NEMA Museums New England

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Museum Profile

Jackson House

76 Northwest Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Jackson House is the oldest surviving wood-frame house in New Hampshire. The house was built by Richard Jackson, a woodworker, farmer, and mariner, on his family's twenty-five-acre plot.

Jackson House resembles English post-medieval prototypes, but is notably American in its extravagant use of wood. Succeeding generations added a lean-to by 1715, and more additions in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to accommodate several different family groups sharing the house at once.

Historic New England’s founder, William Sumner Appleton, acquired the house in 1924 from a member of the seventh generation of Jacksons to live here. Despite pressure to remove post-seventeenth-century additions, Appleton limited his restoration to stripping off twentieth-century lath and plaster and replacing eighteenth-century sash with diamond-paned casements where evidence of the original fenestration was too compelling to ignore.