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Portsmouth Shipyard

Old Ironsides

John Paul Jones



Old Ironsides


The Poem That Saved Old Ironsides Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Old Ironsides


Olver Wendell Holmes was just 21 when he penned his most memorable poem. It certainly saved the USS Constitutioni, but that salvation took 100 years. One of the nation's best loved patriotic poems first appeared in 1830 when the victorious frigate was only 33 years old and headed for the scrap heap.



Old Ironsides Print Email
Written by Olver Wendell Holmes   

Old Ironsides

Sure you memorized it in school, but have you read it lately? Just 143 words, this classic American poem begs to be read aloud. Here is the complete poem plus the author’s notes. Additional notes include pictures of author Oliver Wendell Holmes as a young and old poet.



A Short History of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

Always beleaguered, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is again battling to steer clear of the federal base closure list. While its days may be numbered, its history is assured. One of the longest surviving shipyards in America, PNY has been making headlines and working hard for America since 1800..



Home by Tug at 103 Print Email
Written by Seacoast Stories   

Connie Small at 103

Exclusive Last Photos

She was the lighthouse keeper’s wife more than half a century ago. Now aged 103, Connie Small thought she might never glimpse her old home from the sea again. But then along came Tug Alley Too. (Update included: Connies Small died in January 2005)



Captain Jones Onstage Print Email
Written by Jim Kelly and Ralph Morang   

JPJ primps in the green room

It was a smashing success. Over 2000 people saw John Paul Jones live onstage at the Portsmouth Music Hall in a dramatic recreation of his famous battle scenes about the RANGER and the BONHOMME RICHARD. For posterity, we have archived the photos by Rakph Morang, on stage and behind the scenes.



Postcards from Paul Jones Crypt Print Email
Written by SeacoastNH Early Images   

Jones Coffin in 1905
Paul Jones’ tomb is "under renovation" in honor of the 2005 centennial of his arrival in America. He was here before, during the Revolutionary War, but Jones’ body returned in 1905 and laid to rest at Annapolis. In honor of the event, we’ve posted our collection of old postcards from Paul Jones crypt in the basement of the Annapolis Chapel. 



Evan Thomas on John Paul Jones Print Email
Written by SeacoastNH Books   

JPJ by Evan Thomas

Captain Jones has inspired scores of biographies since he burst into history during the American revolution. Evan Thomas has managed to capture both the latest scholarship and the elusive personality of the well-known, but rarely understood hero. Before his visit to in Portsmouth, we talked to Evan Thomas by phone.



Ranger Barely Captures HMS Drake Print Email
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   


Jones & Piscataqua crewmenJOHN PAUL JONES & PORTSMOUTH, NH

Despite a mutinous Piscataqua crew, Paul Jones pulled off America's first major sea battle. The first successful American naval "raid" is all the more amazing, considering the odds against its success. Jones was fighting an enemy spirit within his own ranks from men more interested in plunder than democracy.


Bret Harte Tackles Paul Jones Print Email
Written by Bret Harte   


"Off Scarborough" (1878)

Many great writers have taken on the exploits of John Paul Jones. Many more will. Here the Cowboy Poet dramatizes the battle of the Bonhomme Richard in "Off Scarborough" by Bret Harte.



Annual JPJ Birthday Party Print Email
Written by GOseacoast Events   

John Pail Jones House

They still celebrate his birthday at the Paul Jones House in Portsmouth. Many years ago we attended the celebration on the lawn and grabbed these photos. The simple ceremony often ends with red, white and blue cake. Our photo tour follows.





  • John Paul Jones

    (1747 - 1792)

    Scottish born naval captain John Paul Jones visited New Hampshire twice. In 1777 he took Portsmouth-built RANGER with a Piscataqua crew to France. There he worried the British in a series of guerilla raids before his famous battle in the BON HOMME RICHARD. Later, a hero decorated by the king of France, he returned to Portsmouth to fit out the AMERICA, largest ship of war ever built in the nation to that day.  Jones stayed at the Purcell House, today the Paul Jones Museum. This site offers those stories and many more.

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  • The Shipyard


    Skilled boatbuilders were producing fine wooden ships from the dense local forests  by the late 1600s. The Raleigh, first of the ships in the Contientnal Navy was built here before the Revolution. Shipyards flourished all along the Piscataqua and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine is over 200 years old. This section is dedicated to those ships, the men and women who built and sailed them, and their families.

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  • Old Ironsides


    Among the oldest pictures in the US Navy archives is an iamge of :Old Ironsides" under repair in Portsmouth Harbor. Though built and berthed still in Charleston, Mass, the USS CONSTITUTION has deep ties to the Piscataqua. The oldest US naval ship was here for nearly two decades during a strange era in her history -- told here.

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