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“Absolutely Breathless”
Review of Hamilton House

Hamilton House
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Shipping merchant Jonathan Hamilton built this striking Georgian mansion c. 1785. Its picturesque situation on a bluff overlooking the Salmon Falls River made it an ideal location for Hamilton’s shipping business and, more than a hundred years later, for the summer retreat of Emily Tyson and her stepdaughter Elise.Today, Hamilton House reflects the occupancy of the Tysons in the early twentieth century and is recognized as one of the region's quintessential Colonial Revival-style country estates. The house features two whimsical murals commissioned by the women as well as antique furnishings and handcrafted decorative arts they collected. The elaborate perennial garden, with its charming garden cottage, provides visitors with a place to stroll and picnic overlooking the river. Please visit nearby Jackson House, Governor John Langdon House, Rundlet-May House, Sarah Orne Jewett House, and the Sayward-Wheeler House.
Somersworth, New Hampshire
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Absolutely Breathless”
Reviewed 16 May 2013

I am so in love with the Hamilton House. Perfect place to get away. I love the trails,the house, the peace and quiet.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Danielleant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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43 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
52 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Beautiful Mansion and Great Trails”
Reviewed 29 January 2013

Nice water views from grounds and gardens and walking/jogging trails. We go a couple times a year, every year! Can easily imagine a time gone by when a sea captain arrived back at home.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank DonaldFagen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
37 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Peaceful historic home”
Reviewed 24 August 2012

I have visited this house many times over the years, and am always enchanted by the setting. The upkeep for this old place has continued, and the gardens have expanded since I first visited. Be sure to tour the home, but also allow time to relax on the lawn and imagine the sea captains coming up the river years ago.

Helpful?
1 Thank 1son2dogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portsmouth
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Stupendous Views”
Reviewed 24 August 2012

Bring a picnic and enjoy sitting on the grounds and viewing the beautiful scenery. They do outdoor concerts on Sundays in the summer months. This property is adjacent to Vaughan Woods, a wonderful place for a magnifcent stroll. New England at its best!

Helpful?
1 Thank SaskatSeismo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westborough, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
96 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“A fine old house, overlooking a bend in the river, with nicely restored gardens”
Reviewed 27 July 2012

The Hamilton House was originally built in the late 1700's by a ship owner on a rise overlooking the river, about 3-4 miles outside the center of South Berwick, ME. At the time, South Berwick was an international shipping port, and the original owner constructed a wharf below the house where his ships could load and unload. Shipping declined as an industry in this area in the early 19th c., and from 1839-1898 the house and surrounding lands were operated as a farm. When the farm declined, a woman and her step-daughter (heirs to a RR fortune) were encouraged to buy it and restore its original colonial features. They made some alterations to fit their desire to use the house as a summer "cottage" for friends and family, but on the whole did a nice job of preserving the classical design features and improving the site by the addition of gardens. The house was donated to Historic New England (formerly, SPNEA) in the late 1940's. There is an admission charge of $8/person, and visitors are given a thorough guided tour of the house. then are free to roam through the gardens. It is a beautiful house, with an interesting story, in a lovely location. But it is disappointing that the society has done little to restore the house even to the condition in which it was put in 1898. The wallpaper in the grand central stairwell, for example, after peeling off due to moisture, has been tacked up with clear push-pins, and there is apparently no plan to do more. This house lacks the famous connections of the Sarah Orne Jewett House a few miles away, but was a grander house to begin with and, because it was donated to the society more recently, is in better condition that the Jewett House. Still, it is unfortunate that more has not been done to restore it.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank ADGrantley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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