Category Archives: portsmouth

African Burying Ground Memorial Park (Portsmouth, NH)

Date Of Visit: October 7, 2017

Location: 386 State St, Portsmouth, NH

Hours: open daily, 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: There is not a parking lot for the memorial but there is limited metered parking on State St (free before 8 a.m.)

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: African Burying Ground Memorial Park

Highlights: sculptures, memorial, historical

Tips:

  • street parking is free before 8 a.m.
  • the entrance to the park is on State St, although it is often listed as Chestnut St.
  • don’t forget to read the signs placed throughout the memorial for more background information about the memorials

It’s not common knowledge, or it’s a conveniently forgotten fact, that Africans and other people were brought to the northern states as slaves.  It was not just something that plagued the south.

The first known slave that was sent to Portsmouth was a man from Guinea who was brought there in 1645.  He was not the only either.  Soon, hundreds of other slaves would follow.  In fact, during the Colonial Era, Portsmouth had the largest number of slaves in the colony.  Up to 4 percent of the population of the town were slaves, according to a 1767 census.  By 1810, there were virtually no slaves in the area.  However, rumors of the “Negro Burying Yard” persisted.

The site, referenced in town records as, “the Negro Burying Yard” was paved over, built upon and dismissed.  That is, until 2015.

Years and years passed with these bodies buried unceremoniously in an unmarked gravesite until a work crew excavating the area found wooden coffins with human remains buried under the pavement.  DNA analysis and other tests confirmed the individuals exhumed as being African.  In 2008, 8 bodies and coffins were dug up in the area.  There were roughly 200 bodies buried there.  After much debate, the town decided to re-inter the bodies in their original resting place.  In 2015, the remains were buried and the memorial was built and dedicated to them.

At the entrance to the park there is a memorial of two people on a slab facing  opposite directions.  This was meant to embody the separation and uncertainty experienced by those brought here as captives as well as their perserverance.  The gap between their fingertips is meant to be a reminder of their forced separation and the divisions of past injustice.

IMG_6394

The sculptures of the people are called The Entry Figures.  The male figure in the group stands for the first enslaved Africans that were brought to Portsmouth and those that followed.

IMG_6386

The woman on the other side of the represents Mother Africa.  She is endlessly straining past the obstacles that keep her from her children of the Diaspora.

IMG_6379

The pain etched on their faces is undeniable.

As you enter the park, you may notice words etched on the ground.  These words are the “petition line.”  The petition line is a collection of phrases from the Freedom Petition that 20 men who were purchased as slaves had filed with the New Hampshire legislature to gain their freedom.  (see video below to see the Petition Line).

Roughly in the middle of the park is a design under which the burial vault is located.  The Adinkra Figure “Sankofa” meaning “Return and Get It – Learn From The Past” forms a shield and cover for the burial vault.  The re-interred bodies rest beneath this this shield never to be disturbed again.

IMG_6328

The life-sized bronze silhouettes, known as the “community figures”, represent the collective community of Portsmouth.  They are meant to symbolize the people who fought to acknowledge, pay tribute to and defend the souls whose remains were recovered there.  Each of the figures has a line from a poem by the memorial’s designer  and sculptor, Jerome Meadows.

Encircling the figures on the railing are designs based on African kente cloth motif.  The shapes of the designs are meant to represent boat paddles.  The ceramic tiles were created by students from the Portsmouth Public Schools.  Having the children of the area create these decorative tiles was meant to be a gesture to those buried there.  The younger generation were able to contribute to the memorial and possibly, in some small way, pay tribute to the people buried there.  One of the videos below shows the tiles in their entirety.

The park is a peaceful place for reflection.  I was a relief and heart warming, though, to see children (you may hear them in one of the videos), playing and enjoying their time at the park, unaware of the tragedy that occurred there.  I think those buried there would be happy to know others are able to enjoy the park despite the sadness attached to it.

I also think it is important to try to find light and not only learn from these memorials but also find inspiration there.

These videos below show the railing and petition line at the park.

 

 

 

 


Governor John Langdon House (Portsmouth, NH)

Date Of Visit: August 26, 2017

Location: 143 Pleasant Street, Portsmouth, N.H.

Hours: (summer hours listed)

Friday – Sunday
June 1 – October 15
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Tours on the hour.

Last tour at 4:00 p.m.

Closed July 4 (as well as other major holidays)

Cost:  $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $4 for students

Free for Historic New England members and Portsmouth residents.

Parking: There is free parking in the lot on Pleasant St next to Citizens Bank and metered  or 2 hour parking throughout the city

Website: Governor John Langdon House

Tips:

  • tours start on the hour from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

IMG_1031

One of the oldest homes in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area, the Governor John Langdon House remains one of the most popular homes to visit in the historic homes in the Portsmouth area.

Built in 1784 by the three time governor (at the time called “President”) of New Hampshire as well as General in the American revolution and signer of the United States Constitution, John Langdon, the Langdon House has 4 rooms on both of its floors.  Many of the elaborate interior designs are attributed to prominent woodworker Ebenezer Clifford.

It was very interesting hearing about how little subtle things that we may not notice meant a lot to the dwellers of the house.  Such as the ornate architecture which signalled someone’s wealth and station in life.

Another indication of wealth in terms of decor and design of a house at that time is doors.  Yes, doors.  The more doors you had in your home was considered a sign of wealth.  The funny thing is that in the photo below one of the “doors” (the one on the left) is actually a false door.  It gave the impression that the house is of

Although his father did own slaves and servants were afforded meager living quarters, Governor John Langdon did not own slaves (according to historian and site manager of the Langdon House) Peter Michaud.  Langdon also reportedly opposed slavery and even went so far as to send letters to politicians in Washington expressing these sentiments.  But, working and living in the Langdon House was not an easy life.  The servants quarters were located in the third floor above the living and sleeping quarters on the second floor.  The tour does not show these rooms.  But,

If you look closely you will see how the house follows the rules of symmetry (another hallmark of a house owned by a person of wealth). If there is one window in one room, then the room across the hall would have the same.  If there were two windows, the room adjacent or across from it would have two, etc.  And some of the windows are ver ornate.  If toy look through the window, you may notice there was a wedding during our visit.  Periodically, during out tour of the house we would hear applause from outside of the house.

It’s hard to believe but on both sides of the house there was a clear view of the city and water.  Trees and buildings as well as other developments know obscure these views.

The rooms of the Langdon House show, what was considered at the time, luxury and opulence.

It was also interesting to view and learn about the various items in the rooms such as this humidor and a liquor serving device.

No details were spared in the construction of the house.  For one, unlike many houses at the time, the steps were wide and not as steep as most houses of the time.  Also, the design of the  The column, spiral and baluster shaped sequence was a sign of wealth as well.  In some cases, if the home owner did not have a lot of wealth, he would often have this sequence of railings pictured below until about half way through the staircase.  Then, he would have only the cheaper column railings until the end of the staircase.  This is not the case at the Langdon House.

IMG_1011

The kitchen area was, for its time, advanced.

The contraption shown below was used to let the servants know when a meal was ready to be served.

As you can see in the second photo, the straight line (vertical) to the right in the top section of the machine went to an up and down (horizontal) in the same part of the machine.  This alerted the servants that the food was ready to be served.

Much like the house itself, the grounds of the Langdon House are also well kept.

Dogs aren’t allowed in the Langdon House (an exception may be made for service pets).  But, I did see this smarty pants named Einstein, a 4 and a half year old Lab, Retriever and Chow mix, while I walked back to my car from the house.

IMG_1043

Today’s featured New England related blog post is Eric McCallister Photography.  The Portsmouth based photographer photographed a wedding at the Langdon House some years ago.  You can find him on Facebook here.


“Sea to Shore: Sculpture Inspired by the New England Seacoast” (Portsmouth, NH)

Dates Of Visits: July 29, 2017 & August 26, 2017

Location: Governor John Langdon House, 143 Pleasant St, Portsmouth, NH

Cost: Free unless you want to photograph the statues inside the Langdon House

Parking: There are several parking lots (notably the free parking lot next to Citizens Bank on Pleasant St) and street parking available throughout the city

Handicapped Accessible: The outdoor exhibits are but the Langdon House is not handicapped accessible.

Dog Friendly: No

Website:

Highlights: sculptures displayed on the grounds of the Langdon House

Tips:

  • You can photograph or view some of the statues outside of the Langdon House.  If you want to view all of them (there are about 20 to 30 more inside the house), you have to pay the admission price to enter the house – I highly recommend paying for the tour even if only so you can view the sculptures inside the house
  • If all the lots are full which is common this time of the year, (free) street parking and some metered parking near the center of town can be found on some of the side streets such as Parrot Ave.
  • All of the sculptures shown in this post are available for sale

IMG_3716

Land meets shore at the latest sculpture exhibit at the Governor John Langdon House in Portsmouth, Hew Hampshire.  The “Sea To Shore” sculpture display currently on display on the grounds and in the Langdon House.

The exhibit, which is on display until October 15, uses stone, metal, wood and other materials from the New England area with many of the themes of the New England seacoast.  The exhibit includes 45 pieces from

This sculpture titled “Fish With Travelers”was made out of granite by stone art enthusiast Thomas Berger. Talk about a fish out of water.

There are 10 more sculptures shown below that are on display on the grounds at the Langdon estate.

IMG_4313

Fisherman by Madeleine Lord made of welded steel.

Backstroker by David Adilman is made of Vermont gray marble.

Flotsam And Jetsam by Morris Norvin made form reclaimed steel barrels.

Serpentine by Irene Fairley made from Vermont marble.

Fragrant Flow by wood artist Jeffrey Cooper made of teak and bluestone.

IMG_4358

Moon Swings by Douglass Gray  made of steel.

Brown Crab by Thomas Berger made of fieldstone.

Urchin Sphere by Karin Stanley made of granite.

Genetically Modified Squid by Thomas Berger made of fieldstone.

Vertical Water” by Karin Stanley was not being displayed when I took the photos of the outdoor sculptures.

Inside the Governor John Langdon House there are many more sculptures.  You have to buy a ticket to view the sculptures (a tour of the house is included…blog post about the tour to follow soon).  I gladly forked over the $15 for the both of us to view them.

There are 34 sculptures displayed in the first floor parlor, hallway and dining areas.

Net by Amanda Sisk is made of mixed media.

Forever Free by Pete Spampinato made of bronze with an alabaster base.  Pete tends to feature animals in his work.  He says he did not begin sculpting until he retired.  He was inspired by the hardships animals had to endure during a trip to Africa.

Colossal Shell Goddess by Lindley Briggs made of resin and apoxie.  Lindley, in contrast to Pete, says her interest in the human figure has been rekindled.  Lindley says, “the boundaries between fantasy, reality and surreality are not necessarily firm.” She enjoys exploring these boundaries in her work.

Carousel Lobster by Jeffrey Briggs is made of fiberglass and resin.  Jeffrey builds carousels of all varieties as well as other works of art.  His latest work can be found at the carousel on The Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston.  He often collaborates with Lindley (the sculptor featured above his sculpture).

Birds Of a Feather by Douglass Gray made of steel.

Gull by Alan Weinstein made of plaster and paint with a granite base.  Alan mainly paints.  But, he has branched out with his sculptures.

IMG_0972

Madonna 3 With Gorilla by Jeffrey Cooper made of cherry wood.  Sounds good enough to eat.

Sirena & Consorts With Sea Of Shells by Lindley Brigss made of apoxie and cast marble.  I especially like how the gorilla appears to be looking at the woman quizzically in the statue in the last photo.

Slaveship HMS Brookes by Martin Ulman made of mixed media.  The 43.5″ high ship sculpture was modeled after the British slave ship, “Brookes.”  The slave ship was used during the 18th century and it was said to carry 484 people, although it carried many more than that according to ship records and stories told by sailors.  The conditions were dreadful as Maya Angelou’s quote expresses.

Neptune by John Vasapoli made of oak.  John says is love of sculptures and his love for music have been the main factors for driving his creative energy.  John has sculpted many statues of iconic musicians and singers such as Miles Davis and Duke Ellington.

Secrets Of The Sea by Nancy Diefenbach is made of marble and glass.  She says her joy is creating one-of-a-kind artworks in marble.  She likes to shape her thoughts through her carvings.

IMG_0949

Water Muse by David Adilman is made of limestone.

IMG_0943

Water Nymph by Elise Adams made of alabaster.  Elise began her career as a sculptor after working 30 plus years as a chiropractor.  Art had always been a love of hers.  But, she was discouraged from following this career path while she was growing up.  I think it’s fair to say we’re all happy she did change her career path.

A Vineyard Excursion by William Bloomfield made of alabaster.  After taking a stone carving course in the 70’s, William says he was hooked.  However, “life got busy” as he put it and he did not take up sculpting until 2006 when he enrolled in some classes at The Chautauqua Institution’s School of Art.  He says that from his initial exposure to stone carving more than 30 years ago he discovered that an essential element of my creative process is to let go of any preconceptions he might have of what the stone might evolve into before I put chisel to stone.

Turtles  by Pete Spampinato made of bronze with an alabaster base.

IMG_0929

Approaching Storm by Judith Morton made of steel and fiberglass.  Judith says she “loves to come face to face with a cold hard block of stone.”  She describes the process of sculpting as a “give and take” until the block of stone is warm and yielding from all of her carving.  She also describes the process as being sensual for both the eyes and the hands.

IMG_0928

Pastry Chef by Susan Neet Goodwin made of clay and multimedia.  Susan says her first piece that included the human face was a response to the Iranian hostage crisis. Since then many of her sculptures have become vehicles for political and humanitarian concerns.  As you may notice by herr other works of art, Susan’s art has a certain theme through it.

IMG_0917

Mermaid With A Trident by Mara Sfara made of bronze and marble.  Mara says her art offers a glimpse into the lives and feelings of the gods and goddesses from Greek mythology.  She also likes to inject humor into her pieces.

IMG_0916

Valley by Danielle Gerber made of copper.  A native of New Hampshire who moved to Maine, Danielle says her body of work is spurred from her love of forming metal and the natural patterns created through water and wind erosion.

Rolling Wave by Judith Morton made of steel, wood and sand.

IMG_0906

Hump  by Derrick Te Paske madde of butternut.  A professor at Framingham State University, Derrick says he is  primarily concerned with theoretical principles and digital production/reproduction methods. His art involves wood and other common tangible materials while employing tools and processes which are decidedly low tech, and results in unique and very physical objects.

Follow Your Dream by Melanie Zibit made of bronze and marble.  Melanie compares the sculpting process as being similar to writing a thoughtful essay or cooking a good meal for those you care about.  She says the process of creating art is like an act of love because you are sharing something deeply personal from one human being to another and sharing something personal spiritual and beautiful.

Circle Sea by Dan Rocha made of wood, metal, metal leaf and plastic.  A Massachusetts resident, Dan has won a number of awards for his works of art.

IMG_0894

Eagle Ray by Irene Fairley made of red Tenneessee marble.

IMG_0891

Eastport Cannery Worker  by Susan Neet Goodwin made of clay and multimedia.

 

Canyon by Danielle Gerber is made of bronze, brass and spray paint.  This sculpture shares the same theme as her other sculpture, Canyon.

Synthesis  by Kathleen Brennan made of hydrocal plaster.  Kathleen has several exhibitions currently on display throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Seahorse Green by Mara Sfara made of lucite and gemstone.

Binocular Beasts by Derrick Te Paske made of cast bronze and glass eyes.

IMG_0860

IMG_0865

Aureus Piscari  by Kimberly JB Smith made of multimedia items (it is a 2 sided display).  A resident of New Hampshire, Kimberly is most known for her 2d and 3d compositions that include recycles and repurposed materials.  She uses paint, paper pulp and collage to create traditional and nontraditional materials in her creative process.  When she isn’t creating art, she enjoys teaching and publishing educational articles.

Homer’s Boat With Siren by Dan Rocha made of wood, metal, metal leaf and plastic.

Colossal Shell Goddess by Lindley Briggs made of resin and apoxie.

Wave by Valery Mahuchhy made of resin.  Valery says he knew from an early age he wanted to be a sculptor.  His art is on display all over the world.

Eve On The Beach by Josie Campbell Dellenbaugh made of bronze.  Originally from Albany, NY, Josie is best known for her stone carving.  One of her more prominent carvings is the Monument For Our Native Peoples in West Rutland, Vermont.

 

Heron Annoyed by James Pyne made of composite materials.  A resident of Maine, James focuses on birds in his art.  He describes birds as, “the most beautiful creatures on Earth.”

Dogs are not allowed in the Langdon House.  But, I did see a few dogs while I walked to the house.

This little cutie named Izzie is a 6 year old Havanese.

Today’s featured New England based photographer is Eric Gendron. Based out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Eric photographs all over the New England area.  But, he primarily shoots in the New Hampshire and Maine area.  What I like most about his photography is that he can take the ordinary, like a park bench for instance, and turn  it into something beautiful and majestic.  You can follow him on Facebook here.

 

 

 

 

 


Prescott Park Gardens (Portsmouth, NH)

Date Of Visit: July 29, 2017

Location: 105 Marcy St, Portsmouth, NH

Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: Street parking is available on Old Bay St and Marcy St.  There is also a lot on Old Bay St.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: No

Highlights: fountains, flowers, plants, trees, family friendly

IMG_4170

IMG_4291

Portsmouth is known for its beautiful places.  So, it’s no big surprise when you come across a scenic view or a pitcuresque downtown area.  What is more unusual is a beautiful garden in a public setting.  Well, Prescott Park Gardens certainly seems to fit the bill.

Considered part of Prescott Park, Prescott Park Gardens is located next to the main garden at Prescott Park.

Even though it is only  a small area, the garden at Prescott Park is overflowing with colors and beauty.  Despite all of the trees, flowers and fountains and the high volume of visitors, it didn’t seemed cramped there. Even with the dizzying array of flowers, the park still seems quaint and understated.  I can only imagine how peaceful it must feel there when it’s not a busy time of day.

 

Despite the huge crowds it attracts, the park is kept in pristine condition.

 

The fountains at the garden give the area a serene feel.  Just watching the water and listening to the calming, rhythmic sounds of the water splashing is soothing.

 

Some people found some creative ways to cool down at the garden.

IMG_4274

Below is a video of the garden at Prescott Park.

Today’s featured link is Don Gargano’s photography website.  Don primarily shoots in the Portsmouth and New Castle, New Hampshire areas as well as Maine.  I have followed him for some time on Facebook and you can check out his page here.  Coincidentally, he has a photo of the garden at Prescott Park on his profile page!


Prescott Park (Portsmouth, NH)

Date Of Visit: July 29, 2017

Location: 105 Marcy St, Portsmouth, NH

Hours: open daily, sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a parking lot located on Old Bay St as well as street parking throughout the area

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: No

Website: Prescott Park

Highlights: flowers and plants, scenic, family friendly

IMG_3873

Bursting with color and fragrances, Prescott Park is sure to impress even those with the faintest of green thumbs.

A gift from Sarah and Josie Prescott in 1940, Prescott Park has come a long way from its industrial beginnings.   The highlight of the park, at least during the summer, has to be the garden that sits at the entrance by Old Bay St and Marcy St.  But, Prescott Park has more than just flowers there.

Prescott Park is much more than the garden that I focused on during my visit.  In fact, it is such a big area that they hold concerts with such popular artists as Aaron Neville and Valerie June and other events at the park.  During my visit they were holding a children’s party where a play was being performed.

 

 

There are two memorials at Prescott Park.  The first memorial is a fountain which is dedicated to  a fountain dedicated to Charles Emerson Hovey, an Ensign in the United States Navy and Portsmouth, NH native, who was killed in action on September 24, 1911.

 

 

The next memorial is less obvious.  A sign and anchor stand in front of the prominent flower bed at the front of the garden.

 

 

The sign in front of the flower bed states “A Salute To An Ordinary Hero.”  This “ordinary hero” was Billy Juse, a New Hampshire native, who died in an underground tunnel while he was working on the Deer Island Project during the 1990’s.  He was 34.  Since he and another coworker, Tim Nordeen, died on the same day John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s body was recovered, his story was overlooked in the news.  One solemn reminder remains in the park.

There are also view of the Piscataqua River, a popular spot for boating and kayaking.

 

 

There are benches, art and pretty trees and flowers on the way to the garden at Prescott Park.

 

 

Prescott Park has a variety of beautiful and colorful plants and flowers.  Since we’ve had so much rain and

 

 

The flowers ranged from the common to the unique.

 

 

To the left in the photo is Pelargonium Geranium Timeless Orange (yeah they look red to me as well),  To the right is the Pelargonium Geranium Timeless Pink.  Yeah, I know all of the types of flowers in the world.  Kidding.  They all had their names neatly written on them on cards by the flower beds.

Now for the truly scary part of the tour. The dinosaurs have invaded Prescott Park.  This is a great way to get kids interested and involved in viewing the flowers and plants at Prescott.  I

 

 

Sadly, dogs are not allowed at the flower garden area of Prescott Park.  But, I did see lots of dogs like Teddy, a 10 year old Pomeranian,  passing by on Old Bay Street which is next to the flower garden.

 

 

Today’s featured link is a link to an article that appeared in the Boston Globe magazine about the tragedy on the Deer Island Project in which Billy Juse and some of his co workers perished: Deer Island Tragedy

Please like me on Facebook.


Pompey (Portsmouth, NH)

“The Granite State”, “God’s Country”, “The Mother of Rivers” and “The Live Free State” are just a few of the nicknames associated with New Hampshire and for good reason.  The lazy, slow paced lifestyle mixed with postcard views, New Hampshire is the ideal place to visit.  The only question is which part to visit first.  For me, it was an easy answer.  Portsmouth (whose motto is “Heaven’s Light Our Guide”).  Hands down.

One of my favorite areas to visit, Portsmouth, New Hampshire has always incorporated just the right amount of quaint, sleepy town with a modern, new city feel.  Yet recently, it has felt like perhaps it is incorporating too much modern feel.  Previously unscathed land is littered with cranes, earth moving tools and other construction equipment, even to the point of marring otherwise perfect landscapes. This is not your parent’s Portsmouth.  That being said, Portsmouth still has a plethora of attractions and sites to keep you busy all weekend.

While it is not exactly clear how Portsmouth got the nickname “Pompey”,  some of the leading theories include that it is the nickname of the football club in Portsmouth and a variety of theories based on legend and tales.

The scenic drive, mainly on Routes 1, 93 and 95, was a breeze coming from Boston.  Just watch out for the Exit 3 to Portsmouth.  It comes up pretty quick after the fork in the road on 95 . And, of course, there are the not so inconspicuous state troopers lying in wait.  The driving only gets tricky when you get to Portsmouth.  It’s an old town so there are lots of one way streets, narrow roads and the parking can be sparse if you don’t get there early.  The good thing is everything is within walking distance and, if you luck out, there is free parking at the parks.  Parking enforcement workers were prevalent throughout.

I began my trek at Prescott Park, the main hub for entertainment as it is the venue for the summer arts and festivals for the area.  Prescott Park offers benches, well kept grass, flowers, monuments and scenic views of the Piscataqua River.  When you first approach Prescott park, you will be greeted by a monument, a common theme in Portsmouth.  An over sized anchor dedicated to Billy Juse who, with Tim Nordeen, died working on the Deer Island Sewage plant stands near the center of the park.  This is one of the appealing things about Portsmouth.  The town has strong ties to their past and they remember those they have lost.  They don’t forget.

DSC_0340

Prescott Park also has a vivid array of flowers.  Petunias, “Black Eyed Susans”, Saxifraga and “Goldliocks” are just a few of the flowers you will find here.

DSC_0354 DSC_0352

DSC_0366Prescott Park also has a water fountain dedicated to Ensign Charles Hovey.  Envoy was a Naval Academy graduate who was commanding a detachment of men when his men and he was ambushed, leaving Hovey mortally wounded.  I’ve always wondered why some receive honors and others dies in anonymity,  Not to question Hovey’s and his men’s bravery, yet so many, even from the Portsmouth area, have lived, fought and died courageously with little, if any, appreciation.

DSC_0392

It being a seasonable New Hampshire day, with low humidity with a cool breeze, I decided to continue on my walk all the way to the center of town, aptly named Portsmouth Center.  Portsmouth Center is only about a half a mile walk from Prescott park.  But, along the way, there were many attractions and sites to detour you.  There was the City of Portsmouth Fire Department’s memorial, Vigilance.   The two sided monument is dedicated to all of the firefighters who risk their lives protecting others.

DSC_0413DSC_0417

As impressive as the monument is, some visitors were more interested in the water flowing in the monument.  Well, it was a warm day and Lulu and Seka couldn’t resist the watery goodness.

DSC_0403DSC_0404

DSC_0406

Further along my jaunt, the Praying Hands sculpture at Temple Israel caught my eye.

DSC_0462

The “crown jewel of Portsmouth”, Pierce Island is another must see section of Portsmouth.  Who wouldn’t want to live on that island?  The photo below is only one of the gems of the area.

DSC_0478Pierce Island is also host to Four Tree Island (or Three Tree Island, Five Tree Island – maybe they had a hard time counting all the trees).  A peninsula shaped picnic area, Four Tree Island has a wide variety of bird life and other types of critters.  I was lucky enough to run into this guy.  Woodchucks like this are common to the area and generally aren’t very dangerous.  And, no, I don’t know how much wood he would chuck.

DSC_0494 DSC_0493

There is also a diverse group of bird life on Four Tree Island.  I caught this bird in flight.

DSC_0503 DSC_0504

There were also a few ducks floating out there as well.

DSC_0526DSC_0527

A remnant of the past, a fishing trap lies on some rocks.

DSC_0509

Two comorants huddle on a rock.

DSC_0514

Portsmouth is a dog-friendly town.  Everywhere you go you are sure to see someone walking their pooch and seemingly ever other vehicle has a canine passenger, their head excitedly thrust out the open window.  There are also many parks, some hotels (provided they meet certain height and weight limits) and parks that allow dogs such as, South Mill Pond.  Not only are there pretty flowers and scenic views (it must be especially pretty during sunrises and sunsets), there are also ducks for Fido to play with.

DSC_0433DSC_0434

DSC_0438

One thing Portsmouth does not lack is memorials and monuments. One of these memorials is called, fittingly enough,Memorial Park.  Memorial Park is a fairly new addition to the monuments in Portsmouth, having been constructed in 2013.  A tribute to all of the veterans who have served, the Memorial Park  The bricks on the ground surrounding the memorial have the names of veterans and others who have passed away.  “Honor”, “protect” and “remember” are emblazoned on the stones in the  from the original Memorial Bridge which are stacked in the middle of the memorial.  Flags were at half staff in tribute to the victims of the Texas floods.

DSC_0464

Another memorial is the New Hampshire Commercial Fishermen’s Memorial on Pierce Island that remembers all of the men and women who have been lost fishing the waters of New Hampshire.  The monument, which was dedicated in 1987, states “In Memory Of Those Who Fished And Were Called Away.  With Prayers For Those Who Fish Today.”   It’s hard not to think, even briefly, of how much the area has changed.  A once vibrant fishing community has now evolved into a modern economy.  Like many seaport towns in New England, the fishing industry has dries up for many people and the modern era of commerce has prevailed.  Although you will see the occasional palm reading den and mom and pop shop, office buildings, financial institutions, bars and construction companies now chiefly make up the economy.

DSC_0468 DSC_0473DSC_0477

And, in Portsmouth Center, you will find another fountain.  This one is dedicated to former Portsmouth Mayor McEachern Keenan,

DSC_0455

New Hampshire, the Portsmouth area particularly, being a historically important area, has many historical houses and museums that are open to the public.  In the interest of time I was unable to view them, except from the exterior.  Posted below is the Governor John Langdon’s House.  Langdon was, among other things, the second Governor of New Hampshire.

DSC_0441DSC_0443

I’m not sure the frog is an original part of the Langdon’s estate.

DSC_0446The Treadwell Jenness House is another beautiful mansion I put on my “things to next time I am in Portsmouth list”, which may be sooner rather than later.

DSC_0451DSC_0449

There are many other attractions I didn’t have the time for such as The Portsmouth naval Shipyard Museum  The Isles Of Shoals Tours and The Strawberry Banke Museum.

Despite the congestion and having too much to do to fit into one day trip, the hardest decision I had to make for this trip was to leave.