Portsmouth, New Hampshire
"The Old Town by the Sea"
New Hampshire's only seaport takes its founding date from a fishing compound established in 1623 at what is now Rye, NH. Located about three miles down the swirling deep Piscataqua River, the 1630 settlement that would become Portsmouth was originally called Strawberry Bank. Initially a key world trade center, the local maritime economy was in rough shape by the War of 1812. Once home to the states royal governors and a wealthy merchant elite, Portsmouth evolved into a small working class city largely dependent on a war economy of shipbuilding at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard across the river in Kittery, Maine. It was home to the Frank Jones Brewery in the late 19th century. By 1873, the wharves of the South End had deteriorated and the once bustling South end was home to coal pockets and bordellos. Today the economy is booming again and Portsmouth has become a key heritage and cultural destination point for visitors from around the globe. Water Street where Wagner lived, now Marcy Street, now includes the family-friendly Prescott Park with summer concerts. Across the street, Strawbery Banke Museum includes over 30 preserved buildings dating to as early as 1695. (Photo courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum)