Decking the Vintage Halls
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Written by SeacoastNH Archives Presents
Historic Portsmouth #338  

We’re so lucky to have Strawbery Banke Museum to remind us how our American holiday evolved. Thousands crowded into the warm historic houses in the South End museum recently to see a slower-paced celebration from bygone days. The successful Candlelight Stroll has now become a year-end tradition in its own right. (Continued below)



Finding a photograph of a real Victorian-era Christmas in Portsmouth, however, is no easy task, but here’s one. This rare image shows the Unitarian Church (South Church) on Court Street decorated for Christmas. This photograph comes from a stereoscope slide issued by Charles and Lewis Davis. The Davis Bros. ran a lucrative downtown business beginning in 1861 and later specialized in these souvenir cards. When viewed through a “stereograph” (a hand-held device invented by Oliver Wendell Holmes) the two photographs delivered a surprisingly effective 3D image. (Courtesy of the Portsmouth Athenaeum)  


338_Xmas_Church 2010