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Islington Street: 1907

Islington Street: 1907

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, circa 1907. "Islington Street." Not much happening at first glance, but close inspection reveals an action-packed scene in the myriad small details -- strolling! scrounging! -- afforded by this 8x10 glass negative. Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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What, no WiFi?

I'm surprised by looking at the photo that a 1907 community seems to have been so wired for phones.

Buckminster House

First on the right.

New Hampshire, A Guide to the Granite State,
Federal Writer's Project, 1938.

23. The Buckminster House (not open), 2 Islington St., is a two-story five-bay house with a gambrel roof pierced by three dormers. The house is surrounded by a low picket fence with massive posts topped by urn finials. The square portico of the front door is supported by Corinthian pillars, with a low railing. The door has a transom and sidelights. The door on the east wing is also flanked with Corinthian columns, and has a triangular pediment; this motif, somewhat varied, is repeated in the octagonal lookout set within the captain's walk on the roof. This house was built in 1720 by Daniel Warner.

The Portsmouth Guide Book, Sarah Foster, 1896.

Buckminster House, No. 2. (Islington Street.)

This handsome building was erected in 1720 by Daniel Warner, father of Jonathan, and of Nathaniel, who was engaged to Miss Lettice Mitchell, and for whom this house was designed. It afterwards passed through various hands, and in 1792 was purchased by Col. Eliphalet Ladd, who resided here until his death in 1806. In 1810 Dr. Buckminster married Col. Ladd's widow, and left the Parsonage house on Pleasant street, to reside in this mansion. Since then it has usually been called by his name, though his death occurred in 1812.

Rambles about Portsmouth, Charles W. Brewster, 1859.

Ramble XLVIII.

The house on Islington street, nearly opposite the Academy, where Mrs. Tompson has for several years kept a boarding-house, has recently been made a new house, by its present owner, George Tompson, who has shown excellent taste in carefully preserving its original exterior appearance. It was for many years the residence of Col. Eliphalet Ladd, and of his widow, afterwards the wife of Rev. Dr. Buckminster. Before Ladd's removal to this town it was at different times occupied by Clement Storer, Daniel R. Rogers and John Wendell, the father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. About eighty years ago it was owned and occupied by Nathaniel Nichols, who then owned and improved the distillery which stood on the spot where the Concord depot is now located. He was the uncle of Rev. Dr. Nichols, late of Portland. The house was built in 1720 by Daniel Warner, who came from Ipswich, Mass. His son, Jonathan Warner, was born here in 1726.

Dutch Elm disease

From their vase-like shapes many of the trees in the 1907 photo appear to be American Elms. Dutch Elm disease wiped out most of that species starting in the 1940's.

A tree no longer grows in Portsmouth

Looking at all the power cables winding through the trees shows they were obviously threaded through the trees. Thing is, the trees are gone, but the utility poles on the left are still there..or at least in the same place :)

The dog

seems to have found something very interesting in this leafy street with some very fine houses. It is such a pity most of the trees seem to have gone.

Approximate address

This is at the corner of Islington and Bridge Streets, approximately 16 Islington Street on Google. Both houses on right are still standing.

PS. I've been a fan of your site for awhile but this is my first comment. You do a fantastic job.

[Thanks! - Dave]

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