Friday, September 27, 2013

Kennard House

The Kennard House was once located on the northwest corner of Islington and Tanner Streets.

This old building that stood next to the Remick House was constructed around the year 1700 as a public house known as the Eagle Tavern. The Kennard House name originates from a later owner, Oliver P. Kennard, who probably lived here in the mid-1800s.

Very little is known about the old Kennard House, except for an event that occurred during the “Great Snow” of April, 1717. The storm is reported to have dropped eight feet of snow in Portsmouth. As luck would have it, a woman who resided in this home went into labor, and a doctor was summoned. How times have changed: imagine a doctor making a house call at all, let alone in the middle of a blizzard. When the physician and an accompanying nurse arrived at the house, the snow was piled so high that they were forced to climb through a bedroom window to get inside.

The vintage photograph above was published in C. S. Gurney's 1902 book, Portsmouth . . . Historic and Picturesque. My recent photo shows the controversial new business and residential condo building that now occupies this Islington block.

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