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The business of naming is as old as language itself. The names a town bestows on its rivers and river banks, streets, buildings and other landmarks provide a window into the soul of that town, through the history it chooses to celebrate.

     In 1623, the first settlers arrived in what would one day be known as Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Native Americans in these parts already had a name for the swift flowing Piscataqua River. The settlers took over from there. Delighted with the vegetation they found growing there, they named their new settlement Strawbery Banke. Join me for an informative and entertaining stroll through the town’s historic South End and downtown, its Victorian neighborhoods and the newer streets of the 20th century – and beyond.  

From the obvious – with names like Wentworth Street, Langdon Place and Lafayette Road, to the obscure, streets such as Mirona Road and Moebus Terrace, Kent Street and Bersum Lane – each has its story to tell. Meet a colorful array of Portsmouth citizens – heroes, heroines, everyday folks, pillars of the community, even the odd scoundrel. Visitors from ‘away’ have left their mark too, but let there be no mistake – this is a Portsmouth story, through and through.

466 streets  •  252 images  •  16 maps

Streets, parks, buildings and bridges named for poets and presidents, privateersmen, pastors and politicians, for farmers and merchants, sea captains and ship builders, doctors and developers – all immortalized on the signs we see every day.  

$18.95 + $3.95 shipping/handling

Nancy W. Grossman © 2012