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Historic Sites and Buildings

Whipple Birthplace
Whipple Birthplace
Whipple Birthplace

Location: York County, 88 Whipple Street, Kittery.

William Whipple, a signer from New Hampshire, was a native of Kittery, now in Maine but then in Massachusetts. Born in this house in 1730, he probably lived in it until, like many boys of the locality, he went to sea. About 1760 he abandoned his life as a seaman and took up residence in Portsmouth, N.H.

This handsome frame residence, the only one extant associated with a signer in Maine, occupies a picturesque setting on a small cove along the Piscataqua River. The two-story building has been considerably altered and enlarged over the years, but it is in excellent condition and rests on original foundations. It has been painted red since at least 1873.

Whipple family

In its present form the house is Georgian in style with a central hall plan. The exterior walls are clapboarded. On the east, or front, elevation a round arch window on the second story sits over a pedimented center door. The ell at the rear is a 20th-century addition. A slight overhang on the south end of the house indicates that it may once have been a garrison house, and that the upper story projected over the first. This portion of the house was constructed of hemlock, square-dovetailed at the corners. At some later date, the structure was enlarged, and in the mid-19th century the exterior was completely renovated.

The residence originally featured a center chimney floor plan. In the 19th century the central chimney was removed and a center hall with stairway added, as well as two small interior chimneys with fireplaces, one at each side of the hall. On the first floor, to the south of the hall, is the bedroom where Whipple was born; to the north, a large parlor. The original kitchen is located to the rear, or west, of the center hall and parlor.

Privately occupied, the house is not open to the public.

Whipple Birthplace
Whipple Birthplace. (National Park Service, Wrenn)

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Last Updated: 04-Jul-2004