Whipple house


Birthplace & Boyhood Home of New Hampshire’s

Only Nobel Prize Winner
Ashland’s Local History Museum


            George Hoyt Whipple was born in this house in Ashland in 1878 and spent his boyhood here.  He attended Tilton School, Phillips Andover Academy, Yale University, and the John Hopkins Medical School, where he received his M.D. degree in 1905.  With the exception of one year as a pathologist for the Panama Canal Project, Dr. Whipple worked in the Department of Pathology at the John Hopkins University, becoming a professor in 1909.  In 1914 he became Director of the Hooper Foundation for Medical Research in San Francisco, one of America’s earliest medical research institutes,  and Professor of Research Medicine at the University of California at Berkeley.  In 1920, Dr. Whipple was appointed dean of the University’s medical school.

            In 1921, Dr. Whipple was invited to the University of Rochester in New York, to organize, build and staff a new medical school and teaching hospital.  He served as its dean until 1953.  Dr. Whipple had a distinguished career as a pathologist, medical educator, and researcher.  He shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1934 with Drs. George F. Minot and William P. Murphy for discoveries leading to a cure for pernicious anemia, a disease which killed over 6,000 persons annually at the time in the United States.  Dr. Whipple lived a long active life and died in Rochester at the age of 97 in 1976.



In 1970, Dr. George Hoyt Whipple generously gave his boyhood home to the Town of Ashland, New Hampshire to be preserved and used as a historical museum.

The Whipple House, where Dr. Whipple was born, was built in 1837 by his great-grandfather Obadiah Smith and for 133 years was occupied by five generations of the same family.  Obadiah Smith was a merchant and entrepreneur.  His oldest daughter, Frances Moody Smith, married George Hoyt and lived on the other side of the two-family house.  Their daughter, Frances Anna Hoyt, married Dr. Ashley Cooper Whipple and the couple had two children, George and his sister Ashley.  Ashley, named for her late father, who died in a typhoid fever epidemic before she was born, married Charles Gavin Platt.  The Platts’ three daughters, Frances, Elizabeth, and Dorothy, were the fifth generation to live in the house.

            The twelve-room structure was originally built as a two-family dwelling.  The central hallway divides the building into two residences, each consisting of a large kitchen, a dining room, a parlor and three upstairs bedrooms.  Many features of the house show an unusual care and quality of construction and workmanship, such as the kitchen fireplaces with their built-in ovens and laundry kettles. 

          Currently, the central hall and three rooms on each of the two stories are open to the public. The lower hallway features an exhibit on Dr. Whipple’s life, while the parlor contains exhibits on the family that occupied the house.  The upper level has two period rooms, a Victorian era bedroom and a children’s room. The first story kitchen and the upper hallway feature displays of local history. An upper story room provides access to the Society’s archives. (See Exhibits & Events for the current changing exhibits.)

Location  The Whipple House Museum is located at 14 Pleasant Street in Ashland village off Main Street (Routes 3 and 25.)

Hours  The Whipple House Museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays in July and August. Special tours may be arranged by appointment.

Donations  A donation for each visitor over the age of 13 would be appreciated, as it will help to maintain the Museum and to further the work of the Historical Society.