Join us at Portsmouth Historical Society as we celebrate this sweet season with the 30th Annual Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibition from November 20 through December 22. This year, we are “taking it to the streets” with gingerbread creations on display both at the Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center and throughout downtown in shop and restaurant windows.


This year we’re suggesting historical buildings in gingerbread form! We’ve had a lot of great houses recreated in the past, but it doesn’t have to be a landmark. It can be your own home, a favorite downtown spot, or a bit of unique architecture.

Photo courtesy of Raya on Assignment
Slide left or right!

Participants, of course, had their own ideas. Some used our theme, but some just used their imagination!

Moffatt Ladd House

The Moffatt-Ladd House and it’s gingerbread incarnation by Dan Witham

The Moffatt-Ladd House is an elegant 18th century mansion overlooking the Piscataqua River. It is owned and operated by The National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of New Hampshire. It was the home of the Moffatts, Whipples and Ladds and their families. William Whipple was a New Hampshire signer of the Declaration of Independence. Whipple planted the large horse chestnut tree, located near the front of the house from chestnuts he brought back from Philadelphia in 1776.

Want to know more? Visit
The Moffatt Ladd House & Garden website at

Warner House

The Warner House, photo by W. W. Owens, and the gingerbread version by Anne Muller

Constructed circa 1716, the Warner House is Portsmouth’s earliest surviving brick house and has been referred to as one of the finest examples of early-Georgian architecture in New England.

Inside, the staircase walls are finished with the earliest known wall murals in the country. Commissioned in 1718 by Archibald Macpheadris, the murals feature a variety of scenes, most notably of two of the four Mohawk representatives who traveled to London in 1710 to secure treaties with Britain.

Warner house remained in the same family until 1932 when the building was threatened with demolition and the Warner House Association was established. Since 1932 the house has operated as a museum.

Visit the Warner House website for more details at

Piscataqua Gundalow

A gundalow in summer, and Christmas on the Gundalow by the Hoerman Family

Gundalows were unique wooden cargo vessels that sailed on the tidal currents in the Piscataqua watershed from the mid-1600s until the early part of the 20th century. They were considered the “18-wheelers” of that period, transporting building materials, agricultural products, cordwood, textiles, mail, and other vital cargo to and from the deep-water port of Portsmouth.

With the advent of railroads and the development of cars, trucks, and roads, the need for gundalows slowly faded. The last operating gundalow was taken out of service in the 1920’s.

Want to learn more? Visit the Gundalow Company website at

Prize Ribbons

Our community judges have awarded a plethora of ribbons to some very lucky and creative gingerbread builders!

Click for details

People’s Choice Awards

You can vote for your favorites! People’s Choice winners will be announced December 15!

Downtown Scavenger Hunt

New this year! Take a walk through Market Square and see all the houses on display in storefront windows! Visit all locations, collect the stamps, and turn in your stamp sheet for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to Cure or the Roundabout Diner!

Gingerbread House Raffle

Five wonderful houses are up for grabs in our annual raffle! Win one to take home! Tickets are $1 and are available at the front desk at the Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center!

#55, Izzy’s Winter Holiday, by Izzy’s Winter Elves
#41, Story Land Castle, by Danielle Walker
#27, The Wentworth Coolidge Mansion, by Lindsay Caroll
#74, Victorian Holiday Splendor, by Abbie Law
#40, Moffatt Ladd House & Chestnut Tree, by Dan Witham

Thank you to our generous sponsors!