One of the most significant shaping influences on the city is, of course, its port. Portsmouth Harbor is one of the deepest harbors and the waters of the Piscataqua are fast flowing.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the nation's first federal shipyard, was established in 1800. It services our country's submarines and produced over seventy of them during World War II. (Maine and New Hampshire have been sparring seemingly forever over its jurisdiction and The Supreme Court heard the case in 2002.)
|There is an active Coast Guard presence...|
...for this "official port of entry and foreign trade zone".
For us, Portsmouth is a good place to meet up with family, and we also just spend time here when we can.
In case anyone needs some gourmet salts, there is The Salt Cellar.
The city is small, almost intimate (only about 3,000 people larger than Concord Massachusetts), which is part of its charm.
After the famous fires at the beginning of the nineteenth century, which destroyed so many wooden structures, the rebuilding was of brick and slate for roofs.
A mindfulness of the environment (if gently hypocritical) is nonetheless a good indicator of the culture.
At Celtic Crossing....
expert on New England breweries, tellingly used the Portsmouth brewery Smuttynose for the cover of his book "The Good Beer Guide to New England."
And here is where I will lose some of any "prep cred" I might have. I don't drink. This is not for any particular reason, but it serves as yet another place for the amusement of friends. One New Englander (whose name would be familiar to all of those here), after reading my blog account of a Christmas party in the City, included this in an email:
But the "Coca-Cola/I didn't inhale" argument. I don't think so. Ms Aldrich was working on some kind of stout. Probably doing some serious napping on her way back to swamp yankee land.
...including this, shown with the Portsmouth Athenaeum in the background.
One of my favorite sites here is of the Moran Tugboats. In fact, I check on them daily with the Tugboat Cam.
Portsmouth remains a charming small city, and I always look forward to my next visits.
** Genealogy Alert! ***
For those who find the topic of genealogy insufferable or simply boring, I have collected it all at the end of this entry in this handy, easy-to-skip section.
One of the originals settlers was our 10th great grandfather Edward Hilton, often called the Father of New Hampshire.
And of course the most colorful one of all was the Cambridge educated Reverend Stephen Bachilor/Batchelder. He had quite the reputation, marrying a third wife who was sixty years younger than he. She then carried on with the young fellow next door, for which she was sentenced to be flogged and branded.
named Strawbery Banke by direct ancestor Captain Walter Neale in 1630, who was sent by Georges and Mason to be the Governor of the Piscataqua. Neale is credited for discovering the White Mountains and Lake Winnipesaukee as well. And we cannot forget Daniel Webster, only indirect, but four different ways (via Eastmans as well as Websters) who, while born in Franklin, practiced law here.