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Yesterday and Today
by Bill & Connie Warren
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Christ Episcopal Church and Rectory


Yesterday, c. 1910, Christ Episcopal Church and Rectory were located on Madison Street approximately opposite the end of Austin Street. (In the 1877 Bird's Eye map of Portsmouth, the site of Christ Episcopal Church is a large open block of land. To find the location, start at Market Square, follow Congress Street to Middle Street to Austin Street and go to the end where it dead-ends at Madison Street) The church's corner-stone was laid in 1880 on St. John's Day; the building was dedicated on July 3, 1883. The stone from which it was constructed was taken from Leach's or Murphy's Island in Little Harbor. The pews were provided, at no charge, by a bequest in the will of George M. Marsh. Christ Church gained prominence in the city when it was chosen for services for the dignitaries from Russian and Japan who were staying here for the Russia-Japan Peace Treaty signed in Portsmouth in 1905. In 1963, Christ Church was destroyed by fire.


Today, Christ Episcopal Church has been rebuilt on Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, on the opposite side of the road approximately across from Yoken's Restaurant. Madison Street has become a bedroom community of many single and multiple family dwellings. Where the church and parish house stood, there is an apartment complex. This neighborhood, which was once enhanced by the beauty of a fine old, native stone church, has been transformed by its loss.

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