Friday, June 8, 2012

Joseph Haven House

The Joseph Haven House, also known as the White House, is located at 229 Pleasant Street, on the southeast corner of Pleasant and Richmond Streets.

This area was once an orchard belonging to Reverend Doctor Samuel Haven, who lived almost across the street in what is now Haven Park. During the 1790s, Reverend Haven's son, Joseph, bought an old gambrel-roofed house that had been built here, moved it next door, and completed this large home around 1801.

A successful merchant, Joseph Haven was one of the founding members of the Federal Fire Society of Portsmouth when it was organized in 1789.

He was married to Eliza Wentworth.
They insured their mansion in 1803 with the Marine and Fire Insurance Company that incorporated after the Great Parade Fire of 1802.

Following the death of his first wife,
he married Sarah Appleton, who inherited the house when Joseph passed away in 1829.

Later, John W. Foster, popularly known as Deacon Foster, lived here. Deacon Foster was a bookseller who came to Portsmouth from Boston and became a prominent member of the Stone Church.

The old photograph is from C. S. Gurney's 1902 book, Portsmouth . . . Historic and Picturesque. Mine was taken from the exact same spot, but foliage now blocks the view. I will try to re-take the photograph next fall in hopes that the building is less obscured.

Joseph Haven's home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has now been divided into four condominium units.

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