Early Seacoast Images
"Cross-Grained & Wily Waters"
Photos from the New Piscataqua
"Cross-Grained and Wily Waters"
is an absorbing guide to the maritime heritage of the Piscataqua
regioon. Combining history and environment, this highly
readable guide is the latest in a long tradition of local photo
books. Wily Waters includes 240 photos, a small sample shown here,
and 75 essays on an enormous range of topics by 41 contributors.
Edited by W. Jeffrey Bolster, this sturdy large-format paperback
tackles topics including forts, architecture, fish and shellfish,
archeology, shipping, the tourist trade, mills, ecology, economy,
and on. The book also comes with a separate, fold-out, annotated map
of the region, from Seabrook, NH to York, ME. "Wily Waters" (2002)
is published by Peter E. Randall. If you can only buy one local book
-- this is it. -- JDR
Photos from "Wily Waters"
The launching of the pleasure gundalow
Driftwood in the 1950s at Adams Point, Durham. Gundalows were
river-going trucks unique to the Piscataqua region that carried much
of the local cargo up and down the Piscataqua waterways. A more
recently restored gundalow, named for Capt. Adams who built the
vessel shown here, was launched in Portsmouth in the 1980s and
is still visible on the river as a reminder of the gundalow
tradition. Photo by Doug Armsden, courtesy of the Old Berwick
Salt marsh haying along the Piscataqua, another way in which the river once affected daily life in this region. Photo courtesy of Portsmouth Athenaeum.
Prior to 1960, African
American tourists often stayed at black-owned guest houses along the
Piscataqua such as Rock Rest in Kittery, Maine. Today, thanks to the
Black Heritage Trail
, modern tourists are learning that this region's African American population has a continuous and distinct local history dating back to 1645. Photo courtesy of Valerie Cunningham.
Sadly, the Stackpole warehouse in Rollinsford, NH was demolished around 1900, and evidence of the region's long maritime history with it. Today the Shaeffe warehouse, with a similar overhanging second story still stands on the Piscataqua at Prescott Park, one of the last indicators of a once bustling seaport. Photo courtesyof the Old Berwick Historical Society.
sides of the Piscataqua River have been heavily fortified against
invasion since the 1600s. Fort McClary, Fort Foster, For
Constitution and others still stand, although none were ever
officially used in defense of the region. This photo shows the only
active firing of the artillery unit at Fort Deadborn, now Odiorne
Point in Rye, on Jone 21, 1941. Photo courtesy of Seacoast Science
Visitors to Strawbery Banke Museum may not recofnize the real Puddledock as it appeared during a low tide in 1899. The watery area is now filled in and forms the center of the museum campus. Courtesy of Strawbery Banke Museum.
Although still a
commercial port, Portsmouth has changed greatly since its
hardknuckle port stacked with piers. Even in the early 20th century,
the wharves and docks were much more common than today. The Memorial
Bridge was built on this spot in 1923 and the dock in the foreground
now deals with pleasure craft and leads to the Prescott Park garden
and outdoor theater. Courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum.