Lane Homestead

Lane Farmstead

The Deacon Samuel and Jabez Lane Homestead is a historic farmstead at 132 Portsmouth Avenue in Stratham, New Hampshire. Built in 1807, the main house is a fine local example of Federal period architecture, with carvings executed by a regional master craftsman. The property is further significant because the owners at the time of its construction kept detailed journals documenting the construction of it and other buildings on the property. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. (more history below)

 

The Deacon Samuel and Jabez Lane Homestead occupies a roughly triangular island of land bounded by the junction of New Hampshire Routes 33 and 108, which functions as a rotary. The property includes four buildings: the main house, a shoe shop, corn house, and barn. The main house is a 2-1/2 story wood frame structure, with a hip roof and end chimneys. Its main facade is five bays wide and symmetrical, with a center entrance framed by Federal period pilasters, a four-light transom window, and a fully pedimented gable. The house interior has received only modest alteration since its construction in 1807, retaining stencilwork on the parlor floor and a fine cherry central staircase. 

The four buildings that stand here were part of a once-larger industrial site, which also included a tanning yard, workhouses, and worker residences. Samuel Lane acquired this property in 1741, and his house was largely completed the following year. The shoe shop and a barn followed, and Lane operated a successful tannery on the premises until his death in 1806. It was taken over by his son Jabez, who expanded the premises. He built a new house on the site of his father's old house, a process that took two years. The corn house, now converted to residential use, dates to this period, and its construction and that of the house are detailed in Jabez Lane's journals. The extant barn, now housing a commercial establishment, appears to date to the mid-19th century. The house is notable for the joinery (particularly of its main staircase) of local craftsman Ebenezer Clifford. 

Other resources:

  • The years of the life of Samuel Lane, 1718-1806 : a New Hampshire man and his world (check library for availability)
  • A journal for the years 1739-1803 / by Samuel Lane of Stratham, New Hampshire (copy in Library Director's office, please request; copies at Stratham Historical Society)