The Henry Peyser & Son Clothing Store was located at 16-20 Market Street, on the west side adjacent to the Haven Block.
Portsmouth residents Henry Peyser and his son, Gustave, ran a clothing and gentlemen's furnishings store near Market Square during the turn of the 20th Century. The store occupied all of the first floor retail space, which was later converted into two shops.
The Henry Peyser & Son Clothing Store used the motto, “Selling the Togs and Toggery of the Period.” The Portsmouth Directory of 1905 lists the store under a single category:
Clothing and Furnishing Goods.
Gustave Peyser lived from 1855-1928 and became a prominent Portsmouth resident. He was a member of the Masons, the Elks, and the Knights of Pythias. He served as a director of the National Mechanics and Traders' Bank as well as a trustee of Portsmouth Savings Bank.
Located next to the Haven Block, the building was constructed after Portsmouth's Great Parade Fire of 1802 had destroyed Market Square and Market Street.
When Daniel Webster, the famous statesman and orator, lived in Portsmouth during the early 1800s, his law office was on the second floor of the right (north) portion of this building.
The vintage photograph below appeared in C. S. Gurney's 1902 book, Portsmouth . . . Historic and Picturesque. A sign over the left door in the old photograph reads, “Walden’s Job Printing Offices”, a business that operated on the second floor.
I gave up trying to capture a photograph of this building without vehicles parked in front. If that elusive event ever occurs, I hope to have my camera at the ready!
Today, the space has been divided into two retail shops occupied by Lizology, a Ladies' Style, Fashion, and Accessories Store and Solari Salon and Spa.