Local historians describe
John E. Sise as a dedicated citizen of Portsmouth. His
concern for local affairs led to a life of active involvement
with the Public Library, the Federal Fire Society and
the Portsmouth Athenaeum. He was a member of neighboring
South Church (just a few steps from his home) and is reputed
to have never missed a service.
In 1879, Sise purchased the Marsh Estate,
a federal-style mansion built in 1798 for Charles Treadwell
and last occupied by the relatives of Lucy Marsh, John’s
wife. He built a new Queen Anne-style home on the site
and lived there for many years with Lucy and their daughter
Mabel, who eventually assumed ownership of the property
with her husband Rev. Alfred Gooding, the antiquarian
minister of the South Church. Today the fully-restored
mansion is known as The Sise Inn, and has built a reputation
as one of the finest hotels in Portsmouth, NH.
was involved in many business ventures including
a crockery business shared with his father and brother,
and later in life, a thriving insurance business.
He also spent time as a director of the Eastern
Railroad, a trustee of the Portsmouth Savings Bank
and a director of the Portsmouth Gas, Electric Light
and Power Company. Additionally, he served as a
Justice of the Peace and Notary Public.
One can only imagine the variety of
people who passed through the front door of the
Sise residence seeking counsel and opinion from
the knowledgeable and prosperous resident.
John Sise portrait compliments of the Portsmouth Athenaeum