Description - The house, associated with Daniel Webster's childhood, provides an intimate snapshot of frontier life during the country's earliest years.
Much of the house is believed to be original despite its several moves. The fireplace was rebuilt using the original handmade bricks and hearthstone. The attached woodshed and well surround are reconstructions. Furnishings such as the flax spinning wheel and kitchen utensils are typical of a rustic farm of the period. Other items on display belonged to Daniel Webster later in his life.
The foundations of Ebenezer Webster's mill can be found among the trees behind the house near Punch Brook. The original mill was for sawing wood, but Ebenezer also added a grist and cider mill. There are still some apple trees near the house.
- Daniel Webster (1782-1852) was a frail and sickly child. He was given only light chores to do and spent much of his time playing, fishing and roaming the countryside, often in the company of his older brother, Ezekiel. During this period, while he was building his physical strength, he also developed a deep love of literature from reading the family Bible and books borrowed from neighbors.
Daniel graduated from Dartmouth College in 1801 and became a lawyer and renowned orator. He served as U.S. Congressman from New Hampshire and Massachusetts; and Secretary of State under Presidents Harrison, Tyler and Fillmore. In all, he spent forty years in public service, helping to mold the loose collection of states into a single unified nation. One theme in particular stands out from his many impassioned speeches: "The Union, one and inseparable, now and forever."
Although his later life was centered around Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., Daniel Webster never forgot his New Hampshire roots. He often returned to visit old friends, fish in Punch Brook, and enjoy the robust social life of the local taverns.
Recreation - The Daniel Webster Birthplace is a state historic site managed by the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Resources and Economic Development. It is open weekends and holidays from Mother's Day through Labor Day, 10:30 am to 5:30 p.m. Adult admission is $2.50; children under 18 and New Hampshire residents age 65 and over are admitted for free. The birthplace staff can be reached on weekends during the summer at 603-934-5057. The Franklin Historical Society provides living history interpretation at the site on the weekends it is open. It also offers a participatory living history program for school groups midweek during May and June, on a reservation only basis. For information about the school program or to make a reservation for a class visit call 603-736-8938.
Climate - Winter can be cold with average temperatures ranging around 19 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold temperatures humidity bring heavy, water-laden snow to all parts of the state. Spring begins in mid-March and lasts through May. This time of the year is referred to as mud season in the mountains. The sugar is flowing early in the season and wild flowers bloom toward the end of it. Summer is the busiest season of the year for the tourism industry. This is an excellent time to travel, mountain roads are open and most of the mud has dried. Average summer temperatures range around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Fall brings the leaf lookers to see the spectacular colors of the deciduous trees. Expect to see bus loads of people enjoying the crisp fall New England weather.
From Tilton, Exit 20 off Interstate 93, follow SR 3 south (west) through Franklin to SR 127. Take 127 south and follow the signs to the Daniel Webster Birthplace.