Mid-Ocean House of Entertainment
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Written by SeacoastNH Archives

406_001SeacoastNH.com Presents   
Historic Portsmouth #406

Speaking of local hotels, here is another hard-to-find photo of the former Mid-Ocean House of Entertainment on Smuttynose Island. Four volunteer carpenters have just created a replica of this historic porch INSIDE the Discover Portsmouth Center. (I’m not kidding!) The replica is part of our summer exhibit “Under the Isles of Shoals” running from May through August 2012.  Archaeologists will be digging into the hotel foundation this summer. (Continued bleow)


We don’t know when Sam Haley built the original hotel in the early 1800s, but it was renovated by Thomas Laighton in 1846. His wife Eliza was a superb cook and homemaker and business was a success. That’s the year 22-year old Levi Thaxter met his future bride 11-year old Celia Laighton on Smuttynose. The following year in 1847 Thomas Laighton built the Appledore Hotel and the Isles of Shoals began its evolution from fishing village to tourist Mecca. I am curator of the upcoming show “Under the Isles of Shoals” and hope to see you there. (Courtesy of Portsmouth Athenaeum)