Hanging Fish on the Line
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Written by SeacoastNH Archives

Fisherman on Isles of ShoalsSeacoastNH.com Presents   
Historic Portsmouth #410

Twenty-first century folks often find it hard to connect with the past because so much of what made this region great no longer resonates. The fur industry is as dead as a beaver hat. We no longer export masts for tall ships or staves for wooden barrels. But at least, for now, we still have fishing. (Continued below)

 

Dried “stockfish” or “dunfish” were the commodity that essentially created the seacoast economy. We tried to buy some the other day and it’s hard to come by, usually imported from Newfoundland, where the industry flourished perhaps as early as the late 1400s. Faster transportation, depleted stocks, better containers, and refrigeration killed the local dried cod industry, but the commercial and game fishing business still survives. Here a vacationing sportsman hangs his trophy fish on the line at the Appledore Hotel. The school of fish on the line in the other photo may be displayed at the former Champernowne Hotel in Kittery. (Courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum).

Fish drying at Champernowne Hotel in Kittery maine

NOTE FROM A READER:

Hi - the picture in the May 10, Portsmouth Herald was indeed of the Champernowne Hotel in Kittery Point.  The little boy on the right is Horace Mitchell, Jr. and the large gentleman on the right is Horace Mitchell senior, owner of the hotel.  Junior was my father and the senior was my grandfather. Just thought you'd like to know.  -- Mary Mitchell Carter.

Fish on line at Appledore Hotel in Victorian era / Portsmouth Athenaeum

BONUS CLOSE-UP

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(c) Portsmouth Athenaeum
as seen on SeacoastNH.com