Portsmouth, New Hampshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Portsmouth, New Hampshire
City
Market Square

Seal
Location in Rockingham County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°4′32.6″N 70°45′38.7″W / 43.075722°N 70.760750°W / 43.075722; -70.760750
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
CountyRockingham
Incorporated1653
Incorporated (city)1849
Government
 • MayorEric Spear
 • City managerJohn P. Bohenko
 • City councilRobert Lister
Anthony Coviello
Esther E. Kennedy
Nancy Novelline Clayburgh
Brad Lown
M. Chris Dwyer
Kenneth E. Smith
Jack D. Thorsen
Area
 • Total16.8 sq mi (43.5 km2)
 • Land15.6 sq mi (40.4 km2)
 • Water1.2 sq mi (3.1 km2)  7.03%
Elevation20 ft (6 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total21,233
 • Density1,300/sq mi (490/km2)
Time zoneEastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP codes03801–03804
Area code(s)603
FIPS code33-62900
GNIS feature ID0869312
Websitewww.cityofportsmouth.com
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
City
Market Square

Seal
Location in Rockingham County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°4′32.6″N 70°45′38.7″W / 43.075722°N 70.760750°W / 43.075722; -70.760750
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
CountyRockingham
Incorporated1653
Incorporated (city)1849
Government
 • MayorEric Spear
 • City managerJohn P. Bohenko
 • City councilRobert Lister
Anthony Coviello
Esther E. Kennedy
Nancy Novelline Clayburgh
Brad Lown
M. Chris Dwyer
Kenneth E. Smith
Jack D. Thorsen
Area
 • Total16.8 sq mi (43.5 km2)
 • Land15.6 sq mi (40.4 km2)
 • Water1.2 sq mi (3.1 km2)  7.03%
Elevation20 ft (6 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total21,233
 • Density1,300/sq mi (490/km2)
Time zoneEastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP codes03801–03804
Area code(s)603
FIPS code33-62900
GNIS feature ID0869312
Websitewww.cityofportsmouth.com

Portsmouth is a city in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, in the United States. It is the largest (and only) city in the county, but only the fourth-largest community,[1] with a population of 21,233 at the 2010 census.[2][3] A historic seaport and popular summer tourist destination, Portsmouth was the home of the Strategic Air Command's Pease Air Force Base, later converted to Portsmouth International Airport at Pease with limited commercial air service.

History[edit]

Market Square in 1853

Native Americans of the Abenaki and other Algonquian languages-speaking nations, and their predecessors, inhabited the territory of coastal New Hampshire for thousands of years before European contact.

The first known European to explore and write about the area was Martin Pring in 1603. The Piscataqua River is a tidal estuary with a swift current, but forms a good natural harbor. The west bank of the harbor was settled by English colonists in 1630 and named Strawbery Banke, after the many wild strawberries growing there. Strategically located for trade between upstream industries and mercantile interests abroad, the port prospered. Fishing, lumber and shipbuilding were principal businesses of the region.[4] Enslaved Africans were imported as laborers as early as 1645 and were integral to building the city's prosperity.[5] Portsmouth was part of the Triangle Trade, which made significant profits from slavery.

At the town's incorporation in 1653, it was named Portsmouth in honor of the colony's founder, John Mason. He had been captain of the port of Portsmouth, England, in the county of Hampshire, for which New Hampshire is named. In 1679, Portsmouth became not only the colonial capital, but also a refuge for exiles from Puritan Massachusetts.[citation needed]

When Queen Anne's War ended in 1712, the town was selected by Governor Joseph Dudley to host negotiations for the 1713 Treaty of Portsmouth, which temporarily ended hostilities between the Abenaki Indians and English settlements of the Province of Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire.[4]

Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire, William James Glackens, 1909

In 1774, in the lead-up to the Revolution, Paul Revere rode to Portsmouth warning that the British were coming, with warships to subdue the port.[6] Although the harbor was protected by Fort William and Mary, the rebel government moved the capital inland to Exeter, safe from the Royal Navy. The Navy bombarded Falmouth (now Portland, Maine) on October 18, 1775. African Americans helped defend Portsmouth and New England during the war. In 1779, 19 slaves from Portsmouth wrote a petition to the state legislature and asked that it abolish slavery, in recognition of their war contributions and in keeping with the principles of the Revolution.[5] Their petition was not answered then, but New Hampshire later ended slavery.

Thomas Jefferson's 1807 embargo against trade with Britain withered New England's trade with Canada, and a number of local fortunes were lost. Others were gained by men who acted as privateers during the War of 1812. In 1849, Portsmouth was incorporated as a city.[4]

Once one of the nation's busiest ports and shipbuilding cities, Portsmouth expressed its wealth in fine architecture. It contains significant examples of Colonial, Georgian, and Federal style houses, a selection of which are now museums. Portsmouth's heart contains stately brick Federalist stores and townhouses, built all-of-a-piece after devastating early 19th-century fires. The worst was in 1813 when 244 buildings burned.[4] A fire district was created that required all new buildings within its boundaries to be built of brick with slate roofs; this created the downtown's distinctive appearance. The city was also noted for the production of boldly wood-veneered Federalist furniture, particularly by the master cabinet maker Langley Boardman.

The Industrial Revolution spurred economic growth in New Hampshire mill towns such as Dover, Keene, Laconia, Manchester, Nashua and Rochester, where rivers provided water power for the mills. It shifted growth to the new mill towns. The port of Portsmouth declined, but the city survived through Victorian-era doldrums, a time described in the works of native son Thomas Bailey Aldrich, particularly in his 1869 novel The Story of a Bad Boy.

Congress Street c. 1905

In the 20th century, the city founded a Historic District Commission, which has worked to protect much of the city's irreplaceable architectural legacy. The compact and walkable downtown on the waterfront draws tourists and artists, who each summer throng the cafes, restaurants and shops around Market Square. In 2008, Portsmouth was named one of the "Dozen Distinctive Destinations" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[7]

Portsmouth shipbuilding history has had a long symbiotic relationship with Kittery, Maine, across the Piscataqua River. In 1781-1782, the naval hero John Paul Jones lived in Portsmouth while supervising construction of his ship Ranger, which was built on nearby Badger's Island in Kittery. During that time, he boarded at the Captain Gregory Purcell house, which now bears Jones' name, as it is the only surviving property in the United States associated with him. Built by the master housewright Hopestill Cheswell, an African American,[8] it has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. It now serves as the Portsmouth Historical Society Museum.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, established in 1800 as the first federal navy yard, is located on Seavey's Island in Kittery.[9] The base is famous for being the site of the 1905 signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth which ended the Russo-Japanese War.

Geography[edit]

Old Custom House & Post Office (1860), designed by Ammi B. Young

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.8 square miles (44 km2), of which 15.6 square miles (40 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2), or 7.03%, is water. Portsmouth is drained by Sagamore Creek and the Piscataqua River. The highest point in the city is 110 feet (34 m) above sea level, within Pease International Airport.

The city is crossed by Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1, U.S. Route 4, New Hampshire Route 1A, New Hampshire Route 16, and New Hampshire Route 33.

Demographics[edit]

Historical populations
CensusPop.
17904,720
18005,33913.1%
18106,93429.9%
18207,3275.7%
18308,0269.5%
18407,887−1.7%
18509,73823.5%
18609,335−4.1%
18709,211−1.3%
18809,6905.2%
18909,8271.4%
190010,6378.2%
191011,2695.9%
192013,56920.4%
193014,4956.8%
194014,8212.2%
195018,83027.0%
196026,90042.9%
197025,717−4.4%
198026,2542.1%
199025,925−1.3%
200020,784−19.8%
201021,2332.2%
sources:[2][3][10]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 20,784 people, 9,875 households, and 4,858 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,331.3 people per square mile (514.1/km²). There were 10,186 housing units at an average density of 652.5 per square mile (251.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.55% White, 2.13% African American, 0.21% Native American, 2.44% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.28% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.35% of the population.

There were 9,875 households out of which 20.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.8% were non-families. 38.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04 and the average family size was 2.75.

In the city the population was spread out with 17.2% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 36.2% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,195, and the median income for a family was $59,630. Males had a median income of $41,966 versus $29,024 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,540. About 6.4% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.3% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.

Sites of interest[edit]

Historic house museums[edit]

Economy[edit]

View of Jefferson Street at the Strawbery Banke Museum

Heinemann USA is based in Portsmouth. Before its dissolution, Boston-Maine Airways (Pan Am Clipper Connection), a regional airline, was headquartered in Portsmouth.[19] Companies with headquarters in Portsmouth include packaged software producer Bottomline Technologies and frozen yogurt maker Sweet Scoops.

Top employers[edit]

According to the City's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[20] the top ten employers in the city are:

#Employer# of Employees
1Hospital Corporation of America1,079
2Liberty Mutual Insurance1,013
3National Passport Center736
4Lonza Biologics727
5City of Portsmouth684
6National Visa Center644
7John Hancock Insurance400
8Bottomline Technologies350
9Thermo Fisher Scientific280
10Alpha Flying/Plane Sense270

Sustainability[edit]

Detail of the former Rockingham Hotel, rebuilt in 1885 by Frank Jones after the original structure burned

In 2006, Portsmouth became an Eco-municipality.[21]

Sister cities[edit]

Portsmouth has six Sister Cities and one Friendship City as designated by Sister Cities International [22]

Friendship city:

Notable people[edit]

Education[edit]

Media[edit]

Print[edit]

Radio[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Rockingham County towns (not cities) of Derry (33,109), Salem (28,776), and Londonderry (24,129) had greater populations according to the 2010 census.
  2. ^ a b United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "NOTE: Change to the New Hampshire 2010 P.L. 94-171 Summary File data as delivered". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved February 13, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Coolidge, A. J.; J. B. Mansfield (1859). A History and Description of New England. Boston, Massachusetts: H. G. Houghton and Company. pp. 622–629. 
  5. ^ a b Ring, Phyllis. "The Place Her People Made". The Heart of New England. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  6. ^ Robinson, J. Dennis. "Paul Revere's Other Ride". Seacoast NH History. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Dozen Distinctive Destinations: Portsmouth, NH". Preservation Nation. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  8. ^ Mark J. Sammons and Valerie Cunningham, Black Portsmouth: Three Centuries of African-American Heritage, (2004), pp. 32-33, accessed 27 July 2009
  9. ^ Brewster, Charles W. "The Ship "America" and John Paul Jones". Seacoast NH. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Census". United States Census.  page 36
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ http://walkportsmouth.blogspot.com/2011/07/buckminster-house.html
  13. ^ "J Verne Wood Funeral Home - History". 
  14. ^ "New Hampshire Theatre Project". Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Pontine Theatre, Portsmouth, NH". pontine.org. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Prescott Park". prescottpark.org. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Seacoast Repertory Theatre". seacoastrep.org. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  18. ^ Choate, David "Whaling Wall endangered" Sept. 14 2010, Seacoast Online
  19. ^ "Pan Am Clipper Connection". Archived from the original on January 11, 2007. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  20. ^ City of Portsmouth CAFR
  21. ^ "Eco-municipalities". instituteforecomunicipalities.org. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Sister Cities for Portsmouth, New Hampshire". Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  23. ^ The Wire

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°04′33″N 70°45′39″W / 43.07572°N 70.76075°W / 43.07572; -70.76075