Governor John Langdon House is an exceptional Georgian mansion which George Washington “esteemed the first” in Portsmouth. Its reception rooms are of a grand scale suited to ceremonial occasions and are ornamented by elaborate wood carving in the Rococo style. John Langdon was a merchant, shipbuilder, Revolutionary War leader, signer of the United States Constitution, and three-term governor of New Hampshire. He built this impressive home to express his status as Portsmouth's leading citizen.
The White-Ellery House (1710), an outstanding example of First Period architecture located at the gateway to Cape Ann, serves as the backdrop for local history programming and a rotating display of work by contemporary local artists. The House is located at 245 Washington Street, just off the Grant Circle Rotary; parking is available for most events onsite or on nearby streets.
In 1911, the Swett-Ilsley House became the first property acquired by Historic New England, just a year after its founding. The original portion, built in 1670 by Stephen Swett, was one room deep, and later additions more than doubled the size of the house. Over the centuries, the building served as a tavern, chocolate shop, chandlery, and press room, in part due to its location on Newbury's most traveled road.
In 1821, four intact rooms from an earlier house were transported by ox sled to Salem's fashionable Chestnut Street to form the core of a new Federal-style mansion being constructed by Captain Nathaniel West. Nearly a century later, Anna Phillips bought the house and launched a fourteen-month renovation in the Colonial Revival style. When she, her husband Stephen Willard Phillips, and their five-year-old son moved in, they brought with them a family collection that spans five generations and blossomed during Salem's Great Age of Sail.
Salem shipwright Eleazer Gedney built the earliest portion of the Gedney House in 1665. Originally, the house was an asymmetrical composition consisting of two rooms on the first floor, a single chamber above, and an attic with a front-facing gable. Significant renovations to the structure in 1712 and 1800 resulted in dramatic changes to the house's appearance.