1810 House ready for Christmas before close


PORTSMOUTH — For decades, the 1810 House has been offering a glimpse of the past through a historical collection of antiquities, local lore, and more at the former Kinney estate at 1926 Waller Street. The season is nearing its end, as they prepare to close for winter, but not before they showcase what the house would look like for Christmas.

The museum lies within the former Aaron Kinney homestead, who was a major developing force behind Portsmouth’s founding.

According to the 1810 House website, “The twelve Kinney children all grew to adulthood and became outstanding citizens and leaders in the Portsmouth Community. They were active in local government, banking, river transportation and business. The Kinneys were prominent in establishing All Saints Episcopal Church.

“The Aaron and Mary homestead (now the 1810 House and Museum) is a major focal point of historic preservation. Three generations of the Kinney family occupied the house: Aaron and Mary, their son Henry, and Henry’s daughter Isabel, who resided there until her death in 1946 at the age of 88.

“The Kinney legacy still exists today. There are six Kinney Homes remaining in Portsmouth: The 1810 House on Waller; Eli’s home on Court St. (the former Elk’s Club); the Peter Kinney Home on Front Street; Margaret Kinney Hall home on Second Street; Nancy Kinney Walker house is South Shore, Kentucky: and lastly, another home built by Peter Kinney after his return from a trip abroad in 1867. This home was located on Mt. Tabor above Kinney’s Lane across from Greenlawn Cemetery. All homes, with the exception of the 1810 house, are now privately owned.

“The 1810 House, the original Kinney homestead, is an outstanding example of pioneer history in Portsmouth and is one of only a few such examples now remaining.”

The collection of the 1810 House doesn’t go past the 1946 date in which a Kinney family member resided, but primarily focuses on pioneer times.

With such a respectable collection, the board rotates pieces to keep the museum fresh and alive.

Anyone interested in a membership or in supporting their ongoing work, can donate to the 1810 House by mailing a check to p.o. box 1810.

“We want to save the history for our community,” 1810 House’s Lindsey Kegley said. “Everything gets torn down and we’re just trying to keep this thing up. There is so much local history and if we don’t teach it to our community and children then, well, I just don’t know. It gives you a sense of place and importance and it is worth keeping alive. We can’t forget where we came from.”

The 1810 House is also needing volunteers for its next season. Volunteers mean that the museum can operate normally and even expand in its offered events. Interested parties may also write the committee at the PO Box address.

The season opened on June 4 and Kegley says the year was a success. Now, they have the 1810 House decorated for the Christmas season and will showcase their festive decorations during tours on December 3 and 10, between 1 to 3 p.m.

The 1810 House also opens by special request for groups, if a volunteer is available.

“The House is beautiful with its Christmas whimsy decorating everything,” Kegley said. “Of course, decorations of that time were a little different from what we have today, but it is still very nice. We especially like seeing the stocking hung for the members of the Kinney Family.”

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

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