History

Within These Walls

A prominent piece of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and national history, Wentworth Senior Living’s Pleasant Street mansion was originally built, circa 1763, by Mark H. Wentworth as a wedding gift for one of his daughters. Governor John Wentworth, the last Royal Governor of New Hampshire, lived there until just before the start of the Revolution. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building is considered to be one of the finest architecturally built 18th-century homes in the region. Tourists and wall-covering enthusiasts often visit our “Museum Room” for a glimpse of Governor Wentworth’s red-flocked wallpaper with papier-mâché border, which he imported for the parlor in 1774.

Following its release from government confiscation after the Revolutionary War, the mansion changed hands among several prominent Portsmouth families. The governor’s own descendents, 16th-generation Wentworth siblings Susan and Charles, acquired the house in the 1900s and soon began using it to care for chronically ill children and seniors. As the need for exceptional senior care and senior living has grown over the years, the building has twice expanded to accommodate it.

Today, Wentworth Senior Living occupies three seamlessly connected buildings: the Governor’s Mansion on Pleasant Street, the 1927 brick Manor, and the modern 1987 Wentworth Building, all of which were renovated in 2007.

A Hybrid Provider

In recent decades, we’ve evolved from providing care to enriching and supporting seniors’ vibrant lives. This important distinction shifts the focus to resident empowerment, connectedness, and personal choice. Far from the antiquated idea that nursing home care is the only option for an aging population, senior living is just that: living.

Our hybrid provider approach applies both to our residents and to seniors in the community. Internally, we support and provide the highest-quality care for seniors along a full spectrum of needs. We’re a home to those requiring little support beyond housekeeping and medication management, and those facing end-of-life. Unlike most senior care facilities, typically our residents can remain in their WSL apartment as their needs shift and change—because we can fully address and support them. Beyond our walls, we actively seek ways to support the greater senior community through services, advocacy, and program support. Additionally, we’re continuously bringing our residents out into the community, recognizing their ongoing role as active and engaged citizens.

An Evolving Legacy

Since Charles and Susan Wentworth founded their home for the chronically ill in 1911, our organization has dedicated itself to fostering community and caring for our residents.

In 2016, we officially changed our name from The Mark Wentworth Home to Wentworth Senior Living. The name change reflects our commitment to helping seniors live better lives longer. Today, we are a hybrid provider of senior services, one component of which is residential. We also advocate for seniors within the community by managing programs like Portsmouth’s senior transportation initiative, and supporting the Senior Activity Center.