Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Montgomery-Eldredge House

The Montgomery-Eldredge House, also known as the H. Fisher Eldredge House and now called the Merrimac Arms, is located at 10 Merrimac Street, on the southwest corner of Merrimac Street and Miller Avenue.

D. H. (David Henry) Montgomery purchased this empty lot in 1880 and promptly built a modest home here. Montgomery was the proprietor of a successful music store, opened in 1862, that dealt in pianos, organs, sheet music, violins, guitars, banjos, and other musical goods. The store was located in the Exchange Block on Pleasant Street.

After Montgomery's death five years later, H. Fisher Eldredge bought the property. 

Eldredge was the second son of Heman Eldredge, one of the founders of Portsmouth's Eldredge Brewing Company. Patrons of Portsmouth, the wealthy Eldredge family purchased a parcel of land from Ichabod Goodwin’s heirs in 1887 and presented it to the city of Portsmouth. This became Goodwin Park.

H. Fisher Eldredge served one term in the NH State Legislature, in 1889, and later succeeded his elder brother, Marcellus Eldredge, as President and Treasurer of the family's thriving beer business. Married with two children, Nettie and Sadie, he improved the new property for his family in 1887. Later additions, made from 1899-1902, included a porte cochere and the two-story semicircular bay to the right of the front door. He also enlarged the grounds and added a large stable, tennis courts, and a garden with an ornamental pond.

H. Fisher Eldredge lived here until his death in 1919.

The vintage photograph above of H. Fisher Eldredge's mansion appeared in C. S. Gurney's 1902 book, Portsmouth . . . Historic and Picturesque. Today, this property is a multi-family home known as the Merrimac Arms.


  1. Thank you so much for this information. I'm a current resident and have been trying to learn more about the property. This was really great to read.

  2. Thank you! This is very interesting for me and my brothers; when we were growing up in the 1970s, our grandparents lived on Miller Avenue and we thought that Merrimac Arms was the closest thing we knew to a haunted house! Now as an adult and after reading your posting, I can see its stately qualities and I can appreciate the interesting history.

    - Judd