Friday, November 9, 2012

Marden-Abbott House and Store

The Marden-Abbott House, sometimes called simply the Abbott House or 'The Little Corner Store', is located at Strawbery Banke Museum, on the south side of Jefferson Street, between Atkinson Street and Horse Lane.

A mast maker named John Marden constructed this building in the 1720s. Over the years, there have been many alterations to the original house. Not very much is known about the home before the Abbotts moved in.

Portsmouth resident Walter Samuel Abbott was a worker for the railroad. He married Bertha Hiltz, a laundress, in 1896, and they had four children: three daughters and an intellectually disabled boy. 

When they purchased this home on Jefferson Street in 1919, the girls had married and moved out, and only their son lived with them. The Abbotts immediately reconfigured the house, creating a “Mom and Pop Shop”, a small, general goods and grocery store that took up the right side of the first floor. They lived on the left side of the house, which had a separate entrance, and the second floor. After Mr. Abbott died in 1938, Mrs. Abbott operated the store through the difficult rationing years of World War II. Poor health forced her to close 'The Little Corner Store' in 1950, and she passed away in 1959.

These vintage photographs are from a 1961 Natural Park Service study, an Historic American Building Survey (HABS).

Today, the home is another fun and fascinating exhibit at Strawbery Banke Museum, where visitors can see vintage signs and examples of 1950s goods. The adjoining home holds appliances and furnishings from the same era.

No comments:

Post a Comment