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Yesterday and Today
by Bill & Connie Warren
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Odd Fellows Hall

Buildings and street numbers are not always the same today as they were yesterday in Portsmouth. Old buildings are taken down for various reasons. Sometimes they are replaced with newer ones and sometimes they are replaced with other needs. For instance, at the turn of the 20th century, on Congress Street there were some one or two story wooden framed buildings in between the Odd Fellows Hall (circa 1877) and the ones next to the North Church. Today there is a parking lot in the same location. But in 1906, one of the buildings housed W. Harry Chick's lunch room. "Familiarly known to the hungry as 'Chick's Life Saving Station' was the restaurant and lunch room at 46 Congress Street. It is unsurpassed in service, good food and high-class cooking" their advertisement claimed. But we will never know because Chick's is gone forever.

Today there is no number 46 Congress Street, but there is number 40 - 48. It is the street address for the Odd Fellow's Hall. Since 1745 there has been a building on this corner. The first building had a lot of names over the years ... it was the Mansion House and then called the Temperance Mansion House. After 1841 it was named the City Hotel and finally the National Hotel. In 1877 the old building burned; it was replaced by the National Block. When the Odd Fellows bought it in 1919, they renamed the new building.

Now the ground floor houses Pars Oriental Rugs. The rest of the building is the corporate headquarters for Apogent Technologies. Their brochure says, "Apogent Technologies is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and sales of the highest quality life science and analytical products. We produce thousands of value-added specialty and state-of-the-art laboratory products for the clinical research and industrial markets."

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