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  • 4th Annual John Paul Jones Jubilee & Silent Auction

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    August 14, 2017
    4th Annual
    John Paul Jones Jubilee
    & Silent Auction
    a benefit for
    John Paul Jones House Museum and Garden
    +  Portsmouth Historical Society
    Thursday, September 7, 2017, 5:30 - 8:30pm
    At Discover Portsmouth
    Public invited; suggested donation: $25 members; $35 non-members

    Portsmouth, New Hampshire... Plan to spend an enchanting evening filled with jazz, drink, fine art and an amazing array of silent auction items to benefit the John Paul Jones House Museum and Garden and Portsmouth Historical Society on Thursday, September 7, 2017 5:30-8:30pm.  Guests will enjoy the smooth tunes of local jazz trio Dry Martini, savor delicious hors d’oeuvres by favorite Seacoast restaurants, our signature Centennial Ale courtesy of Liar’s Bench Beer Company and have the opportunity to bid on 75+ stellar auction items that will sweep you off your feet with everything from fine art, jewelry, dine around town packages, getaways and experiences such as a Seacoast sightseeing flight and two nights out at the Isles of Shoals. Sponsored by Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank; with additional support by Ashton & Company, PA; and Liar’s Bench Beer Company.
    Suggested Donation $25 members/$35 non-members.
    Tickets: call 603-436-8433 or visit:
    Raising funds for 1758 John Paul Jones House

    Now celebrating its Centennial year, Portsmouth Historical Society has been hard at work on the renovation and repair of the 1758 John Paul Jones House, a National Historic Landmark, funded in part by this Jubilee event and by grants from LCHIP – Land and Community Heritage Investment Program. During 2016, the organization completed interior and exterior upgrades including new roofs and painting. In 2017, the focus is on repair and repointing of the stone foundations (requiring archaeological work around the perimeter of the house) and repair and repainting of the historic fence and carriage house. Looking ahead to 2018, Portsmouth Painting Company has generously donated its time to repaint the rest of the house. An all-volunteer committee continues to oversee upkeep of both the house and the gardens. Our garden manager, Katherine Sullivan, provided another season of beauty and bloom in the grounds.  The Carriage House had a new tenant this last year, Port City Bike Tours, which brought new visitors. Volunteers cleaned, weeded, and mulched the garden and added fresh coats of paint to areas of the fence and house. According to Reagan Ruedig, chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, “We are so happy to have these big maintenance issues tackled with the help of LCHIP grant money and matching donors so that the building and grounds around the John Paul Jones House will be in stable condition for many years to come.”
    About John Paul Jones House
    The house was built about 1758 by sea captain Gregory Purcell for his bride Sarah Wentworth. After the captain’s death, his widow began taking in gentlemen boarders to support her large family. Her most famous guest was John Paul Jones who boarded here while overseeing the preparation of the ship Ranger in 1777. Jones again would stay at the house in 1781 while waiting for preparation of another ship, the America. Later in 1783, "Widow Purcell" sold the house to Woodbury Langdon, older brother of the prominent John Langdon, New Hampshire’s first governor. The Purcell house went through nine different owners until 1919 when it was saved from destruction by the Portsmouth Historical Society and Langdon's great grandson - also named Woodbury Langdon. In its mission to increase public understanding and enthusiasm for local history, the Portsmouth Historical Society has operated the John Paul Jones House as a house museum since 1920.
    About John Paul Jones
    Scottish-born naval captain and colonial America's first sea warrior, John Paul Jones visited New Hampshire twice. In 1777 he took the Portsmouth-built Ranger with a Piscataqua crew to France. There he worried the British in a series of guerilla raids before his famous battle on the Bon Homme Richard. Later, as a hero decorated by the king of France, he returned to Portsmouth to fit out the America, the largest ship of war ever built in the nation to that day. While he was here, Jones stayed at the Purcell house, today the John Paul Jones House.

    About National Historic Landmarks
    A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, or object that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding degree of historical significance. Out of over 85,000 places that have been listed on the country's National Register of Historic Places only about 2,500 are recognized as National Historic Landmarks. There are eight sites in Portsmouth: the USS Albacore, Richard Jackson House, John Paul Jones House, Governor John Langdon House, Warner House, Moffatt-Ladd House and Garden, Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion, and Wentworth-Gardner House.
    About Portsmouth Historical Society
    Portsmouth Historical Society is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit that operates Discover Portsmouth, a museum and cultural gateway, and the John Paul Jones House, both in downtown Portsmouth. Both locations are open seasonally, seven days a week.  Discover Portsmouth is located at 10 Middle Street; the John Paul Jones House is located across the street at 43 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801. For more information, call 603-436-8433 or visit www.portsmouthhistory.org
    Kathleen Soldati, Executive Director
    Portsmouth Historical Society
    10 Middle St. Portsmouth, NH 03801
    603-436-8433 PortsmouthHistory.org
    Discover Portsmouth History, Arts, Culture!
    Kathleen Soldati, Executive Director
    kathleen@portsmouthhistory.org, (603) 436-8433