Built by local attorney, judge, and railroad executive Nathaniel G. Upham (1801–1869), this house combines a somewhat conservative gable-front design and Federal-style exterior detailing with interior joinery that expresses the most current details of the Greek Revival style. Reflecting a then-new local interest in brick construction in its use of re-pressed bricks skillfully laid in running or “plumb” bond, the exterior hinted at the incoming Grecian style in its carefully hammered granite portico. The south-facing facade and the eastern elevation, more visible to the public, were the most carefully detailed and symmetrical; the second-story eastern “window” covered by a blind is a false feature intended only to maintain exterior symmetry. On the interior, the house employs both complex and simple molding profiles and staircase and chimneypiece details derived from Asher Benjamin’s The Practical House Carpenter (1830). The house remained relatively unchanged except for the introduction of gas lighting and some mid-nineteenth-century marble mantelpieces until physician Charles Rumford Walker (1852–1922), one of Upham’s grandsons, purchased the property soon after completing his medical training in 1882. Walker established his office in the southeast first floor room, accessible from the side doorway. In the mid-1890s, the Walkers remodeled the western side of the first story, lengthening a parlor toward the rear of the house and adding elaborate Colonial Revival detailing to the room. To create a serviceable dining room behind the parlor, the Walkers employed Boston architect Robert Coit to add a western bay to the house, using original face bricks. To compensate for the loss of a first-floor bearing partition when the parlor was lengthened, Coit added a timber and iron truss in the attic to support the second-story rooms below. The State of New Hampshire purchased the house and some of the family furnishings in 1979, using the property for special functions.
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Nathaniel G. Upham House
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