenance of Haven Park. Edward Parry's house was moved to Parrott Street.

The General Fitz John Porter Statue was erected in 1906.


 

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