History

The first Piscataqua settlers arrived here in 1623 making this region one of the nation's oldest colonies. Tall trees for tall ships, abundant cod, and fur traded from Native Americans made New Hampshire a worthy investment for Europeans. Like Boston, the port of Portsmouth was very active in the American Revolution and in 1777 John Paul Jones sailed the sloop of war Ranger from this harbor. Destroyed three times by fire, ravaged by a roller coaster economy, Portsmouth survived and thrived.

Always proud of its history, the city has preserved more of its heritage than many New England towns. Today dozens of historic houses are open to public view. Visitors who first walk the Portsmouth Harbour Trail are amazed to discover the fascinating tales of this hard-knuckle seaport and its transformation into one of the nation's most popular destination for cultural tourism. Everything about this city is real, not reconstructed. And there is so much to see, from the popular Black History Trail to the museum at Strawbery Banke. Come explore 400 years of history in the heart of New England.

Learn more at SeacoastNH.com


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