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Considering the fact that I lived in New England for 23 years, I don’t remember venturing to Portsmouth. The “beach” I knew was in Maine however last weekend I found myself in a little city that had completely captured my attention and my imagination. I think it really hit me when I saw a sign that said “Portsmouth Settled 1623”. Now – that’s old!
First, I really need to tell you that if you love history that you need to venture to Portsmouth. It is amazing and it just makes me want to explore the history of the area. Portsmouth sits right on the Atlantic coast and holds a huge harbor that has been used for hundreds of years (literally hundreds of years) as a major point of imports and exports and holds an extensive volume of history.
There are many historical homes in the area. This is one of them – The Warner House. It is one of the earliest, brick urban mansions in the area – built in 1716 for a Captain who married the Governor’s daughter.
I was told by my “tour guide” that this is the town library (above). Kinda makes you want to just read about the library.
Old homes and narrow roads.
Some of the earliest settlers in the area were those who were exiled Puritans from Massachusetts. In 1774, Paul Revere was said to have ridden thru the town to warn that “the British are coming!”. This area holds history including the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, do I really need to go on here?! Following the Civil War, beer and ale became quite the popular industry in the area. Even today, this area holds some of the largest ale makers. Walking thru the area you cannot help but allow your mind to wander back to hundreds of years ago and wonder what this area was like, or did it really even look that different? (Obviously, in the 1700’s there were none of these ugly telephone poles!)
I absolutely love this street. Looks unreal.
So I had made my way into Portsmouth and was completely flabbergasted by my surroundings. These buildings were ancient yet they were beautiful and so well kept. This was a real life museum where people lived, worked and wondered daily and today I was lucky enough to be one of them. After living in Texas for almost four years, I’ve missed how much history New England holds. This was like the cherry on top.
After having lunch with a couple friends from high school, we walked around a bit and checked out our surroundings. Here are a few other things that caught my, or our, eyes.
I’m going to say one of the coolest doors in New England. Yea – I said it.
We walked down by the water. Here are the tugboats and the big ole pile of salt that has been shipped in to help with the icy, snowy roads. This is January and there is not a drop of ice or sand. It felt like spring.
Now if anyone is in need of a new bridge… my tour guide informed me this is for sale for $3 million. You can bring it to your town or even your back yard if you want. It’s currently being worked on, obviously.
Ah! And here we are! Long awaited visit with some awesome people. Cody and my tour guide, Chris.
Now, for your interesting fact of the day. What Chris is pointing to here is the Portsmouth Naval Prison. Legend has it, according to my tour guide Chris and a port tour that he took is that years ago, Walt Disney was at the prison (with a little research, he was said to be a guard here) and while in a boat, he came around the bend and saw the prison and thus the inspiration to Cinderella’s castle was born.
If you ever find yourself wanting to do a little historic tour of a New England coastal town – I’m going to say Portsmouth is the place! I think the next time I visit, I’m definitely going to have to try to get into the nitty gritty of some of the historical buildings and area a bit more.
If you’ve been or even end up going, I would love to hear what you though!
For more info on the area, check out Portsmouth’s Website.