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John H. Whitaker Place was created to be a unique and affordable option for seniors (55+) who need some assistance with daily tasks to remain independent. The facility includes 72 private apartments and several common areas that are frequented by all residents.

Full-service dining, weekly linen and laundry, housekeeping, and daily personal care services are inclusive in one monthly rental fee.

We are a nonprofit organization with oversight by the Board of Directors of Penacook Assisted Living Facility, Inc. and supported by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services he-P 805 Assisted Living License to include the Choices for Independence Program (CFI). Our goal is to provide a safe, secure, and nurturing environment for all our residents, in an environment that welcomes everyone.

Board of Directors


  • BJ Entwisle – Chair Quality Assurance

  • Deb Horton – Chair Personnel

  • Denise Martel – Quality Assurance

  • Dick Ford – Finance/Audit

  • Frank Kenison – Nominating Committee

  • Jerry Walls – Nominating Committee

  • Karen Lascelle – Chair Audit & Nominating

  • Tonya Rochette – Board Member

  • Amy Hein – Executive Director (Ex-Officio)


  • Leslie Walker – Board Chair

  • Aki Mathieu – Board Treasurer

  • Christine Record – Board Secretary

Who is John H. Whitaker?

John H. Whitaker was a successful 19th century
businessman and distinguished resident of Penacook.
He was born in Hopkinton on June 9, 1835, and
attended school in Hopkinton until the age of 16, when he moved to Penacook to work at the livery stable and delivery business owned by Seth Hoyt.

In 1858, at the age of 23, Whitaker established a livery
stable and delivery business of his own, and two years
later, on February 6, 1860, he married Frances E. Caldwell. The newlyweds established their home at 42 Washington Street the following year, and over the next four decades the lawns, shrubbery, and flower gardens surrounding the house were celebrated for their beauty.

Whitaker’s delivery business prospered, and in 1864 he started a new business venture with George F. Sanborn, a fellow businessman who had built a lucrative company hauling granite from the quarries in West Concord to Penacook. This partnership was dissolved after one year, and Whitaker subsequently signed a new partnership agreement with Caldwell, Amsden & Company — a large cabinetmaking firm that occupied a large mill building along the river. The John H. Whitaker Company supplied lumber to Caldwell, Amsden & Company for many years. In 1890, Whitaker retired from involvement in the day-to-day operation of his company, and pursued other interests, most notably his interest in the steamboat.

In his retirement, Whitaker became well known throughout the area for the steamboats he operated along the Contoocook River. Locals fondly referred to him as the “Commodore” — a moniker it is said that he greatly enjoyed.

Whitaker was active in local and state politics, and he identified as a Democrat. He served as Assessor of Ward One (1859) and on the Penacook Board of Aldermen (1871 and 1876). He also served in the NH State Legislature as a Representative (1862) and Senator (1893-94).

Whitaker was described by his biographers in The History of Penacook New Hampshire as “enjoying the distinction of being the largest man in the village, his height being six feet three inches and his weight 300 pounds, and when on parade with the Knights Templar his commanding form is always seen at the right of the line.”

He died peacefully in his Washington Street home on December 3, 1903 and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.