Just Rye Harbor
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Written by Thomas and Rosemary Clarie

Rye Harbor by Peter E; Randall

Although only 43 acres in size, Rye Harbor, NH has a fascinating history and its story, in microcosm, can be compared to much larger bodies of water. This new book does just that. Click for info and a sampling of photos from the book, edited by Peter Randall.




Just Rye Harbor
By Thomas and Rosemary Clarie
Edited by Peter E. Randall

From the Publisher:

Just Rye HarborHere are stories of dredging and jetties, of millers and lobstermen, and of industrious individuals who were willing to dig out the harbor to make room for coastal vessels. The harvesting of Irish moss was a early harbor business and its first building became Saunders restaurant.

For more than two hundred years, Rye Harbor has been a focal point of the community, first with its tide mills and later because of its hardy fishermen who have harvested from the sea lobsters, shrimp, cod, haddock, pollock, and tuna. Stories of ocean disasters, shipwrecks and storms, the 200-mile limit and fishing restrictions are testimony to the rugged individuals who have made their home port in Rye. Among those featured are several of Rye's long time fishermen: Herbert Drake, Lloyd Hughes, John Widen, and Boies family.

Beginning in the twentieth century, the harbor's fishermen began to share the waters and the shores with summer businesses and dwellings. Restaurants, seasonal homes, and dozens of pleasure boats accent the unique environment that is Rye Harbor. Many of the more than 100 photographs have never been published before.

Clyde Roper, Ph.D., left, and Rye fisherman Herbert Drake. Former Rye fisherman Roper is the world’s authority on giant squid. (Clyde Roper)As the authors, Thomas and Rosemary Clarie write in their preface:

"Our main purpose in writing this work is to preserve yellowed newspaper articles, handwritten notes, mentions in old or forgotten books, and pictures from personal photo albums inside the covers of one handy volume that looks at Rye Harbor with fresh, eager eyes from the twenty-first century. If information about a geographical location is not resurrected anew each generation, it risks becoming lost. The tales and incidents we recount should never be forgotten."

Studying the fishermen and lobstermen of Rye Harbor has given us new, intense insight into the concepts of courage and dedication. When we began what was to be a twenty-page book of fishing tips, we had a notion that the harbor had a very sparse history before the Army Corps of Engineering's dredging in 1962. But as we looked at a map of 1851, and heard of cannon, shipwrecks, periscopes, sea moss, and old houses built well, we came to realize the reverse is true: Rye Harbor has a long, rich and vibrant history that its silent shores can choose not to tell. The old stories often speak only to a friend, a kindred spirit who devotedly spends time growing to love and respect this place on earth.

Click for Rye harbor pix


Just Rye Harbor
By Thomas and Rosemary Clarie
Portsmouth Marine Society
280 pages/cloth & jacket
Over 100 black and white photos
AVAILABLE from Portsmouth Marine Society

Courtesy of the publisher

Historic Pictures of Rye Harbor, NH (continued)
Please hold mouse over images to read captions.

The Moss Cottage, used in the Irish moss harvesting business, is now part of Saunders at Rye Harbor Restaurant. (Rye Historical Society)

Detail of photo above

Wrecked boats line the rocks in the aftermath of hurricane Carol. Photograph by (Douglas Armsden, Portsmouth Athenaeum)

View of the south side of Rye Harbor before the 1962 dredging. (Rye Historical Society)

The old wharf, across Harbor Road from the Port of Missing Men, was the center of activity at the harbor prior to 1962. (William Varrell)

Courtesy of the publisher

Historic Pictures of Rye Harbor, NH (continued)
Please hold mouse over images to read captions.

Rye Harbor today, summer 2004. (Peter E. Randall photograph)

“All the ‘young sailors’ before World War II getting early training by the ‘old timers.’” Phil Drake in the foreground, Police Chief Manning Remick standing at right, August 1940. Behind is the Port of Missing men complex owned by the Remick family. (Herbert Drake)

Rye Harbor, circa, 1939, before the jetties were built. (Douglas Zechel)

The ocean front just north of the harbor. (Rosemary Clarie)

Lobsterman and former long-time harbormaster John Widen.

(c) 2005 Photos from JUST RYE HARBOR, Peter E. Randall, Publisher