Where was First Shoals Hotel?
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Written by SeacoastNH Archive


guests at the Shoals/SeacoastNH.com

SeacoastNH.com Presents
Historic Portsmouth #259

Pop Quiz: Where was this summer hotel? Hint: Before Thomas Laighton and his family built the Appledore House on the Isles of Shoals in 1847, they managed the Mid-Ocean House of Entertainment pictured here. (continued below)



Another hint? Okay, the Laightons purchased the small hotel and the island from the Haley family. That’s right, this is Smuttynose Island, site to one of the earliest tourist hotel on the Shoals. Poet Celia Thaxter worked here for her parents as a young girl and met her future husband, Levi Thaxter, who lodged here after finishing college. Your humble historian is currently on Smuttynose Island at this moment where archeologists hope to study the stone foundation where the Mid-Ocean House once stood. Today only two buildings survive on the privately owned island at the Isles of Shoals. This Victorian-era image shows guests on the porch. The building burned in 1911. (Photo courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum / Star Island Collection)

Mid Ocean House of Entertainment on Smuttynose Island / Portsmouth Athenaeum photo

VISIT: Smuttynose Island Section (CLICK HERE
SEE: Legends of Sam Haley (CLICK HERE)
SEE: Walking Tour of Smuttynose (CLICK HERE)

Site of MidOcean House today on Smuttynose Island /J. Dennis Robinson photo

Site of former Mid Ocean Hotel on Smuttynose today