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Smuttynose Murders




History Tours

Grave Site

Isles of Shoals


Click on a special section or select an article from the list below.


Old Portsmouth

NH History    

Portsmouth Seal Shows Changed City Print Email
Written by SeacoastNH Archives   

Portsmouth Seal Presents 

What better way to "keep Portsmouth Portsmouth" than to measure our progress against the city's official seal from the past? I scanned this one from an 1873 report on the "Return of the Sons and Daughters" celebration, but there's a larger seal hanging on the wall of the city council chambers. (Click headline for full article) 

A Simpler North End Halloween 1932 Print Email
Written by SeacoastNH Archive   

Halloween Presents 
Historic Portsmouth #485  

The evolution of Halloween as a full-blown commercial extravaganza speaks volumes about our increasingly material world. Back before seasonal superstores and ornate parades, this was a humble and much-less-scary affair. (Click headline for full details and pic) 

Gilleys Still My Favorite Portsmouth Eatery Print Email
Written by SeacoastNH Archive   

478 detail00Historic Portsmouth #478 Archive

We all have our Gilley stories. Mine are legion and most not fit for publication. The first time I partook of a Gilley dog and beans the rolling restaurant was parked in Market Square. (Continued below with photo) 

L-8 Was First Portsmouth Submarine Print Email
Written by SeacoastNH Archive   

477 Presents 
Historic Portsmouth #477  

The USS L-8, seen here in Kittery, was commissioned on August 30, 1917.  L-8 was the first LAKE class submarine of its class built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery. This early submarine served on the East Coast. (Continued below) 

Before the Gardens Grew at Atlantic Heights Print Email
Written by SeacoastNH Archive   

Atlantic Heights Presents 
Historic Portsmouth #471

If you have yet to "discover" the city's historic Atlantic Heights neighborhood, this is a good weekend to sail down Kearsage Way. All the streets are named for Portsmouth-build ships -- Falkland, Raleigh, Crescent, Saratoga  etc. -- and the low income housing project was built by Uncle Sam in 1919. (Continued below) 

View from the Ceres Street Ferry Print Email
Written by SeacoastNH Archive   

ferry Landing Ceres Presents  
Portsmouth #467 

A couple of weeks ago we showed the Ceres Street ferry landing all smashed up with boats apparently tossed onto the docks by a hurricane. Seems only fair to put things back together this week. (Continued below)

What the USS Ranger Looked Like Print Email
Written by SeacoastNH Archive   

Playing with Ranger models in Portsmouth, NH / Robinson Presents 
Historic Portsmouth #469  

This image comes from sailor, author, and maritime illustrator William Gilkerson and represents the best scholarship available as to how the sloop of war Ranger looked. No plans survive, but historians believe the design was scaled down from the Raleigh, also built by William Hackett. (Continued below) 

Spanning the Centuries Print Email
Written by SeacoastNH Archive   

Memorial bridge detail Presents 
Historic Portsmouth #468 

No other photo from the archives seems more appropriate this week than this shot of the 1922 Memorial Bridge span arriving on the scene. How often do we get to see history so vividly repeated? The arrival of the middle span for the new bridge across the Piscataqua this week looked hauntingly familiar. (continued below) 

A Modest Proposal for Parking in Portsmouth Print Email
Written by SeacoastNH Archive   

Parking poster Presents 
Historic Portsmouth #466  

When I was digging through 1980s files this week for my article on the Market Square Mural (Portsmouth Herald, Monday, June 2) I stumbled on this old gem by photographer Ralph Morang. Controversy raged back in those days too about whether the city needed a high-rise municipal parking facility. (Continued below) 

Boats Crash into Portsmouth Ferry Landing Print Email
Written by SeacoastNH Archive   

465 Presents
Historic Portsmouth #465

Hit the Decks! Do you know why they named that restaurant on Ceres Street the Old Ferry Landing? Well, um, because it was once a landing for the ferry that regularly criss-crossed the river to Kittery.  (Continued below) 


More Articles...

  1. Wayfinding Portsmouth a Century Ago
  2. Portsmouth Train Wreck of 1909
  3. Seeking ID on Frank Jones Brew Crew
  4. I Visited Portsmouth in 1950
  5. Please Keep Away from Puddle Dock Wharf
  6. Sarah Long Bridge Takes Another Toll
  7. Train Kept a Rolling into the River
  8. Crossing the Wiggly Old Pile Bridge
  9. Gateway to Portsmouth History
  10. Pageant of Portsmouth Candid 1923
  11. Classic Pose for a Classical Exeter Education
  12. Peaceful Days Before They Planted the Dynamite
  13. Miss Finch Comes to Appledore
  14. Where These Pictures Come From
  15. Canada Lee Comes to New Hampshire
  16. Frozen on the River in 1918
  17. Brewery Wars in Downtown Portsmouth
  18. Have a Happy Lucky Vintage Piggy New Year
  19. Whitewashing a Bald Eagle in Kittery
  20. Harry Winebaum Lights the Way
  21. Jes Pullin a Few Pots Off Portsmouth Haba
  22. The Battle of Memorial Bridge
  23. Now Serving Plymouth Rock Gelatine
  24. Maybe a Whale Eyeball or Funky Christmas Tree Ornament
  25. Just Married 65 Years Ago
  26. Weather without Warning in 1938 Hurricane
  27. Everyone Dressed Up in 1923
  28. Stumping with the Stars in Portsmouth NH
  29. NH Published First Illustrated Newspaper in 1839
  30. Taft and Graft in 1912
  31. Boy Street Buskers Across the Centuries
  32. The Oxford Novelty Vaudeville Company Onstage
  33. The Smuttynose End is Near
  34. The Song of Roland
  35. A Day at Happy Hampton 40 Years Ago
  36. At the Grave of Celia Thaxter on Appledore Island
  37. Inside the Bartlett Museum of Amesbury
  38. Climbing to Boars Head House
  39. Woman in Boat with Ship-Shaped Hat
  40. The Girl Who Saved Warner House
  41. Not Worth a Continental
  42. Captured Spanish Admiral Cervera Takes a Walk
  43. Big Rock Candy Picnic on the Shoals
  44. A Civil War Passion for Fashion
  45. A Portsmouth Cinderella Story?
  46. Portsmouth High School Graduation 1922
  47. Gosport Goes Green with Wind Power
  48. Hanging Fish on the Line
  49. Barrett Wendell as Young Rising Star
  50. Mid-Ocean House of Entertainment
  51. Congress Goes to Blazes in 1964
  52. Franklin House Burns in 1879
  53. The Mysterious Langdon Hotel
  54. More Fire on Congress Street
  55. I Saw the FB-111A Crash in Portsmouth
  56. Marking a Tragic Anniversary
  57. Homage to the Portsmouth Monster Master
  58. Photographic Evidence of Early Shoalers
  59. Eliza Rymes Laighton was Mother of Celia Thaxter
  60. Global Warming Beach Fashions
  61. Strike Up the Band
  62. 50 Years of Giving by Cynthia Raymond
  63. Do You Know These People?
  64. Greetings from Portsmouth Naval Prison
  65. Campaigning in ’64 with AuH20
  66. Romney for President in 1968
  67. Who Moved the Haley House at Smuttynose?
  68. South Church on a Peaceful Day
  69. Drowning Man Saved in Dramatic Rescue
  70. Smuyttynose Murder Ax on Travel Channel Tuesday
  71. Victorian Actors in Revolutionary Costumes
  72. John Thaxter Poses Unhappily in the 1850s
  73. Jaffrey Cottage Burns in New Castle
  74. Christ Church Burns in 1963
  75. One Fish, Two Fish, Old Fish, New Fish
  76. Gathering Heralds of Peace
  77. Joshua and Sarah Wentworth Slept Here
  78. De Rochemonts Attend Cinerama Holiday Gala
  79. Frank Jones on the Rocks
  80. Hot Girls Pose in Portsmouth
  81. Report from Portsmouth Air Show 2011
  82. Memorial Bridge Guards Nazi U-boats
  83. Hats Off to the Men Who Built Memorial Bridge
  84. The Goat that Ate Camp Heywood
  85. Hot Enough for Ya?
  86. For Whom the Bridge Tolls
  87. The Original New Hampshire Tea Party
  88. Floral Arch on Water Street in 1900
  89. Moving the Joseph Whipple House
  90. The Oldest Piano in America?
  91. The Mysterious Old Statehouse Balcony
  92. Portsmouth Reacts to Lincoln Assassination
  93. Just a Quiet Afternoon in the Parlor?
  94. The Original Oceanic Hotel
  95. Skinny Boy Lounges at the Isles of Shoals
  96. Celia Thaxter Garden Early in the Season
  97. Land Shark in a Wheelbarrow
  98. Isles of Shoals Famous Faces
  99. Portsmouth Memorial Bridge View 1924
  100. Sacrifice of Abraham at Warner House


  • Smuttynose Murders


    We cannot shake this murder from our sleep. In March 1873 three Norwegian women were attacked in the dead of night on Smuttynose Island. Two died. One survived to condemn a local fisherman. Read the historic facts behind the "Weight of Water" in our detailed Smuttynose Murder section on  

    See all articles 

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  • Brewster's Rambles


    His two-volume  "Rambles About Portsmouth" are a time capsule to life in early Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Charles Brewster, a mil-mannered 19th century newspaper editor rarely traveled outside his home town. Lucky for us. We are continually adding selections from his 855-page history. A great resource for genealogists too.

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  • Historic Tours


    Homes from four centuries still dot the Seacoast region. Few regions in the United States offer more historic buildings open to the public. Check our list of famous buildings and tours in this region.

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  • The Grave Site


    Lots of dead people inhabit our ancient region, founded in 1623. In this section we collect tales and tombs and memorials to those gone. Click on, if you dare. And for deadly places to visit see our ever-expanding cemetery archive in GOseacoast.

    See all articles

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  • Isles of Shoals


    These nine rocky islands are divided along the border of New Hampshire and Maine. The Isles were a key destination for European fisherman before the Pilgrims landed. Today they are surrounded in misty legends made famous by island poet Celia Thaxter.

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  • Wentworth by the Sea


    For the last 20 years the once-grand 1874 Wentworth Hotel languished by the sea in New Caslte, NH. Now the renovated hotel is back. It's surprisingly 130-history is the source of this web site and our new book -- Wentworth by the Sea: The Life and Times of a Grand Hotel. Read on or click on the link to purchase an autographed copy of WENTWORTH BY THE SEA: The Life and Times of a Grand


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  • Then & Now


    The more things change, the more they stay the same.  This special archive include 50 comparisons between Portsmouth now and in the 19th century. Images from the collection of Bill and Connie Warren. And don't miss the great OLD MAPS of Portsmouth clickable below.

    See all 50 articles

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  • Historic Portsmouth

    Historic PortsmouthA SPECIAL WEEKLY FEATURE

    Strawbery Banke presents a “new” image each week from Portsmouth’s long historic past. These rarely seen photographs offer glimpses into the life of the port city from the end of the Civil War to the turn of the 20th century. Check back for the newest image or click through the growing archive. Photos also appear weekly in the Portsmouth Herald.

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  • NH History

    NH HistoryNew Hampshire, like America, began at the Seacoast and moved inland. This history, rarely told, has many fascinating tales. American history textbooks often ignore the Granite State and Maine. Northern New England is often overshadowed by its cousins to the South. Yet this region has been active for 400 years, with thousands of years of Native American history before. So bit-by-bit, we’re putting more of those NH stories online.

    Article Count:

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