Thursday, March 20, 2014

John H. Broughton House

The John H. Broughton House is located at 586 Middle Street, on the northeast corner of Middle and Cass Streets.

This elaborate house reportedly cost John H. Broughton $8,000 when built in 1874. Broughton, a Portsmouth native, was a wholesale and retail dealer in building supplies, particularly lumber, lime, cement, plaster, and slate. Broughton’s wharf once jutted into the Piscataqua River from the eastern end of Daniel Street.

His company, originally called Samuel Adams & Company, started in 1841. John Broughton joined the firm in 1845 and became the sole owner in 1881.

A successful businessman, Broughton was also a director of the First National Bank and the Piscataqua Savings Bank. He was a staunch Republican and member of the Republican State Committee, served as the mayor of Portsmouth from 1876-1877, and State Senator in 1879 and 1880.

The vintage photograph above was published in the 1895 book, New Hampshire Homes, by James A. Wood. Although the outer appearance of the mansion has barely changed after more than a century, the John H. Broughton House is now a four-family home.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Snowy Portsmouth

Walking in Portsmouth has been difficult during the winter of 2014 due to persistent cold and frequent snow storms. Those beautiful brick sidewalks downtown become treacherous when covered by a thin layer of ice; you have to beware of falling ice from the rooftops above; the view of many historic buildings has been blocked by snowbanks; and holding a camera still is impossible in freezing temperatures with icy winds.

For this post, I am comparing recent snapshots of snow-covered Portsmouth landmarks with photographs from the past. Only the first vintage photo was previously published on WalkPortsmouth.

I'll start with one of my favorites. The historic Captain Chauncy House at 202 Islington Street, built in 1807, was converted into a gas station back in 1937. The old photograph below, from a 1936 Historic American Building Survey (HABS), was taken shortly before its transformation.

The John Paul Jones House, built in 1758, sits at 43 Middle Street. The building was a boarding house owned by the widow of Samuel Lord when Revolutionary War hero Captain John Paul Jones roomed here, while supervising the 1781-1782 construction of a 24-gun warship. This beautiful black-and-white photograph was captured by the Detroit Publishing Company in 1907 and is published here courtesy of the Library of Congress.

The next one is the Masonic Lodge at 351 Middle Street. Wallace Hackett built the elaborate house in 1892 and was the sole owner before the Masons purchased the home in 1920. I found this old photograph in a book called New Hampshire Homes, published in 1895 by James A. Wood.

The last building is the Warner House located at 150 Daniel Street. A Scotsman named Captain Archibald Macpheadris built the brick mansion around 1717 to reflect his vast wealth, gained as a successful Portsmouth mariner and merchant. This vintage photograph also comes from the 1895 book, New Hampshire Homes.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

D. J. Carroll Grocery Store

D. J. Carroll’s Grocery Store was on the southeast corner of Penhallow and Bow Streets.

During the turn of the 20th Century, Portsmouth had a working downtown with many grocers, hardware and dry goods shops, music stores and art supplies, confectioners – anything residents needed to live, love, and thrive. Among them were two opposing grocers on Penhallow Street where it meets Bow Street. John O. Downs Fish and Meat Market, later owned by John Holland, sat on the west side of the road, while D. J. Carroll & Company sold groceries, meats, and provisions on the east side.

The old photograph below, looking east down Bow Street, was captured during the 1890s and shows both grocers. John O. Downs' market is on the right foreground, and D. J. Carroll’s store is beyond it in the center-right background. On the left is Merchants Row and W. E. Paul's plumbing store.

Dennis J. Carroll became the owner of his grocery store around 
the year 1899. He and his son, Charles P. Carroll, were the proprietors through at least 1917. 

The grocery store was listed in The Portsmouth Directory of 1905 under the categories Canned Goods; Flour and Grain Dealers; Grocers; and Produce Dealers.

The vintage photograph below was published in C. S. Gurney’s 1902 book, Portsmouth . . . Historic and Picturesque. Today, the block serves as a parking lot for the Thomas J. McIntyre Federal Building on Daniel Street.