If the Portsmouth New Hampshire “John Paul Jones” house looks familiar you may remember it from the Sear’s ‘’Weather beater’ paint ads it’s been used in.
Revolutionary war naval hero John Paul Jones rented a room in this house twice. Once in 1777 while supervising the fitting of his ship, the “Ranger” and again in 1781-82 while his second ship, the “America”, was being built.
Although it is commonly known as “The John Paul Jones” house is was actually owned by the widow of Gregory Purcell, a Portsmouth based sea captain and merchant. Jones rented a room from the widow Purcell who operated her home as a boarding house after Captain Purcell died.
Captain Jones was America’s first naval hero and is best remembered for his famous reply during a battle where a British captain asked him to surrender his badly damaged ship. Captain Jones is said to have replied: “I have not yet begun to fight.” And although Jones’s ship was taking on water and sinking at the time, it was the British captain who finally surrendered.
The Portsmouth Historical Society has operated the house as a museum since 1920. It is open daily for tours from May through October.
Although this house is not for sale, many others are in the Portsmouth and New Hampshire Seacoast. Visit Portsmouth New Hampshire Homes.com to see all the listings.