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Yesterday and Today
by Bill & Connie Warren
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In Front of the North Church


Yesterday (c. 1905), meeting friends in front of the North Church was a daily occurrence if a trip to the beaches was planned. There was a double line of trolley tracks where trolleys departed for points north to York Beach and points south to Salisbury Beach, MA as well as the New Hampshire seacoast resort areas. As the Portsmouth Electric Railroad advertisement read, "The city service covers all important streets and outlying districts, including various visiting points of interest. Additional lines run to famous shore resorts, notably Jenness and Rye Beach, Little Boar's Head, and North Hampton. Connections are made for Hampton, Hampton Beach, Salisbury Beach, Exeter and various points beyond." The other trolley service was the Portsmouth, Dover, Kittery and York Street Railway. Their advertisement boasted, "The quaintest road in America. From Portsmouth to Kittery is by ferryboat. From start to finish every mile is historic. No trolley ride anywhere is more unique or delightful. Marshes are traversed, meadow land, field, and forest, highways and biways, brooks, lagoons and bays, sometimes on terra firma and oftentimes on elevated trestles, but always in a fascinating manner and often exhilarating."


Today, meeting friends in front of the North Church is still a daily occurrence. But the trolley tracks and trolleys are no longer part of the tourists attractions. Today there are benches, trees, and wide brick sidewalks and the motoring traffic moves continually down Congress Street.

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