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SEE ALL SIGNED BOOKS by J. Dennis Robinson click here
Strawbery Banke, A Seaport Museum 400 Years in the Making

Strawbery Banke by Ralph MorangSEACOAST BOOKS

Three years in the making, the first-ever history of Strawbery Banke Museum is now available. Weighing in at four-pounds, the highly-readable history includes 400 pages, with 375 pictures covering 400 years along the Portsmouth, NH waterfront. Ken Burns calls it an "important" new book. Get your signed copy here.




Order Your Copy Here Today



UPDATE: In September 2012 President Barack Obama visited Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He arrived on a campaign stop directly following his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention for his second term. For a signed copy (signed by me, not the President) of my official 400-year history of this unique museum from the author’s personal collection, fill out the PayPal order form below or order as “collectible” for



A Seaport Museum 400 Years in the Making
Strawbery Banke book by J. Dennis RobinsonBy J. Dennis Robinson
Published by Peter E. Randall
for Strawbery Banke Museum, 2007

Strawbery Banke Museum is a core sample of a changing America. The dramatic story of New Hampshire’s oldest neighborhood and only seaport spans 400 years in 400 pages with over 370 photographs and illustrations. Author J. Dennis Robinson transforms history into a page-turner, going behind the scenes to explore why and how we preserve the past. The cast of characters includes Indians, explorers, accused witches, enslaved Africans, Royalists, Puritans, poets, patriots, prostitutes, murderers, immigrants, museum professionals, and just plain folks.

Order a signed copy for $35 (plus $5.50 postage).
Postage includes media mail book rate, plus
cardboard box container
MEDIA MAIL RATE takes 1 - 3 weeks

Click here to ship book via US Post Office
$35 book plus $10.50 shipping
Priority Mail 2-5 business days


"This is an important book about one of the best history museums in the country."
-- Ken Burns, NH filmmaker

"This is how history should be written! Robinson tells the full story -- the good and bad, myth and fact, in a lively candid account."
-- Bill Veillette, Executive Director, New Hampshire Historical Society

"A fresh and telling wind blows over Strawbery Banke in this well researched and important book, told with insight and perspective."
-- Mary Ann Esposito, PBS Ciao Italia host and former museum president

"What a pleasure to have all your questions answered before you visit a historic property---great fireside reading!"
– Bob Vila, Home Improvements expert

To get a signed copy click COLLECTIBLE on
be sure to order from bookstore
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At first glance it looks like a peaceful New England village – but look deeper. Strawbery Banke Museum is a core sample of an ever-changing America. The first European settlers were seeking gold and a Northwest Passage to the Orient. They battled wolves and imagined witches. This small spot was home to Puritans and Royalists, patriots and enslaved Africans, shipbuilders and murderers, daytrippers and ladies of the night. It has been praised by poets and condemned by politicians, attracting the very rich and the very poor.

The 10-acre museum campus, New Hampshire’s earliest neighborhood, began as a British plantation on a tidal inlet. Abandoned by its founders in 1635, the settlement "accidentally named" Strawberry Bank survived to become NH’s only seaport. A century later the bustling Portsmouth waterfront was home to royal governors, tall ships, skilled artisans, and wealthy merchants. When the maritime economy crashed and the city burned in the nineteenth century, the "Puddle Dock" neighborhood drew waves of immigrant families to its ancient low-rent buildings. Then in the twentieth century, fearful of urban "blight", a federal redevelopment project went off here like a neutron bomb. The population and the junkyards disappeared, but a grassroots preservation movement saved many historic buildings from the bulldozers of progress.

Rich with pictures and painstakingly researched, this is actually two books. The first tracks 400 years of history along the Piscataqua River with dramatic tales that will surprise even New Hampshire natives. The story then goes behind the scenes to the controversial founding of Strawbery Banke Museum in 1958. Tapping into private letters, unpublished records and personal interviews, the author explores the politics of preservation in a small blue-collar city. Always lively, this highly readable history tracks modern Portsmouth from a gritty working seaport to a cultural heritage destination, assessing what is gained and what is lost along the way.

Special autographed gift-boxed copies available only
from Strawbery Banke Museum gift shop
($100 limited edition defrays cost of publication)
Click here for
Strawbery Banke web site

Strawbery Banke: A Seaport Museum 400 YEars in the Making by J. Dennis Robinson

J. Dennis Robinson is editor and owner of the popular regional web site An educator, audio and video producer, lecturer, and columnist, Robinson has published over a thousand articles on local history and culture. His most recent books include juvenile biographies of outlaw Jesse James and Maryland founder Lord Baltimore, and Wentworth by the Sea: The Life and Times of a Grand Hotel. He lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with his wife Maryellen Burke.

By J. Dennis Robinson
Click here for six more books on

Richard Haynes Jr. earned a Master of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in New York. Born in the South, he is currently a noted NH painter, educator and activist. Ralph Morang grew up in Rye, and his family has been involved with Strawbery Banke since the 1960s. He has been a freelance photographer and photojournalist in the seacoast for thirty years. Douglas Armsden photographed Strawbery Banke in its founding years. Born in 1921 he lives in Kittery Point, Maine.

Back Cover, photo by Ralph Morang

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