Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rockingham County Jail

The Rockingham County Jail building is at 30 Penhallow Street, opposite the intersection of Penhallow and Sheafe Streets.

Rockingham County began the construction of two Portsmouth facilities in 1891, Rockingham County Courthouse on State Street, and behind it, a jail fronting on Penhallow Street. The jail was occupied in May 1892, and the courthouse opened for business the following October.


The Portsmouth Athenaeum's Website has a picture of the ivy-covered Rockingham County Jail circa 1912: PostcardCompare their vintage photograph with my shot taken 102 years later:

The two are very similar. The most notable differences are that the climbing vines are gone, the chimneys have been removed, and a modern extension has been added to the rear. Portsmouth razed the derelict courthouse in 1967, but the jailhouse remained and is now used as an office building. On pleasant days on the Seacoast, I wonder if employees working there feel like THEY are in jail?