Monday, August 5, 2013

Yeaton House

Yeaton House, the west half of the Winn-Yeaton Connected Houses, is located on the southeast corner of Jefferson Street and Mast Lane, in Strawbery Banke Museum.

Thales G. Yeaton, a Portsmouth trader, purchased this large lot in 1794, when he was 24-years-old. Within two weeks, he sold the east side of the lot to his brother-in-law, Timothy Winn III, who was thirty years old and also employed as a trader. 

The two men immediately began building their adjoining houses, which were probably completed in 1795. 

As a trader, Yeaton protested the Jay’s Treaty, a controversial trade agreement between the United States and Great Britain. He joined a group of demonstrators who peacefully marched through the streets of Portsmouth, including Market Square, in September 1795. That evening, an unruly mob burned effigies and smashed windows downtown, and all of the afternoon marchers, including Thales Yeaton, were ordered to appear in court in Exeter. He had nothing to do with the mob vandalism, however, so all of the charges against him were dropped. 

Later in life, he ran a successful tobacconist shop on State Street and became a real estate speculator.

Like many Portsmouth homes of the period, the Yeaton House was built with a small shop in one of the front rooms. A later owner was also a trader, named Joseph Amazeen, and his wife, Lydia.

The black-and-white photographs above are courtesy of the Library of Congress Digital Collections and were taken in 1961 for an Historic American Buildings Survey. As you can tell from my 2013 update shots, the Yeaton-end of the Winn-Yeaton Connected Houses has not been restored. 

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