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A Simpler Christmas in Canterbury
Written by Top Event Team   

Canterbury ChristmasMARK YOUR CALENDAR

Christmas at Canterbury will be held on Saturday, December 7 and Saturday, December 14 from3:00-8:00pm at Canterbury Shaker Village. Tickets are $18 for adults, $8 for children age 6-17; children under 5 free. Member admission is half price. (Click link for details) 

Victorian Costume Embellishments Book Talk
Written by Top Event Team   

Author and costume designer Astrida NugentMARK YOUR CALENDAR

The Victorians knew a thing or two about decoration. Just ask costume historian Astrida Schaeffer, founder of Schaeffer Arts and author of "Embellishments: Constructing Victorian Detail." You can ask her yourself  at the Portsmouth Athenaeum on October 10. (See details of book talk below) 

Head and Heart Debut in Prescott Park July 31
Written by Top Event Team   

head and heartMARK YOUR CALENDAR
The Head and the Heart will be traveling all the way from Seattle, WA to make their debut in Prescott Park as part of the River House Restaurant Concert Series on Wednesday, July 31. The sextet’s Americana roots and strong vocal harmonies blend effortlessly to create the groups impeccable folk-pop sound which promise to light up the FairPoint Communications MainStage starting at 7 pm. (continued below)

Portsmouth Underbelly Tours Return
Written by Top Event Team   


Murder, scandal, and whorehouses are nothing new for this bawdy tour that proves history does not have to be boring. The adults-only tour is stand-up history as costumed characters take you back into a time the city would like to forget. (Continued below) 

Why We Need to Tell the Founding Story of New Hampshire
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

blogbrainsmallSeacoast History Blog #144 
November 13, 2012

Every November we pay lip service to the founders of New Hampshire who have been given the boot by historians and the public alike. The settling of the GraniteState just can’t compete with the largely mythological Pilgrim story. I’ve been kicking the alternative story around for decades and we can begin to see some daylight. Reporters are at least asking questions about what really happened with the Mayflower gang. I got interviewed by New Hampshire magazine a couple of years ago. They did a nice little piece on the founding of New Hampshire. Here is the raw interview I did with a few updates. (Continued below)

Moving the 1789 Fire Society Treasure Trunk
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

blogbrainsmallSeacoast History Blog #143 
September 27, 2012

It was supposed to be a bigger affair. Plans to move the Federal Fire Society archive from the vault at Piscataqua Savings Bank across Market Square to the Portsmouth Athenaeum originally included an escort by fire department members. That plan was trimmed down to one, as Assistant Fire Chief Stephen Achilles helped carry the wooden trunk containing the records of the 1798 organization from the city’s oldest bank to the city’s ancient research library just a block away. It was, all the same, an historic event, and I was honored to be asked to tag along. Next year is the bicentennial of the Great Fire of 1813 that devastated the city and it was time for the treasures of the 1798 organization to finally see the light of day. You will get to see what’s in the trunk as part of an Athenaeum exhibit next year. But here’s a quick and exclusive peak inside. (See photos below)

Tearing Down the Hotel Porch
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

blogbrainsmallSeacoast History Blog #143 
September 4, 2012

People keep asking me if I’m sad that the history exhibit we spent so much time creating is coming down. The borrowed dugout and birchbark canoes went back to Maine. The replica hotel porch came down yesterday and today Nate Hamilton and his assistants are boxing up the artifacts. The stuffed birds, the ancient barrels, the old boats and tools, the signs and the 1873 murder ax are all going back from whence they came. On Saturday the Shoals Marine Lab held a celebratory dinner for 125 marine biologists in the middle of the exhibit at Discover Portsmouth that spilled out into the gift shop area. By the end of the week a whole new art show will replace my Isles of Shoals display. I’m told that 10,000 visitors saw the show this summer. But all things must pass. I’m less sad about the past than nervous about the future. What’s next? I do not know. (Continued below)

Writing about Child Labor for Children
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

blogbrainsmallSeacoast History Blog #142 
September 1, 2012

I was struggling to come up with a topical blog about Labor Day. I mean, it is a history-based holiday and I do write history. It’s a fuzzy holiday for me since it isn’t named after some famous president or a guy like Columbus or Jesus or Martin Luther King. It has been a federal holiday since 1894. But exactly what is “labor?” What are we celebrating? I work my butt off seven days a week, so this might be a holiday honoring me. The official definition doesn’t help much. Labor Day honors “the economic and social contributions of workers.” Huh? The first Monday in September “pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers.” Basically, it’s a get-out-of-work card in the game of life. I was still thrashing around for a topic when I realized – hey – I wrote a whole book about labor! (Continued below)

Inside the Boston African Meeting House
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

blogbrainsmallSeacoast History Blog #141 
July 20, 2012 
Part 1 of 2

What’s missing for so many of us seeking to fill in the Black History of our nation is a sense of place. In New England we’re forever looking into the basements and attics of the homes of wealthy white people for traces of African America. We have precious few buildings, documents, or artifacts to guide us. (See photos below)

Portsmouth Steam Punk Fire Engine KEARSARGE is Back in Town
Written by J. Dennis Robinson   

blogbrainsmallSeacoast History Blog #140 
July 7, 2012

“Congratulations,” I told assistant fire chief Steve Achilles at the firehouse on Court Street this afternoon. “You now own the best and biggest and coolest historical artifact in the City of Portsmouth.”

There it was, the original, authentic KEARSARGE in all its glory sitting only a few yards from where it used to be back in 1872. It is a steam punk dream come true, a mechanical playground of copper, nickel, steel, and wood. The gauges, flywheels, levers, and dials look like something off a submarine by Jules Verne. And it is ours once again – all ours. (Continued below)


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