Monday, December 15, 2014

Folsom-Salter House

The Folsom-Salter House is located at 95 Court Street, on the north side opposite the intersection of Court and Rogers Street. It originally stood on the south side of Court Street, across from the intersection with Chestnut Street.

The Folsom-Salter House was built in 1808, and its greatest claim to fame is that the 5th President of the United States, James Monroe, stayed here during his visit to Portsmouth, July 12-15, 1817

More than a thousand Portsmouth students lined Middle Street, from the Rundlett-May House to the Samuel Larkin House, to greet President Monroe upon his arrival. Jeremiah Mason, the famous lawyer, welcomed him to Portsmouth with a speech. On the first full day of his visit, a Sunday, he attended church services at St. John’s Church and the North Church. He also visited with Governor John Langdon at his home on Pleasant Street.

The house was once owned by one of Portsmouth's many residents over the years named Captain John Salter. This particular John Salter was the son of Henry Salter, the husband of Anne Mary Kennard Salter, and the father of four children, one of whom died in infancy. He lived from 1816-1874.

The house later served as the Portsmouth Athletic Club in the early 1900s, as the law offices of Thomas E. Flynn, and as a restaurant from 1947-1956. During the 1960s, it was moved to its present location and replaced at 140 Court Street by Feaster Apartments, a housing facility for the elderly and disabled.

The Portsmouth Athenaeum's website has several photographs of the Folsom-Salter House as the Portsmouth Athletic Club taken between 1915-1925, and when it was a restaurant, circa 1946.

This historic but mostly forgotten mansion is currently the home of Commonwealth Dynamics, Inc., "a leader in the design, construction, and maintenance of tall structures for the power industry including steel stacks, concrete chimneys, combustion turbine exhaust systems, silos, cooling towers, and other associated structures."