Mutant Duck for Dinner
  • Print
Written by Seacoast Nh Archives Presents
Historic Portsmouth #303

It must have been a slow news day at the Portsmouth Herald back in 1946 when the call came in from the kitchen at Wentworth by the Sea Hotel. While preparing 300 ducks for a banquet, the chef’s assistant Frank Graham discovered one with an extra pair of legs. (continued below)


A newspaper photographer rushed to the scene and cleverly re-staged this picture with the four-legged duck. Graham (seen scratching his head) loaned me this photo for my book on the hotel, but by an oversight, it was not included. Graham appeared in this column two weeks ago dressed as Adolph Hitler in a 1946 masquerade ball. He served as a meat-cutter when the hotel reopened after World War II under new management. James and Margaret Smith, a Colorado couple, had purchased the "exclusive" 256-room hotel and its contents for $200,000 from owner Harry Beckwith. The sale included staff dormitories, many outbuildings, "The Ship" swimming pool and theatre, a golf course, the dock, several hundred acres of prime waterfront land in New Castle and Rye, plus a separate house just over the Little Harbor bridge. The Smith’s sold the hotel in 1982 for an estimated $5.8 million. (Courtesy Frank Graham)