Portsmouth Shipyard Celebrates
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Written by GOseacoast Tours

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard / SeacoastNH.com
200 YEAR BICENTENNIAL PIX

On August 24, 2005 the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard dodged a bullet. Members of the federal base closure committee voted NOT to keep the shipyard on its hit list. Despite the recommended Portsmouth closure by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, military experts suggested otherwise. Portsmouth, they said, is just to valuable and too effective to close. Click for our 200th anniversary gallery.

 

READ: A 200 year shipyard history

Since its opening the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has dedicated much of its attention to staying open. Again and again its closure has been suggested, but rejected. In August 2005 the "Save our Shipyard" activists were overjoyed to learn that the Kittery, Maine facility had been taken off the federal base closure list. That reminded us of some historic celebration photos in our archives.

Five years earlier, in the summer of 2000, SeacoastNH.com attended the bicentennial celebration at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Times have changed. Since 9-11 the base has been largely off limits to visitors for security reasons. That’s sad, since this is more than a naval shipyard. It is also an historic location with some fascinating maritime heritage sites. Most cannot be seen easily by the public today, including a rarely opened maritime history museum.

The bicentennial, by contrast, was a festive occasion with bands and beer, parades and submarine tours. Established in the year 1800 on a cluster of islands in the Piscataqua River, the shipyard was recently called the "gold standard" for American shipyards. In memory of the bicentennial, and in celebration of the BRAC decision not to close the Yard – we offer these archived pictures. -- JDR

SEE: Early postcards of the navy yard

Place mouse over pictures for captions

Re-enactors on base at the SHipyard bicentennial in summer 2005 / SeacoastNH.com

Shipyard workers pass the

The Squalus Memorial honoring the 1939 submarine tragedy / SeacoastNH.com

Among dozens of weekend events was the ceremonial bell tolling service at the old cemetery. This contemplative moment took place just prior to the event.

Shipyard museum director Jim Dolph in front of a model of the USS Albacore / SeacoastNH.com

Ice cold beer at the Shipyard celebration in 2000 / SeacoastNH.com

CONTINUE to sec.ond page of SHIPYARD images


Shipyard Bicentennial Photos (Continued)

Portsmouth Naval Prison, unused, as seen from the Piscataqua River / SeacoastNH.com

Decaying naval prison as seen in closeup during 2000 bicentennial / SeacoastNH.com

Getting directions during the bicentennial in Kittery, ME

Old and new buildings at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

Sailors tour early 19th century barracks

Historic tall ship anchor at Portsmouth Yard

Photos (c) SeacoastNH.com. All rights reserved.
Originally published in 2000, revised 2005.