Old Newington Parsonage // c.1725

The Old Parsonage in Newington, NH, is a rare survivor from the 1700s in the tiny town. It is one of few extant “saltbox” houses to be found in the New Hampshire seacoast. Like most houses of this type, the parsonage has a lean-to that was added a few years after the house was built. Like the nearby meeting house, the parsonage has long been inextricably connected to the public life and the identity of Newington. Unlike the much-altered meeting house, the parsonage retains the appearance of the 1700s and has been extremely well-preserved, giving a glimpse into 18th century life in Newington. The parsonage is estimated to have been constructed in 1725 when Richard Pomeroy, the first Sexton of the church, sold the property here for 19 pounds, with no mention of a dwelling. It was acquired by a John Knight (1685-1765). After his death, the dwelling was sold to the Town of Newington and restored to be used as a parsonage.

Dike-King House // c.1740

Located in the Oak Hill Village of Newton, the Dike-King House remains as one of a few pre-Revolution houses, but the history is a little murky from what I found. Oak Hill was the most remote village of Newton historically and has maintained much of its open space to this day, as it did not see the suburban development following the streetcar in other villages in town connecting to nearby Boston. This house was apparently built by Jonathan Dike (1673-1751), a cooper, who lived here with his second wife Experience French (yes that was her name). The home he built was likely a much smaller dwelling and was added onto as the family grew. Jonathan died in 1751 and the home went to his eldest living son and later sold to Noah King in 1796. The house plaque on the house gives a date of 1795 as King purchased a house on the lot, but it was likely much older than one year old. Noah King was a housewright, deacon, and son of Dr. John King a prominent civic leader in the town. With his expertise as a housewright, he likely rebuilt much of the house into what we see today. Starting in 1796 through 1923 the property was run as a farm by members of the King family, but land was sold off around the Great Depression for much needed funds. Due to the asymmetry of the house, it is likely that it started as a half-house with just three bays with the door at the left-most bay, with the saltbox roof added around that time.

David Ogden House // c.1750

This saltbox house was built by 1750 for David Ogden at the time of his marriage to Jane Sturges. For the next 125 years it was home for the Ogden family in the farming and coastal shipping town of Fairfield. The home was sold out of the family in 1839 to Henry W. Banks, who continued to farm on the nearly 75 acres of farmland. By the 1920s, the home was suffering from deferred maintenance and was at risk of demolition. Luckily, Annie Burr Jennings (1855-1939), a philanthropist who was born into a wealthy family, sought to give back to her town. Jennings was instrumental in establishing and supporting a number of important community institutions, including the Fairfield Historical Society (now the Fairfield Museum) and the Fairfield Public Library. In 1931, she purchased the old Ogden Farmhouse from absentee owners and helped fund its restoration. The early saltbox vernacular Georgian home today is maintained by the Fairfield Museum and the Greenfield Hill Village Improvement Society.

Davis House-Aunt Felicia’s Folly // 1805

If you stroll down Maine Street in Kennebunkport, you cant help but notice the most charming saltbox house. Constructed in 1805 by Samuel Davis, a master builder in Kennebunkport, the Federal home likely had a saltbox roof originally which would have housed the kitchen. After the Civil War, the home was owned by Silas Perkins, who then sold the home to his daughter, Felicia (Perkins) Cleaves and her husband, Albert, a teacher. By the 1870s, Felicia had the Colonial home completely renovated, turning into a Gothic Revival showpiece. Mrs. Cleaves added a new wing to the right of the original house, for she desired the high ceilings that were common during the Victorian era. The building became known in town as “Aunt Felicia’s Folly” and alternately, “the Witch House.” In 1966, owners restored the home back to what it likely looked like before the 1870s renovation, adding a saltbox roof.

Undated image showing “Aunt Felicia’s Folly” with Gothic alterations.