The Tobias Lear House
The Tobias Lear House in the South End neighborhood of Portsmouth, NH will soon become a unique and unrivaled lodging experience, allowing visitors to have an important historic residence all to themselves for a weekend or a week as they explore the treasures old and new of Portsmouth and the New Hampshire seacoast. Guests will have the run of the eight-room house, including two-bedroom suites, each with a private bath, a superbly equipped modern kitchen, formal and informal dining areas, and the “best parlor” where Mrs. Lear once greeted President George Washington. Modern amenities at a luxury level will abound. Think of it as the elegant museum house that you actually get to live in for a short while, and oh-so comfortably.
Built in the 1730s by Captain Tobias Lear III, the Lear house was doubled in size in the 1760s by Tobias Lear IV. It was the birthplace in 1762 of Tobias Lear V, who served as a personal secretary to George Washington for over fourteen years.
President Washington famously visited the house during his 1789 Northern Tour. But the house, built by this family of upwardly mobile Portsmouth merchant-mariners, is also noteworthy in and of itself as a fine example of an 18th century Georgian “mansion,” and, importantly, one which has survived to this day with its colonial bones, from framing to woodwork to floorboards and plaster, largely intact.
The project is being spearheaded by Stephen Foster, who previously rehabilitated Wilton House, an important 1763 Georgian house in Middlesex County, VA which he currently runs as a short-term vacation retreat, www.vrbo.com/506509; www.wiltonhousevirginia.org
Non-binding reservations for the Tobias Lear House are now being accepted for occupancy beginning April 15, 2021.