Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA - 1895 - Portsmouth
Portsmouth, a city, a port of entry, and semi-capital of Rockingham co., N.H., 54 miles N. by E. of Boston, is situated on the right bank of the Piscataqua River, about 3 miles from the ocean, and at the terminus of the Eastern, Concord & Portsmouth, Portsmouth & Dover, and Portland & Saco Railroads. Lat. 43°4' 35" N.; Lon. 70° 45' 50" W. This city, the commercial metropolis and only seaport of the state, is built on a beautiful peninsula, formed by the Piscataqua, and connected by bridges with Kittery in Maine and with Newcastle on Grand Island. The harbor, which lies between the town and the mouth of the river, is capacious, deep, easy of access, and much frequented by vessels in bad weather; 480 have been counted here at one time, and it is estimated that 2000 could easily find convenient anchorage. The formation of sand-bars or ice is rendered impossible by the rapid tides, which have carried every earthy substance out to sea, leaving a - rock bottom, with a depth of water varying from 35 to 75 feet. The principal entrance is between the mainland and the E. side of Great Island, and is defended by earthworks on Gerrish's Island at the E. side of the entrance, and on Jerry's (or Jaffrey's) Point on the W. side, 2 stone forts farther up the harbor—Forts Constitution and McClary having been condemned. The city stands on a gentle acclivity overlooking the harbor, and is remarkable for its healthy atmosphere and fine gardens. Many of the streets are adorned with a profusion of shade-trees. The principal public buildings are the athenaeum, custom-house, city £ music hall, and Spring market. Besides these, there are 10 churches, some of which are elegant structures. The chief object of interest, however, is the United States navy-yard at Kittery, on an island near the E. side of the river. Among other things, it contains 3 immense ship houses and a floating balance-dock, constructed at a cost of about $800,000. It is 350 feet by 105, and has 24 pumps, worked by 2 steam-engines. The North America, the first ship-of-the-line launched in the Western Hemisphere, was built on Badger's Island, in this harbor, during the Revolution. The literary advantages of Portsmouth are highly respectable. The athenaeum has a library of about 10,000 volumes and a cabinet of curiosities. The schools are numerous and well conducted. Two daily and 4 weekly newspapers are published here. One of these, the "New Hampshire Gazette," is the oldest in America, having been first issued in 1756. Portsmouth has less commerce now than formerly, though it is still the centre of an important trade, both foreign and coastwise.
Manufacturing is not very extensively carried on. Among the most important corporations may be mentioned the Portsmouth Steam Factory, giving employment to about 400 hands. The leading articles of manufacture are cot ton cloth, hosiery, iron castings, shoes, &c. The city is supplied by means of pipes with excellent water from a fountain in the suburbs. It contains 4 national banks and 2 savings-banks, Portsmouth has a large amount of capital invested in railroads, navigation, manufactures, &c., in other places; and though it has suffered in former years from disastrous fires, and has been compelled to relinquish to the larger cities some of its former extensive trade, still it has steadily increased in wealth. Pop, in 1850, 97.39; in 1860, 9335; in 1880, 9690; in 1890, 9827.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
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