Saturday, September 22, 2007
As we had some time Saturday morning before our Isles of Shoals cruise in the afternoon, Hans and I took a short drive across to York Maine and visited this wonderful lighthouse.
The "Nubble" is a small rocky island a short distance off the eastern point of Cape Neddick, north of the entrance to the York River and York Harbor.
The placement of a lighthouse on the Nubble had been recommended by many local mariners. A 1837 proposal had been rejected as there were already three lights in the vicinity - Boon Island, Whaleback and Portsmouth Harbor Light. Almost four decades later, Congress finally approved the building of a lighthouse in 1874 - the CAPE NEDDICK "NUBBLE" LIGHT. The 41-foot cast-iron tower, lined with brick, was first illuminated on July 1, 1879.
A plaque on the property reads:
"Cape Neddick Light Station
U.S. Coast Guard
Erected in 1879 by the United States
Light House Service to protect
Mariners from the Savage Seas"
Dover was the final of about 5 different names over its lifetime. It was settled by Puritans in 1623 and became the 7th oldest town in the country. In mid 1700's the town thrived for two hundred years as it built textile, nail and shoe factories. They ended up there because of the river traffic and the use of water power. In 1930's the industries died out, and the town went into nearly total ruin. Most buldings and shops were closed and no emplyment. Then in 197478the town revived, tore down about 2/3 of the buildings -56 in numb on 56 acres-and rebuilt into a tour spot and focused on the mill history and antique and unique shops of locals. The Cocehco River swiftly run through the middle of town and the walks pathes and shops are great to walk around. Population is now at 26,000. They have had the 4th apple festival while I was there. A lot of people, maybe 2,000 mingling around and shopping.
The home was built by Jonathan Hamilton in 1785. He got wealthy by privateering durting the Revolutionary War, and was connected to the right people. Later he ventured into a number of businesses and build 78 ships right at the back of the home on the inlet that leads to the ocean. He died in 1832, and it became a farm under the Goodwin family through the rest of 1800's. They had to sell in 1898, and Emily Tyson and daughter from Boston worked to renovate back to the Colonial Revival period. They did, however, make some more modern additions asnd built a cottage for guests. The gardens are still maintained and being brought to the circa period. She left the house to be a museum in 1949, and it ended up with SPNE historical society.
Tour is about one hour and cost is $8. WEd-SAt from 11-4.
It started in 1982 out of Seattle and tow people, Shipman and Bowker began a concept for a "different brew". It now has four breweries, and one is in Portsmouth. I did not tour, but a discount allows you to go there. It costs $1 and times are generally 12-4 but check first. Sample 3-4 beers in the package. They produce a Belgium based type beer and it is mostly all bitters taste. Not for me.
Featured on the highway, I dropped off for a look. I ended up , after some winding road, to a place that had a cemetary from 1700's, a church, and a library from 1892. It used to be a deep water port, and the Navy used for a while. What is now left is shopping, apparently with 30,000 cusomters daily. The population is 900 for the town.
Located on the river at Quamphegan falls, it s a very fast running river. The town established in 1624 and incorpoarted 1814. It has 6,000 residents, and many late 1700's buildings. The Salmon-Great Works river was key to progress to have sawmills and a cottom mill. The Cushing House is the local museum-sometimes open.
The beach area is "staged" for tourists to come in droves. There are about one mile of beach houses, mitels, hotels. IN the downtown area, they have arcades and typical coast type activities for the families. My opinion is that it is "tacky" and the place must be jam packed in the summer.
The townn of YOrk is nice and well preserved. It is remebering of the old times in 1930-50's for the upscale vacationers to come to the beach and enjoy the ocean breezes. A couple of nice resort complexes are in the middle of town.
No joke -- this is a great place to visit if you're in need of a little rest and relaxation.
When I needed to print my boarding pass for my trip home, I was told that the Portsmouth Public Library offered free use of their computers and printers. Finding it was the hardest part, because the library had recently reopened in a new location.
The local residents I spoke to downtown were obviously not frequent library users and were able to give me only vague directions:
"Walk down that street over there, and. . .um. . .it's . .near there. . . somewhere."
"Oh, yeah, the library moved. The new one is past the school. Right, Eric? Yeah, it's past the school. . .which is down that way. Kinda."
It's a beautiful building with comfortable chairs and light-filled reading nooks. If you need to use a computer, as I did, ask at the upstairs reference desk for a guest pass. The librarians are very helpful.
175 Parrott Avenue, next door to Portsmouth Middle School and across the street from the baseball diamond and the lake.
Science Center is a little out of town so you can easily miss it. It is a
great site to learn about nature and the seacoast habitat with exceptional exhibitions
If it is summer fall or spring go to Ordiorne State Park. Beautiful walks along the ocean, history as this was a fortified area and there are huge bunkers that look like natural hills, a great science center ='http://www.seacentr.org/' target='_blank'>The Seacoast Science Center with historical and natural exhibits including a sealife petting zoo for kids and at the far north end a secluded beach you can reach via trail.
Take the road to New Castle from downtown. New Castle is a very quaint colonial village at the mouth of the harbor. Great town beach (entry fee). Continue on until you meet 1A. You will go past Ordiorne State Park, see my other tip. Go South along the NH coast for 10 miles, spectacular sandy beaches, rocky points, and marshes
Submarines have been a part of Portsmouth's history for many decades and many legendary subs were built here. So, a visit to the Portsmouth Maritime Museum and a tour of the USS Albacore is a must.
The Albacore was built at the Portsmouth Naval Yard and launched in August, 1953. After a lifetime of service, the Albacore was brought home to Portsmouth, given a permanent dry berth near downtown and later opened to the public in October 1985.
Albacore Park and the Maritime Museum are located at 600 Market Street, between I-95 and downtown Portsmouth. Check out my travelogues for pictures taken during my last visit to the Albacore.
A walking tour through downtown Portsmouth and along State and Congress streets, featuring 18th and 19th century homes. You can purcahse a map at the visitor information booth on Market Street or take one of the guided tours offered a couple times a day.
Hampton Beach: The most popular beach in the region, Hampton Beach has been drawing visitors by the hundreds of thousands since the turn of the century. The beach is extremely wide and the water warm. Bath house and lifeguards in season. Located on Route 1A, Hampton. (603) 926-3784 Hampton Beach.
Jenness Beach State Park: Located on Route 1A, Jenness Beach is a popular family beach with a bathhouse and lifeguards during the summer season. (603) 436-1552 Rye.
New Castle Beach: Small, picturesque Sandy Beach, 10 minutes from Portsmouth, has the U.S. Coast Guard Station at one end and a large seaside park, New Castle Common, at the other end. The beach is somewhat rocky and the water is colder than at most Seacoast beaches. Parking is available at New Castle Common, where there is an admission charge. A bathhouse is open in season. New Castle.
North Hampton State Beach: on Route 1A is located the heart of the short New Hampshire Seacoast. A wide sandy beach with a small parking lot off Route 1B, the beach offers a bathhouse and lifeguards during the summer season. (603) 436-1552 North Hampton.
Seabrook Beach: Just down the road from Hampton Beach, near the Massachusetts border, Seabrook Beach offers a quieter setting and an expanse of sand dunes. Seabrook.
Wallis Sands State Beach: about 15 minutes south of Portsmouth, is a beautiful, sandy curving beach that can best be seen looking south on Route 1A. It has a large parking lot, showers and restrooms, and the state charges admission in summer. (603) 436-9404 Rye.