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.

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