Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cotton Tenant House

The Cotton Tenant House, once known as the Ingraham House, is located on the southwest corner of Atkinson and Jefferson Streets, within the boundaries of Strawbery Banke Museum.

The Cottons were an old Portsmouth family who first settled in the area in the mid-1600s. Pasture land owned by the family on the corner of South Street and Sagamore Avenue became the Cotton Burial Ground and later part of the South Cemetery.

Leonard Cotton, a descendant born in 1800, constructed this small dwelling as a rental property around 1835. His own home, known as the Leonard Cotton House, is nearby on Washington Street. 

Leonard began as a skilled cooper – a barrel maker, and later became a prosperous merchant. He used his wealth to purchase and build rental properties in the area. By the time of his death in 1872, his holdings included more than forty properties throughout Portsmouth. 

A son of Leonard Cotton, William Cotton, continued his father's business. One of the new properties he established was the Gookin House in 1878.

These black-and-white photos were taken in 1961 for an Historic American Building Survey (HABS) by the National Park Service.

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