Moving the Joseph Whipple House
  • Print
Written by SeacoastNH Archive Presents
Historic Portsmouth #364

We all know his famous brother, Gen. William Whipple, who signed the Declaration of Independence. It’s a moving and historic story, and Whipple’s house on Market Street is open to the public as the Moffatt-Ladd House museum. His brother Col. Joseph Whipple, on the other hand, is less well known. (Continued below)


Joseph founded the town of Dartmouth, later renamed Jefferson, NH, and was among the first to build a residence in the wilds of inner New Hampshire. (Mount Joseph Whipple there was named in his honor by Gov. John Sununu in 1986.) Joseph’s Portsmouth mansion stood at the corner of State and Chestnut streets and was moved in 1969 to its current location on Middle Street. The house was originally built sometime before 1761 by an English immigrant named John Mills. The two Whipple houses, according to the invaluable book “Building Portsmouth” by Prof. Richard Candee, are unique among colonial homes in the region because of their huge inner stairway halls. Fully one-quarter of the downstairs floorplan was taken up by these grand open areas. Joseph Whipple bought the house in 1766. He was a merchant and collector of Portsmouth customs. His house was later adapted into a boarding house and then divided into apartments. (Courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum)

Joseph Whipple House moved down State Street in 1969


Copy (c) Early photo courtesy of
Portsmouth Athenaeum