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Yesterday and Today
by Bill & Connie Warren
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Rudder Station


Yesterday, circa 1906, at the foot of Gates Street, and just across Mechanic Street, there were several buildings that were parts of the parcel that made up what was popularly called the Rudder Station. The Rudder Station was founded around 1895 and was part of the Portsmouth Yacht Club. It was a store and gasolene station for motor and sailing yachts that could sail up to one of the piers and/or slips to get re-supplied. From fuel to groceries were offered. In one of their advertisements, the Rudder Station stated, "The store is also known to yachtsmen everywhere as the center for yachting news and gossip of the sport, the being apparent for the fact that the store flies the Rudder Station flag, recognized by yachting people the world over as signifying welcome and good cheer awaits the pleasure seekers of the sea." Sadly the day the picture was taken, the flag was not flying


Today, the entire complex is part of the LaCava Lobster compound. The building in the center of the old picture (the one with the gasoline sign under the window that faces onto the Piscataqua River) still stands. All of the other buildings were replaced as time and water took their toll on wooden timbers. To the far left of the old picture of the Wentworth-Gardiner House roof and dormers are clearly seen. And the house, just over the top of the 'gasoline building' with its distinctive chimney is also still standing.

Unfortunately trying to take the picture (from the same angle and location) was greatly hampered by the bridge to Pierce Island. I tried from the top of the bridge as well as from the State Fishing Pier. The 'today result' is not pleasing but without being on the water, getting the best result was impossible.

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Images property of Bill & Connie Warren

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