Franklin House Burns in 1879
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Written by SeacoastNH Archive Presents
Historic Portsmouth #404

The more one studies the history of Portsmouth, the more its buildings shift and change. In keeping with our spring theme of fires and downtown hotels, this muddy image shows the rubble of the Franklin House on Congress Street. The fire broke out in a building behind the Franklin House at 5 am on May 8, 1879 according to the Portsmouth Daily Chronicle. (Continued below)


Fireman arrived promptly, but the flames spread quickly in a brisk northwesterly breeze. The second image shows the Franklin House before the fire. It was promptly replaced with the current Franklin Block by owner Alfred Stavers. That large brick building originally included six shops and a large central restaurant on the ground floor. The two historic “amusement halls” upstairs have since been remodeled into office space. (Courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum)


Franklin House before the Fire BONUS PHOTO


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