The Windmills of Portsmouth
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Written by SeacoastNH Archive Presents
Historic Portsmouth #288

Historian Charles Brewster tells us that a man named Toppin Maxwell once had a windmill here on Deer Street. So I purchased these two pictures from separate online auctions. Both were sold as "Portsmouth, NH windmill". But they are not. (Continued below)


As George W. Bush used to say -- "Fooled me once, shame on me, fooled me twice…. (um, er, ah)." That presidential quote sums up my embarrassing search. So who knew there was also a Portsmouth, Rhode Island? Apparently that beautiful town (population 17,000) was founded in 1638 on Aquidneck Island. It is surrounded on three sides by water with moderate temperatures year round, thanks to breezes from the ocean and Narragansett Bay. Sounds like the perfect location for – you guessed it – a windmill. Turns out that this photo and engraving both depict the Roger Sherman grist windmill. Built in 1812, it has been moved twice and is now restored at Prescott Farm in that other Portsmouth. (Courtesy of Collection)


READ Toppin Maxwell's Windmill