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.