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Warner House Built 300 Years Ago Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Warner House doorwayHISTORY MATTERS


An amazing survivor, the Warner House may be the finest example of an early brick urban home still standing. Although it was nearly razed in the 20th century to make way for a gas station, the Georgian mansion continues to tell tales of the rich and famous as NH's only seaport began its eco9nomic rise in the early 19th century. (continue to article)



Living with the Ghost of Ichabod Goodwin Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Ichabod GOodwin of the 19th centuryHISTORY MATTERS

Harvey Bennett is cheating a little. He has been dutifully turning the spit over the roaring fire in the "keeping room" of his South Berwick home. The giant brick hearth is huge. Three or four people, stooped over, could huddle inside it-- but not now. The flames are licking up the blackened walls toward a fragrant joint of meat impaled on an iron rod. ( Read more)

Walking the Historic Streets of Portsmouth NH Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

walking-steepleHISTORY MATTERS

Last week the online version of National Geographic magazine posted the headline: “Is Portsmouth the USA’s Greatest Small Town?” Judging by the enthusiastic review, we might be.

The Science of the Historic Appledore Island Garden Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Detail of Celia's garden by Childe HassemHISTORY MATTERS

Gardeners, history buffs, and art lovers are ecstatic. The much anticipated exhibit on Celia Thaxter’s island garden opened last weekend at the prestigious Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. Massachusetts. American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals features more than 40 works by the Boston painter who spent decades summering on Appledore Island, just off the Maine and New Hampshire coastline. (continued below) 

A Quick History of Gulls on the Shoals Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Attacking gull on Smuttynose by Rodman PhilbrickHISTORY MATTERS

It is not quite 5 a.m. The gull colony on the uninhabited tip of Smuttynose Island have begun to murmur as the surf beats rhythmically against the jagged white-streaked rocks. The place  stinks of guano. It is littered with dried bones and empty crab shells. There are no other humans here. Just me and a few hundred sleepy dinosaurs.


More Articles...

  1. The Making of an Unprecedented Edmund Tarbell Art Exhibit
  2. NH-born Publisher Enticed Charles Dickens Back to America in 1867
  3. Three Lives of the Portsmouth Marine Society
  4. Ben Franklin Installed New Hampshire Lightning Rod in 1763
  5. Kittery Little Red Schoolhouse on Life Support
  6. The Man Who Dug Up John Paul Jones
  7. Miss Nancy Underhill Swept Off Star Island in 1848
  8. US WWII Ambassador John Winant Gets His Memorial at Last
  9. The Unexpected Portsmouth Art Gallery
  10. Inside the Wondrous Woodman Museum
  11. My Favorite Portsmouth History Books for Kids
  12. The Truth about Bricks and Mortar
  13. Understanding the Portsmouth African Burying Ground
  14. Saving the Old State Street Store
  15. George Orwell Taught Me to Write History
  16. New Monument for the Man Who Named New England
  17. Painting the First Picture of Portsmouth
  18. Tallest Tombstone in New Hampshire is 100 Years Old
  19. Portsmouth Builds Rare HMS America in 1749
  20. Unloved President Franklin Pierce Had Seacoast Connections
  21. Those Dangerous Daily Newspapers
  22. When Old Ironsides Was Ours
  23. Five Reasons to Skate at Puddle Dock Portsmouth
  24. Heavenly Days at the Hellish Portsmouth Naval Prison
  25. The Lost Interview with Dorothy Vaughan
  26. Tough Times for Tough Portsmouth Mayors
  27. Alemaker Frank Jones was Hero and Heel
  28. Repairing Sir Peter Warren
  29. The Brief Life of the First Oceanic Hotel
  30. Portsmouth 1814 Brick Act was Unpopular Law
  31. How Massachusetts Almost Ate New Hampshire
  32. 1847 Letter
  33. An 1847 Message from Hog Island
  34. Unraveling the 1694 Murder of Ursula Cutt
  35. The Day the Piscataqua River Exploded
  36. Gettysburg Concordance App Brings Battle to Life
  37. The Flags of John Paul Jones
  38. Rower Retraces Smuttynose Murder Route
  39. Reflecting on a Painted Wall
  40. The Fickle Fate of Tobias Lear
  41. Portsmouth and Dover Still Feuding Over 1623 NH Founding Date
  42. How Portsmouth Partied in 1923
  43. NH Governor Driven Out of Three Mansions
  44. New Book Will Fully Explore 1873 Smuttynose Island Ax Murders
  45. Black Heroes and Heroines of Portsmouth
  46. How John Paul Became John Paul Jones
  47. My First 50 Years With Computers
  48. Horrific Boon Island Wreck Has Portsmouth Link
  49. Reviving the Portsmouth Powder Alarm 1774
  50. Finding the First House in New Hampshire
  51. Atlantic Heights WWI Shipbuilder Neighborhood Story Told in Book
  52. Why I Hate Fake Pirates
  53. Predicting the Future of Kittery and Portsmouth
  54. Presidents Who Visited Portsmouth
  55. Experts Say Exhibit Not Reconstruction is Best Use of First NH State House
  56. New Ways to See the Old Portsmouth Seaport
  57. What We are Learning about the Isles of Shoals
  58. Facing Up to Facebook
  59. Edward Warren Clark was Magic Lantern Man
  60. Newspapers and History are Siamese Twins
  61. The Second Death of John Greenleaf Whittier
  62. George Washington Slept Here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  63. Did NH Governor John Langdon Own Slaves?
  64. How We Created the Isles of Shoals Exhibit
  65. Why George Wasson is Worth Remembering
  66. Recycling Old Portsmouth Tree Tales
  67. Recalling Portsmouth in the War of 1812
  68. Rare Photo of NH Revolutionary War Vet Featured in New Books
  69. Federal Fire Society Adds to Its Bucket List
  70. Teaching an Old Library New Tricks
  71. Discovering the History of Discover Portsmouth
  72. Mitt Romney and Poetry, UFOs and Trash
  73. Thomas Morton Abandoned at Isles of Shoals
  74. What Scrooge and the Grinch Learned and Santa Forgot
  75. American Revolution Began in New Hampshire
  76. NH Rejects Aristotle Onassis Oil Refinery in 1974
  77. State of the First NH State House Revealed
  78. Demystifying Witchcraft in Portsmouth and Salem
  79. The Lost Jaffreys Come Home at Last
  80. Who Needs Another Gundalow?
  81. Portsmouth Herald Seeks Its Own Birth Date
  82. Why John Smith Failed to Colonize New England
  83. Secret Portwalk Dig Yields Buried Treasure
  84. Henry Tufts Wrote First American Criminal Autobiography
  85. Reformer Frederick Douglass Spoke in New Hampshire
  86. The Making of Portsmouth's Greatest Maritime Art Exhibit
  87. Three Beebe Girls Buried at Isles of Shoals
  88. The Last Battle of Fitz-John Porter
  89. Inside the USS Kearsage Monument
  90. How the Tall Ships Really Came to NH
  91. Andrew Peabody Preached Against War in 1847
  92. New England Takes Fort Louisbourg in 1745
  93. William Morris Hunt Dies Mysteriously at Isles of Shoals
  94. NH Jewish Community Deeply Rooted in Portsmouth
  95. First Religious Newspaper Born in NH
  96. Robert Frost According to Joe Frost
  97. Primus Fowle Ran First NH Press
  98. Snow-Bound Poem Made Whittier Wealthy
  99. Prescott Park Created by Millionaire Sisters
  100. Seacoast Teen Abducted to Brothel


  • History Matters

    J. Dennis Robinson writer logo by Reggin LoganHISTORY MATTERS

    Seacoast History by author / editor J. Dennis Robinson, presented biweekly in collaboration with The Portsmouth Herald. (check the Monday Herald every other week for printed version). In "History Matters" Robinson explores regional history and its connection to modern issues in a dramatic and highly readable style. The author has been writing about the "America\'s Smallest Seacaost" (sm) for over two decades.For up to 100 original aritlces by JDR also click here to visit AS I PLEASE. For the latest news see the Portsmouth Herald online web site just click here.    

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  • As I Please



    The editor ponders history, mostly, in this popular Seacoast column. This index contains over 100 original columns by J. Dennis Robinson. The author has been writing about the "America's Smallest Seacaost" (sm) for over two decades.

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  • Historical Societies

    You will find a small historical society building in almost every town in the Seacoast region. Each is unique, run by its own cluster of local history fans and filled with curios. Most are in great need of funds and volunteer help. If you have more updated links, please send them along, and please -- help preserver your town history before it is too late.

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  • Jesse James Films

    Jesse James by J. Dennis RobinsonTHE DINGUS PROJECT
    Jesse James in the Movies

    At least 50 American films and documentaries include the character of outlaw Jesse James. The Dingus Project is one man\'s attempt to view ALL of those films. Writer J. Dennis Robinson began this project after writing a biography of Jesse James for children -- Jesse James, Legendary Outlaw, published in hardcover and paperback by Compass Point Books.The goal, besides watching a lot of movies, is to provide a quick databse that shows how few of these films are based on fact, and how widespread the "imaginary" view of Jesse James has grown. Thanks to Hollywood, the historic Jesse James has all but disappeared. So far we\'ve obtained copies of over 30 films and documentaries related to Mr/ James and we\'re posting them like crazy in anticipation of the Brad Pitt film to be released in 2007. Sure, it\'s crazy, but so was Jesse.

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