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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day Tripping in Portsmouth, NH

Unseasonably warm weather made a walking tour of Portsmouth, NH  enjoyable. After visits to Manchester and Nashua, the 1st and 2nd largest cities in NH, this visit was to one of the state’s smaller cities (pop. 21,250).

Once a village, it was settled by English immigrants in 1630 and named Piscataqua, after the Abenaki name for the river, and later renamed Strawberry Banke, after the many wild strawberries growing beside the Piscataqua River. Strategically located for trade between upstream industries and mercantile interests abroad, the port prospered. Fishing, lumber and shipbuilding were principal trades in the region. Slaves were imported as early as 1645 and formed an integral part of building the city's prosperity. Portsmouth was part of the Triangle Trade* and reaped significant profits from slavery.
portsmouth collage2When incorporated in 1653, it was named Portsmouth in honor of the colony's founder, John Mason. Mason was the former captain of the port of Portsmouth, England, in the county of Hampshire, for which New Hampshire is named. Portsmouth was named the colonial capital in 1679. Portsmouth boasts a historic seaport and is a popular summer tourist destination especially in summer months.
water views collageMarket Square in the heart of Portsmouth’s dining and shopping district with many brick buildings built after devastating early 19th century fires. The worst was in 1813 when 244 buildings burned.A fire district was created that required all new buildings within its boundaries to be built of brick with slate roofs; this created the downtown's distinctive appearance.
portsmouth collageWith the protection of a Historic District Commission, much of the city's irreplaceable architectural legacy survives. It draws tourists and artists, who each summer throng the cafes, restaurants and shops around Market Square. In 2008, Portsmouth was named one of the “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
* The Triangular Trade refers to a slave route. Its name is from the three routes that formed a triangle. The first route carried fish, lumber, and other goods from New England to the West Indies. In the West Indies, ships picked up sugar and molasses which is a dark brown syrup product made from sugar cane. This was used to make rum. From the West Indies, merchants carried the rum, along with guns, gunpowder, and tools to West Africa. Here, they traded these items for slaves, then took the slaves to the West Indies where they were sold. Traders would take the profits and buy more molasses.
Portsmouth offers a wide choice of restaurants, bakeries, and shops, many with distinctive hanging signs. Here are a few . . .
signs collageEasy to see what’s offered in these places . . .
signs collage2Some signs were round . . .
round signs collageSome were square or rectangular . . .
square signs collageStill overs were oval-shaped . . .
oval signs collage

12 comments:

thecottagebythecranelakeolof1 said...

Beautiful town and I love those signs!
Not quite that warm over here today, more lik 29F this morning :-) now it rains again but will stay rather warmthankfully :-)

Have a great day!
Christer.

(GBS) NewsFromTheHill said...

I wish iphoto could do collages!!! I get envious everytime I see one of your posts with so many great shots!

Grace

Montanagirl said...

Beautiful - And I really like the variety of signs found there. Very quaint.

Snapper II said...

Fantastic post, also a great educational tour. I clicked on all the photos, and wow I found all of it inspiring. I realy loved the signs.

Lois Evensen said...

Yes, I really enjoyed this post, too. We love old towns and their history. This one if fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

Daisy said...

Lovely post, Beatrice! Interesting to see the buildings and learn a little about the history there. :)

Out on the prairie said...

A lovely bit of the ocean to enjoy.

Susie Swanson said...

I enjoyed these and I love the ocean there. Can't keep up with you..lol.

Elaine said...

I love all those signs. Looks like a fun place.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi Everyone, thanks for the comments. Portsmouth, NH was a lovely seacoast town to explore and its buildings are quite unique, especially all those signs!

Grace, collages are really simple when using Picasa. If you get a chance to download it you will see what I mean, it's nearly foolproof.

Country Mouse Studio said...

wonderful collage of the area. It's the kind of things that would catch my eye during a visit too

L. D. Burgus said...

I really like all the signs. We don't do that much with signs in the mid American states.

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