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Mystery Boys from Puddle Dock

Do you know me? Are you me? Strawbery Banke Presents

This damaged photograph presented to the Strawbery Banke archive is unlabeled, but offers are clues. The boys are standing on Charles Street in Puddle Dock against what is now the Lowd House. The Jackson, Hough and Shapley houses up Horse Lane are visible to the right. Know more about these boys? Send us an email.




HISTORIC PHOTOS of the Greater Portsmouth Area appear here weekly

Boys in Puddle DOck, Portsmouth, NH (c) Strawbery Banke Museum archive

Close-ups and Reader Letters

Early Photographs from the Collections of Strawbery Banke
(c) Strawbery Banke Museum . All rights reserved

Puddle DOck detail 1 / Strawbery Banke Museum


Puddle Docker Detail 3 

South End Portsmouth Boys (c) Strawbery Banke Musuem



I believe that mystery boy in the picture is me.It looks so much like I did when I was a kid , I lived across Liberty Hill from Melvin Pendergast and in front of the Locke's house . The address was 55 Charles St. I served 20 yrs. in the Aire Force and was married with 3 children and I now live in Pembroke NH outside of Concord. The Westgate family was the last ones to live in the house at 55 Charles St and our family picture use to hang there on the wall to the right as you entered. I understand it was taken down during work and stored in the Archives. I hope so.
Sincerely Gordon Westgate

Hi Dennis, The picture is from the 1940's. I recognize some of the guys and their houses from that period. Front row second from the left I believe is Lesley Locke. His house is the first one pictured on Liberty St. (Horse Lane) Behind him, with the hat, is Norman Noseworthy. Beside Norman is Donald White of Washington St. Beside Lesley, I think, is Milledge Stewart of Hancock St. Third from the right is Mel Pendergast. He lived in the house they are in front of. On the extreme right is Macey (last name Mace). I think he lived in the second house pictured on Liberty St. Macey was legendary for a petrified cookie throwing incident. (Hitting a junkyard czar at great distance.) According to legend I'm sure you will get other responses that will fill in the blanks. 
Thanks and regards, Jim Dowey

Re: your picture of the puddle dockersr, I am quite certain of the identity of five guys in the front row. L to R, Bob Watson, Les Locke, Howie Locke, Gene Watson and Mel Pendergast.  The other faces are familiar but can't put a name to them. We all hung out in puddle dock in the early fifties.  -- From  Marilyn Markey Ecker 

I spent my childhood years living in the Puddle Dock neighborhood (1940 - 1956).  I can positively identify most of the kids in the photograph:  First kid on the left is Bobby Watson, who lived on Jefferson Street; The kid with the hat is Norman Noseworthy, who lived across the street from the Watsons;  the kid standing in front of Noseworthy is one of the Locke kids who lived in  the house on the right on Liberty Street (big family, lots of Locke kids); standing next to him, wearing the sweater,  is his cousin, Howie Locke; the kid in the rear, standing next to Noseworthy is, I'm almost sure, a kid from the White family who lived on Washington  Street; Gene Watson is in the center front; to his left is Melvin Pendergast, who lived in the house behind the group photograph; then comes John Thurber,whose family lived --  facing Mrs. Abbot's store -- to the left and rear;  last kid on the right is Harold Mace, who also lived in the Watson -- Small house, and whose parents were tragically killed in an auto accident in the early to mid 40's.I hope this helps.  Keep up the good work.  There are still some misconceptions about our dear old neighborhood. 
-- Sincerely, Tom Barron

Dennis,My name is Fred Locke. I called my father [ Howie Locke ] tonight and he told me his picture was in the herald .. under unknown puddle dockers . Know known as Strawberry Bank. After a chat I thought it would be a good idea to get in touch with you and let you know that to much of my dads surprise.. the photo was of all his good friends taken sometime around 1951 . He seems to believe Sept maybe the 1st day of school.. The spelling may be off a bit but the kids in the picture  Front row left to right are as follows_  Bobby Watson, Les Locke , Howie Locke , Gene Watson, Melvin Pendegase , John Thurber and Clarence Mace  2nd row as follows- left to right Skida Noseworthy and Don White.My dad turns 70 years old on Sat. the 5th of May .Dennis thanks for your time hope this makes to the herald.
-- From Fred Locke, Milford, MA

Fred Locke, below, gets the prize.  The only change is Pendergast, who is my cousin.  Tom Barron is not quite accurate about Thurber.  John Thurber and his family, at least at one time, lived in the Abbott store.
-- Sherm Pridham      


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