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Yesterday and Today
by Bill & Connie Warren
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Portsmouth Coal Pocket

Yesterday, circa 1906, the waterfront of Portsmouth had a completely different look because most of the ships were still sailing ships such as is seen at the Portsmouth Coal Pockets of Arthur W. Walker on Market Street. In one of his advertisements he says, "In the magnitude of operations, extensive facilities and modern methods, Portsmouth Coal Pockets stands prominent among the heavy coal dealers in New England, and foremost in New Hampshire, his coal pockets being the biggest in the state. Established in 1869, the business has been a constantly developing one, reaching out for a great trade, which it has been able to supply, through continually increasing efforts and facilities."

Today, the same area has been modernized and is the wharf for Granite State Minerals, Inc. In the picture, one of the many ships that deliver salt (for use on our winter roads throughout the northeast) is seen off-loading its cargo. Granite State Minerals, Inc. was incorporated in 1959. The current pier was owned and operated by Consolidated Coal, one of the companies who were coal dealers following Portsmouth Coal Pockets demise early in the 20th century.

The pier is considered a "deep water" marine bulk terminal. Ships that use this facility can be as long as 750 feet with a maximum draft of 35 feet. This allows Granite State Minerals to accept salt deliveries from most of the world's bulk shippers.

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