Saturday, September 5, 2015

by the sea, by the sea

After a modestly late start - we headed out of MHT and over towards the Atlantic via back roads... arriving at the ocean in Hampton Beach NH.  We took the coast road up the length (short) of the NH coast and into Portsmouth.  Our number one choice for "attractions" in Portsmouth was the Strawbery Banke Museum...

Strawbery Banke is an outdoor history museum located in the South End historic district of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is the oldest neighborhood in New Hampshire to be settled by Europeans, and the earliest neighborhood remaining in the present-day city of Portsmouth. It features more than 40 restored buildings built between the 17th and 19th centuries in the Colonial, Georgian, and Federal style architectures. The buildings once clustered around a waterway known as Puddle Dock, which was filled in around 1900. Today the former waterway appears as a large open space.

The neighborhood's history traces back to 1630, when Captain Walter Neale chose the area to build a settlement, naming it after the wild berries growing along the Piscataqua River. Strawbery Banke existed as a neighborhood for four centuries from 1630 to the late 1950s. The neighborhood's buildings were saved from 1950s urban renewal by the efforts of a large group of historic preservationists. Strawbery Banke opened as a museum in 1965 (above from Wikipedia)

the first settlement here was known as Strawbery Banke (for the wild strawberries in the area) then later known as Puddle Dock and was a neighborhood until the area of "urban renewal" when it was threatened with demolition and the locals got together to save and rehab the area - which is now a superb museum.

the map of the grounds of the museum - many houses were open and usually a docent was FULL of information about the house history and artifacts- We also met all three of the role players along the way- the garden lady, the tavern lady and the neighbor minding the 1940s store.


a table of puzzle games in the tavern-

Since this community existed for centuries the Museum has several later period buildings- here a store from the war (WWII)  era when rationing was taking place-

the tomatoes looked very good but a sign requested they not be picked as they are grown for the heritage seeds -

this is the oldest surviving house in the Museum and in New Hampshire- 1695

and the final house we toured had two periods in one dwelling as it had been subdivided for multi-family use... one colonial (a store) and one from the 1950s- which of course we found all too familiar- LOL

the paint by numbers "original" oil paintings-

the swing-away can open on the wall-

the Ouija board and Yahtzee! LOL

and some toys survive the generations and centuries as well- a 50s era Hula Hoop and the colonial hoop and stick that kids rolled in that other houses I saw both men and children giving the hoop and stick a try- it certainly does take skill as many of them had only limited luck keeping it rolling before it toppled over--- LOL

next up- we drive along the Portsmouth Waterfront and find hordes of people and then search for lunch....

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