Goodwin Mansion


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The Goodwin Mansion was the home of  Ichabod Goodwin and his wife, Sarah Parker Rice Goodwin.  Ichabod and Sarah were married in 1827, and they had seven children, who grew up in the mansion.  Later, Sarah and Ichabod would share their home with two of their grandchildren: Mabel and Fielding.  Even servants, such as sisters Lizzie and Sophie Sullivan, who were Irish immigrants, lived in the mansion while they worked for the Goodwins.

The Goodwins were an important family in Portsmouth.  Mr. Goodwin was the governor of New Hampshire during the Civil War and was a prominent businessman.  Mrs. Goodwin was involved with many different charitable organizations throughout the city; at the same time, she ran the Goodwin household.  She was also a writer.  We learned much of what we know about this family through Mrs. Goodwin’s memoirs, which she wrote in the 1870s.

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Inside the Goodwin Mansion, the year is 1870.  At this time, the mansion was on Islington Street, only about a mile away from where it sits now.  It is the only furnished house you will visit at Strawbery Banke that was not part of the original Puddle Dock neighborhood.

The Goodwins kept their home updated with all the latest technology, such as gas lighting, coal grates (so that they could burn coal instead of wood in their fireplaces), and running water from the Portsmouth Aqueduct Company, which brought water into houses through wooden pipes.  The new technology and many of the personal items you see in the house were available to the Goodwins because of the Industrial Revolution.

Did You Know…
The first observance of Memorial Day was held in honor of those who died during unnamedthe American Civil War. Widely known as Decoration Day, mourners honored their dead by decorating their graves with flowers and wreaths. After World War I, people still honored the fallen by not only decorating their graves with flowers, but by wearing red poppies in response to In Flanders Fields, a poem written by John McCrae, a Canadian veteran of World War I.  

While our modern Memorial Day celebration was not made a national holiday until 1971, the ways in which we honor those who have died in service to our country remain largely unchanged. The American Legion Auxiliary even sells red poppies made of paper that you can wear in remembrance. Today, you can make your own paper flowers in observance of Memorial Day.   Today, you can make paper flowers in observance of Memorial Day.