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Portsmouth: Economy

Portsmouth: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Portsmouth is a part of the northeast market area that serves about a third of the nation's population in addition to eastern Canada. Major economic sectors in Portsmouth include tourism, the retail and service industries, and fishing and agriculture. One of the area's major employers is the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard across the Piscataqua River from Portsmouth in Kittery, Maine. This facility, which repairs nuclear submarines, also supports attendant vendors and manufacturers, and in the early 1990s completed construction of a $34 million enclosed dry dock.

The Pease International Tradeport, an airport and economic development project on the site of the former air base, is the current location of more than 150 businesses employing some 5,000 people on about 3.6 million square feet of new or renovated space. Several regional carriers provide daily departures to a variety of destinations. Landside developments at the Tradeport include the National Passport Center and the National Visa Center. The site has also attracted several high-tech businesses including Lonza Biologics (formerly Celltech Biologics), a London-based firm, which is now one of the area's largest employers.

The Port of Portsmouth is a center for exporters and importers of road salt, scrap metal, fuel oil, building materials, and other goods; many exporters are located in Portsmouth. Overall, more than five million tons of cargo per year makes the short journey to and from the Atlantic Ocean to the port's dock.

Items and goods produced: machinery, electronic components, plastics, liquefied propane, gypsum products, shoes, microwave parts, tools and dies, drinks, buttons, reaming tools, wire and cable, computer connective hardware

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Industries

Local programs

The State of New Hampshire, which levies no state sales or income tax, is considered one of the most favorable climates for doing business in the nation. Portsmouth relies on services provided by the Small Business Development Center, Leadership Seacoast (a group of community leaders), Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), Chamber of Commerce workshops and seminars, and the efforts of the Economic Development Commission in encouraging businesses and providing forums for business contacts.

The Portsmouth Economic Development Commission provides a one-stop information and referral center for business consulting for startup or expanding firms. Financing support is offered by the Portsmouth Economic Development Loan Program (PEDLP) for prospective or existing small business owners in the area. Incentives for qualified businesses are funded by PEDLP monies along with private and federal loans and can be directed toward acquiring land and buildings, buying machinery and equipment, and other approved projects.

Portsmouth's Community Development Department and Chamber of Commerce have developed the Microenterprise Assistance Program to encourage economic development within the city by providing business counseling services to small businesses that would not normally be able to afford such services. The free counseling may include marketing development, loan proposals, assistance with developing business plans, cash flow analysis and financial planning, productivity studies, contracts and agreements, and skills transfer to the small business owner.

State programs

An International Trade Resource Center at the former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth provides information and assistance for exporters or for those investigating an expansion into foreign markets. The state of New Hampshire's incentives include no general sales or use tax, no general personal income tax, no capital gains tax, no inventory tax, no property tax on machinery or equipment, one of the lowest unemployment insurance rates in the country, investment tax incentives, job tax credits, and research & development tax incentives. For manufacturers, business and technical support are available along with financing that is free from taxation.

Job training programs

The Small Business Development Center, which is funded by the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), the State of New Hampshire, and the University of New Hampshire, offers free management counseling, low cost training, and resource information to the state's small business community through six sub-centers. The federally-funded New Hampshire Workforce Opportunity Council (WOC) provides business and industry with customized classroom training and on-the-job training of eligible workers.

Development Projects

Business at the Pease International Tradeport continues to expand under the Pease Development Authority (PDA) and maintains 3.6 million square feet of new or renovated space. Plans are underway to double the number of employees at the Tradeport from about 5,000 to 10,000. The Port Authority of Portsmouth is implementing a long-existing plan to add new piers that will allow for greater cargo capacity and room for vessel overflow. Another project long in the planning phase (since 1988) is a new library building that finally began construction during the summer of 2005 with occupancy anticipated for July 2006.

Economic Development Information: Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, 500 Market St., PO Box 239, Portsmouth, NH 03802-0239; telephone (603)436-3988. New Hampshire Office of Business and Economic Development, c/o NH Business Resource Center, PO Box 1856, 172 Pembroke Rd., Concord, NH 03302-1856; telephone (603)271-2341 or (603)271-2591; fax (603)271-6784; email info@nheconomy.com. New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, c/o Rochester Chamber of Commerce, 18 S Main St., Ste. 2A, Rochester, NH 03867; telephone (603)330-1929; fax (603)330-1948; email wdaniel@cisunix.unh.edu

Commercial Shipping

The only seaport in the state and the only deepwater harbor between Portland, Maine, and Boston, Massachusetts, Portsmouth remains a major New England port of entry. The port, a designated Foreign Trade Zone, includes a state-operated marine terminal. Container service to Halifax and European destinations is available weekly. The port continues to play an increasingly important role in Atlantic shipping, and, as of 2005, the Port Authority was in the process of adding new piers to facilitate the handling of more cargo and barge services. Public and private terminals along the Piscataqua River account for in excess of five million tons of cargo per year. In addition to the port facilities, Portsmouth shipping includes the Guilford Transportation Industries railroad and around 20 regular truck route carriers. Air freight service is available at three commercial airports within an hour's drive.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Portsmouth workers are described as young, well-educated, with a good work ethic, and attracted to the city in part because of the short commute to work. The labor pool includes workers with diversified skills while the nearby colleges offer strong academic and technical support. Nearly 42 percent of those older than 25 years have a bachelor's degree or higher while 91 percent are high school graduates.

Considered a viable alternative to Boston for both living and working, Portsmouth is ideally situated for business expansion in both national and international markets with the Port of Portsmouth offering area manufacturers direct worldwide access. The redevelopment of the former Pease Air Force Base has created numerous commercial business opportunities for companies that repair, maintain, and retrofit aircraft as well as vendors and suppliers for those types of facilities. In 1999 the eCoast Technology Roundtable was established to recruit high-tech businesses and professionals to the area.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Portsmouth metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 54,300

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 1,800

manufacturing: 4,000

trade, transportation, and utilities: 11,300

information: 1,600

financial activities: 4,800

professional and business services: 8,000

educational and health services: 5,500

leisure and hospitality: 6,300

other services: 1,600

government: 9,400

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: Not reported

Unemployment rate: 1.4% (April 2005)

Largest employers in the Portsmouth region Number of employees
Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. 1,800
Portsmouth Regional Hospital 1,000
City of Portsmouth 881
Demoulas Market Basket 425
Lonza Biologics 390
Erie Scientific/Sybron Lab Products 310
Pan Am Airlines 300
U.S. Department of State National Passport Center 259
Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc. 226
U.S. Department of State National Visa Center 215

Cost of Living

New Hampshire historically ranks among the lowest in the nation in the percentage of residents' income collected for state taxes and fees. New Hampshire depends more upon real property taxes for revenue than most states as it does not have general income, sales, or use taxes. Substantial revenue is collected from taxes on gasoline, tobacco, alcohol, and parimutuel betting.

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Portsmouth area.

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

State income tax rate: None on earned income; 5% on interest and dividends (with some exceptions); 8.5% business profit taxes; 18% inheritance and estate tax

State sales tax rate: None

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: None

Property tax rate: $17.17 per $1,000 of valuation (2004)

Economic Information: Community Development Department, City of Portsmouth, 1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03801; telephone (603)610-7218

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Portsmouth: Recreation

Portsmouth: Recreation

Sightseeing

Portsmouth, a charming New England seaport, retains its colonial heritage through careful preservation of its buildings, some of which date from the 1600s. Many of these historic structures can be viewed on a walking tour along the Portsmouth Trail, which is a collection of six buildings, including the Governor John Langdon House. Langdon served five years as governor of the state and was a signer of the U.S. Constitution. The John Paul Jones House, also on the tour, was the temporary dwelling of the naval patriot during the outfitting of the ships USS Ranger and USS America. The four other homes include Federalist and Georgian mansions of early politicians and merchants. Other Portsmouth buildings of note are the Old State House, built in 1758, and Pitt Tavern, site of Loyalist meetings prior to the Revolutionary War. The Strawbery Banke Museum, a living museum, occupies 10 acres in the city's South End in the heart of the maritime community.

Thirty-five buildings built between 1695 and the 1820s have been preserved and co-exist with restored shops where craftsmen demonstrate vanishing arts such as barrel and candle making. St. John's Church, an Episcopal church built in 1807, contains an antique Bible, baptismal font, and box pews. The nearby Point of Graves Cemetery contains tomb-stones dating back to 1682.

Other attractions in Portsmouth center around the port area. Prescott Park, on the banks of the Piscataqua River, contains the Sheafe Warehouse, where John Paul Jones outfitted the USS Ranger. The warehouse now houses an art gallery and hosts an annual arts festival. Harbor cruises and whale watches are popular further down the river in Portsmouth Harbor. A trip to the Isles of Shoals, a group of islands just off the coast, reveals the landing site of Captain John Smith around 1614. Across the Piscataqua River in Kittery, Maine, is the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, a U.S. naval installation since the Revolutionary War. The base, which is actually located on Seavey's Island, has built ships ranging from frigates to submarines. Albacore Park and Memorial Garden house the USS Albacore, a prototype for modern submarines.

Odiorne Point State Park, near Portsmouth Harbor, contains a nature center with exhibits of sea life and displays on coastal issues. Narrated, cocktail, live music, and fall foliage cruises of the harbor and the Piscataqua River are available. Water Country water park, spread over 47 acres, offers 15 different water rides, other activities, and snack bars and restaurants.

Arts and Culture

It is remarkable that a city of Portsmouth's size can support several theater groups along with five theaters, a children's museum, a ballet company, a lively music scene, and a former button factory inhabited by artisans. Founded in 1977, the Pontine Movement Theatre is a professional performing and touring group specializing in mime. The group performs at the Market Square studio. A variety of classic and original productions are presented by the intimate, 75-seat Players' Ring Theater, while the award-winning Seacoast Repertory Theatre at the Bow Street Theatre building (circa 1892) offers a wide range of plays, workshops, and children's activities. Ballet New England performs contemporary and traditional dance; classical music is the forte of the Historic North Church Music Series. The Music Hall, built in 1878, presents a celebrity series of dance, music, theater, and other events from September through May.

Among the attractions at the Children's Museum of Portsmouth are a lobstering exhibit, a submarine that can be boarded, and nature and computer centers. Portsmouth's numerous galleries showcase paintings, collectibles, and sculpture exhibits that depict the sea as well as arts and crafts.

Festivals and Holidays

The New Year is hailed in Portsmouth by the non-alcoholic First Night celebration spotlighting live entertainment and fireworks. Warm weather brings art fairs, including the summer-long Prescott Parks Art Festival and the Ceres Street Crafts Fair held in the Old Harbor Area. The Bowstreet Artisans Fair at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in July is the largest fine arts and crafts fair held in southern New Hampshire. The Children's Museum of Portsmouth celebrates its birthday in July with the entire community. June features the Harbor Arts Jazz Festival, which is held at the Music Hall, and the day-long Market Square Day festival with food, music, and arts and crafts booths. The Strawbery Banke Museum's "Candlelight Stroll," held the first two weekends in December, rounds out the festival year.

Sports for the Participant

Its proximity to the Atlantic Coast provides Portsmouth with an abundance of sports. In summer, the city's parks offer picnicking, fishing, boating, swimming, and hiking. Albacore Park, at the Port of the Portsmouth Maritime Museum, staffs a visitor's center. The park system includes Four Tree Island Park and Pierce Island Park. Prescott Park, the site of a summer festival series, cultivates garden displays while the Urban Forestry Center maintains nature trails, an arboretum, gardens, and a historic house. Saltwater fishing is popular, with several companies offering boating services. The city maintains 16 tennis courts, two indoor and outdoor pools, and a golf course. In the winter, excellent skiing can be found in the White Mountains, a two-hour's drive to the north. Odiorne Point State Park, a 15-minute drive from downtown, offers numerous summer and fall outings, including flotsam and jetsam hikes and leaf hunts.

Shopping and Dining

Portsmouth shopping is especially appealing because there is no sales tax. Its most picturesque shopping section may be the Old Harbor Area at Bow and Ceres streets. The warehouses and customs offices of the once busy colonial seaport have been transformed into boutiques, craft shops, and restaurants. Downtown shopping is available along Congress Street. Two of the better-known outlet malls in the area are Kittery Outlet Mall in Kittery, Maine and the North Hampton Outlet on U.S. Route One. Major retailers can be found in the city of Newington at the Fox Run Mall. The Portsmouth Farmers Market sells homemade foods and arts and crafts from May to early November.

Portsmouth, the self-proclaimed "restaurant capital of New England," offers mostly classic seacoast fare in its nearly 100 restaurants, about half of which are in the downtown area. Many eateries are located in refurbished warehouses, historic homes, and breweries overlooking the water. Ethnic menus include Italian, Tuscan, Chinese, Polynesian, Japanese, Mexican, and Continental cuisine. Choices can range from the trendy Portsmouth Brewery to the Parisian feel of Cafe Mirabelle to the Blue Mermaid World Grill, which features a varied menu of specialties seasoned with flavors from around the world.

Visitor Information: Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, 500 Market St., PO Box 239, Portsmouth, NH 03802-0239; telephone (603)436-3988

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Portsmouth: History

Portsmouth: History

Shipbuilding, Trading Establish Portsmouth

When English settlers migrating north from Massachusetts Bay Colony reached the site of modern Portsmouth, they encountered the Piscataquas, Native Americans who were part of the Algonquin Federation. The settlers adopted the name Piscataqua for their new town but soon changed the name to Strawbery Banke, a comment on the lush fruit carpeting the area. By 1633, the townsfolk had built a grist mill that used the waters of the Piscataqua River, and the Great House, a large community residence.

In 1653 the 60 families living in the town petitioned to change its name to Portsmouth. When New Hampshire was separated from Massachusetts Bay Colony by royal edict in 1679, Portsmouth became the capital of the new colony. Surrounded by forests of oak and white pine and at the edge of one of the world's deepest harbors, Portsmouth developed an economy based on shipbuilding and trading. The town thrived on its agriculture and fishing businesses and the fast growing mast-building industry. Shipbuilding boomed as the colonies moved toward the Revolutionary War. During the conflict, Portsmouth's shipyards produced three shipsthe America, the Raleigh, and the Ranger along with numerous privateers.

Following the war, many new wharves and shipyards were built along Portsmouth Harbor. In 1800 a government yard was added, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, to build and repair warships. In the meantime, commercial trade was brisk, as Portsmouth formed one of the points in the New England-West Indies-Great Britain triangle. Rum, molasses, sugar, and cocoa from the West Indies were shipped to Portsmouth and stored in its warehouses. Some of the goods were shipped on to England, along with cargoes of New Hampshire lumber. Portsmouth's merchant fleet also sailed south to the Indies, laden with lumber, oil, and livestock. Coal from England was distributed inland from Portsmouth warehouses, completing the trade triangle.

Shipbuilding Decline Diversifies Economy

The merchant class of Portsmouth lived very profitably from the trade, building large Federalist and Georgian-style manors and supporting the arts. The New Hampshire Gazette, originally called the Portsmouth Gazette, began publishing weekly in 1756. Portsmouth's fortunes declined in 1808 when Concord was named the state capital. Its fortunes suffered further with the invention of steamships and the growing popularity of the Massachusetts ports.

After the Civil War, Portsmouth became known for its breweries and shoe factories. The city was wired for electric lights in 1870 and free postal delivery began there in 1887. The construction of the Little Bay-Dover bridge in 1874 undermined the usefulness of the Piscataqua River as an avenue to inland communities. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard continued to contribute to the country's military needs. In World War II, the yard's 20,000 employees built some 70 submarines. During 1953 the prototype submarine USS Albacore (a National Historic Landmark and Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark) and the first two atomic-powered submarines were built in the yard.

Three bridges span the Piscataqua River in modern Portsmouth, one of which, the Memorial Bridge, was built to commemorate World War I. Ships continue to sail into Portsmouth, now an official port of entry and foreign trade zone. Modern cargoes consist of oil, gas, salt, limestone, and other products, with petroleum products comprising 90 percent of the cargoes. Much of the waterfront is now devoted to parks and gardens, while the once-bustling warehouses have been transformed into condominiums, shops, and offices.

Established in 1956, the Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth was one of the first military installations in the country to close as a result of the 1989 Base Closure and Realignment Act. In March 1991, all 10,715 military and other related personnel, and their dependents, left and took with them an annual payroll of about $110 million. Their departure took a heavy toll on the region's economy, already suffering as a result of the recession that began in the late 1980s.

Although the loss of the base seemed extremely negative at the time, the closure actually provided a unique opportunity for New Hampshire and its Pease Development Authority (PDA) to initiate the development of Pease International Tradeport, which is both a commercial airport and an economic development project. Simultaneously, the Port of New Hampshire began a major expansion project, which has led to a great increase in the port's trade potential.

City's Perseverance Tested as Twenty-First Century Begins

In 2005 the area faces the possibility of a major economic challenge with the proposed closure of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard recommended by the U.S. Department of Defense. Hearings began in July 2005 to discuss whether to retain the historic yard with a final decision expected in early 2006. The impact on the region would be significant as it employs some 4,500 workers; however, it would take several years before the site could officially be closed as environmental cleanup would be intensive.

The proliferation of Internet-based companies, or "dotcom" companies, brought approximately 400 related firms to the area in the late 1990s, though most went out of business during the economic downturn early in the new century. The prosperity that the financial influx brought resulted in great strides in cultural activities and dining establishments that remain.

While the population has declined significantly in recent decadesthe most dramatic between 19902000 with a nearly 20 percent lossthe metropolitan area has steadily expanded. The business climate is advantageous as many incentive programs exist along with a lack of sales or income tax in the city and state. Rockingham County, in particular, has shown positive growth in business indicators since 2004 with a solid start in the first quarter of 2005 giving residents cause for optimism.

Historical Information: Historic District Commission, c/o Planning Department, City of Portsmouth, 1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03801; telephone (603)610-7216; fax (603)427-1593

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Portsmouth (cities, United States)

Portsmouth:1 City (1990 pop. 25,925), Rockingham co., SE N.H., a port of entry with a good harbor and a state-owned port terminal at the mouth of the Piscataqua River opposite Kittery, Maine; inc. 1653. A regional trade center, it has a fishing industry and seafood processing. Manufactures include steel, glass, and paper products; machinery; and topsoil. Tourism is important, and the city's population nearly doubles in the summer. Portsmouth is the oldest community in New Hampshire (settled c.1623). It was a point for exporting lumber and fish and served as colonial capital until the American Revolution. Shipbuilding was an early and important industry.

The city gives its name to the great Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (est. 1800), but geographically it is in Kittery, on two islands (now joined together) in the Piscataqua River. It is also a significant submarine base and repair yard. The Treaty of Portsmouth, ending the Russo-Japanese War, was signed (1905) at the base. The former Pease Air Force Base is now an airport.

Many old houses are in "Strawbery Banke," a restored colonial community on the original seaport; they include the Richard Jackson house (1664), the Warner house (1716), and the John Paul Jones house (1758), where the naval hero once lived. The first newspaper in the state, the New Hampshire Gazette, was published there.

2 City (1990 pop. 22,676), seat of Scioto co., S Ohio, in a hilly area on the Ohio River at the mouth of the Scioto, across from South Portsmouth, Ky.; inc. 1814. Once a steel and shoe manufacturing center, current manufactures include chemicals, plastics, and bricks. Completion of the Ohio Canal (1832), linking Portsmouth with Cleveland, and the discovery of iron ore in the area started the city's industrial growth. Of interest are the 1810 house; Mound Park, with ancient Native American burial grounds; floodwall murals of historic scenes; a civic center; and traces of the old Ohio River Canal. Shawnee State Univ. and a state prison are there. Nearby are a uranium enrichment facility, Shawnee State Park, and Wayne National Forest.

3 Town (1990 pop. 16,857), Newport co., SE R.I., on Rhode Island; founded by William Coddington, John Clarke, Anne Hutchinson, and others in 1638, inc. 1644. It is mainly residential with some light industry and also serves as a summer resort. The Native Americans called this area Pocasset. The second white settlement in the state, it was an early fishing, shipping, and shipbuilding center, with some farming. The first general assembly of the new colony met at Portsmouth in 1647. The British general Richard Prescott was captured (1777) at his own headquarters in the town by American raiders, and the battle of Rhode Island was fought there (1778). Coal mining was important in the 19th cent. The Mt. Hope Bridge (1929) and the Sakonnet Bridge (1956) connect the towns to Bristol and Tiverton, respectively.

4 City (1990 pop. 103,907), SE Va., on the Elizabeth River and Hampton Roads, adjacent to and opposite Norfolk, with which it is connected by two bridges and two tunnels; founded 1752 on the site of a Native American village, inc. 1858. The city, one of the ports of Hampton Roads, forms with Norfolk one of the largest operating naval installations in the world. In Portsmouth itself are one of the world's largest shipyards; a huge naval hospital; a naval ammunitions dump; and the headquarters of the Fifth U.S. Coast Guard district. Portsmouth is also a busy commercial seaport and a rail center, with railroad shops and terminals. Industries include food processing, tool and die manufacture, machining, and scrap metal processing. Furniture, chemicals, clothing, electronic equipment, plastic products, and machines are also manufactured.

A private shipyard was built there in 1767; it served as a British base in the American Revolution, after which it became a U.S. base (the U.S.S. Chesapeake was built there). In the Civil War the navy yard was burned and evacuated by the Federals in 1861 and then retaken in 1862. During the brief Confederate occupation, the steamship Merrimack was converted into the world's first ironclad (see Monitor and Merrimack). The nation's first battleship (Texas) was built there in 1892 and the first aircraft carrier (Langley) in 1922. Of interest in Portsmouth are Trinity Episcopal Church (1762); Monumental Church (1772; Methodist); the Shipyard Museum, with a model of the Merrimack; the U.S. Naval Hospital (1830); and the Old Towne Historic District. A floodwall also serves as a pedestrian promenade along the waterfront.

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Portsmouth: Education and Research

Portsmouth: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Portsmouth public schools' curricula include both college, preparatory, and vocational programs, as well as programs for the physically and mentally impaired. Comprised of instructors, school officials, students, and parents, the 19-member Greater Portsmouth Education Partnership Council (GPEPC) works with the community to improve the school system and annually awards district educators and civic partners.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Portsmouth Public Schools as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 2,696

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 3

junior high/middle schools: 1

senior high schools: 1

Student/teacher ratio: 11.3:1

Teacher salaries average: $44,282

Funding per pupil: $11,583

Three private or parochial schools enroll about 525 students.

Public Schools Information: Superintendent's Office, Portsmouth School Department, 50 Clough Dr., Portsmouth, NH 03801; telephone (603)431-5080; fax (603)431-6753

Colleges and Universities

An extension of New Hampshire College operates in Portsmouth, along with the Antioch New England Graduate School, Franklin Pierce College, and Hesser College. A number of other schools are located within driving distance, notably the University of New Hampshire in Durham, which is about 14 miles away. The University offers its nearly 12,600 undergraduates and graduate students a choice of more than 100 majors. The New Hampshire Community Technical College (NHCTC) is in nearby Stratham. Collaborative efforts by the University of New Hampshire Division of Continuing Education, the College for Lifelong Learning (part of the University System of New Hampshire), and New Hampshire Technical College resulted in the establishment of the Pease Education and Training Center, which offers course work to help those in business and industry in the greater Portsmouth region.

Libraries and Research Centers

Portsmouth Public Library maintains a collection of about 145,000 volumes and 5,000 audio materials, 6,000 video materials, and more than 750 periodicals along with city documents, tapes, and maps. Special collections include information about local history including World War II records. The library staffs a children's room and offers a variety of special children and teen programs.

Special libraries include the Portsmouth Athenaeum, a library-museum specializing in local New Hampshire, Maine, and New England history, as well as genealogy and marine, naval, and shipping interests. At Strawbery Banke, the Thayer Cumings Historical Reference Library specializes in art and architecture, decorative arts, local history, and preservation. Its holdings include photo and manuscript collections. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Library covers computers, electronics, engineering, and submarines. Masonic information pertaining to New Hampshire is catalogued in the James E. Whalley Museum and Library.

Portsmouth is the summer home of the Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML), a research program of Cornell University run in conjunction with the University of New Hampshire. This marine biology and coastal oceanography facility is located on 95 acres on Appledore Island, the largest of the Isles of Shoals and six miles from Portsmouth in the Gulf of Maine.

Public Library Information: Portsmouth Public Library, 8 Islington St., Portsmouth, NH 03801; telephone (603)427-1540; fax (603)433-0981; email info@lib.cityofportsmouth.com

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Portsmouth: Transportation

Portsmouth: Transportation

Approaching the City

Since 1993 regional airline service has operated at the Pease International Tradeport. Pan American Airways operates to and from Sanford, Florida and Gary, Indiana. Air travelers can also use facilities at Logan International Airport, one hour to Portsmouth's south in Boston, Massachusetts; at Portland International Airport, one hour to the north in Portland, Maine; or Manchester Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, which connects the southern part of the state to Washington, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Frequent daily limousine service is available between Logan and Portsmouth.

Bus transportation to Portsmouth is available on C&J Trailways, which also serves Logan airport. C & J's Portsmouth stop is at the Park and Ride bus terminal at Pease International Tradeport. Ferries are available between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine. Passenger rail extends from Boston to Newburyport, Massachusetts. Service is also available within the state to Dover and Durham.

Interstate 95 is a direct link connecting Portsmouth with Portland, Maine, and Boston; it extends as far north as the Canadian provinces and south to Key West, Florida. The Spaulding Turnpike (Rte. 16) connects the city to Dover, Rochester, and further north to the White Mountains. U.S. Route 101 stretches west through Manchester and eventually to Keene, New Hampshire. U.S. Route 4 leads into the city from Concord to east. All roads are passable year-round to the experienced traveler.

Traveling in the City

Portsmouth, which grew inland from the banks of the Piscataqua River, developed around a series of narrow, winding, often one-way streets in the downtown area. The main thoroughfares converge at Market Square in the center of downtown Portsmouth. Memorial Bridge connects Portsmouth with Kittery, Maine. Other traffic can use I-95 and the U.S. Route 1 Bypass, both with bridges across the river. Other bridges in the city cross South Mill Pond and provide a link with Pierce Island.

Traffic in the city blossoms during the summer tourist season when the city's population doubles. Bridge traffic is especially heavy during these months. Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST), the regional transit line since 1981, provides bus service to the combined metropolitan area of Portsmouth, Rochester, Dover, Somersworth, and Durham. Walking the brick-paved streets and taking the downtown trolley during the summer are the best ways to get to know Portsmouth, and horse-drawn carriages are available.

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Portsmouth: Population Profile

Portsmouth: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents (PMSA)

1990: 223,271

2000: 240,698

Percent change, 19902000: 7.8%

U.S. rank in 1990: 5th (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 2000: 7th (CMSA)

City Residents

1980: 26,254

1990: 25,925

2000: 20,784

2003 estimate: 21,022

Percent change, 19902000: -19.8%

U.S. rank in 1980: 909th

U.S. rank in 1990: 1,044th

U.S. rank in 2000: Not reported (State rank: 13th)

Density: 1,333.4 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 19,443

Black or African American: 442

American Indian and Alaska Native: 44

Asian: 508

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 5

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 280

Other:

Percent of residents born in state: 37.3% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 1,009

Population 5 to 9 years old: 981

Population 10 to 14 years old: 997

Population 15 to 19 years old: 886

Population 20 to 24 years old: 1,187

Population 25 to 34 years old: 4,002

Population 35 to 44 years old: 3,524

Population 45 to 54 years old: 2,952

Population 55 to 59 years old: 1,021

Population 60 to 64 years old: 841

Population 65 to 74 years old: 1,629

Population 75 to 84 years old: 1,215

Population 85 years and over: 540

Median age: 38.5 years

Births (2002)

Total number: 230

Deaths (2001)

Total number: 257

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $27,540

Median household income: $45,195

Total households: 9,933

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 899

$10,000 to $14,999: 574

$15,000 to $24,999: 1,105

$25,000 to $34,999: 1,140

$35,000 to $49,999: 1,629

$50,000 to $74,999: 2,174

$75,000 to $99,999: 1,177

$100,000 to $149,999: 822

$150,000 to $199,999: 256

$200,000 or more: 157

Percent of families below poverty level: 6.4% (39.2% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 860

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Portsmouth: Communications

Portsmouth: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The Portsmouth Herald, is published each weekday evening and in the mornings on weekends. Magazines published in Portsmouth include Red Owl, a literary magazine, and Coastline, a publication of the Chamber of Commerce.

Television and Radio

One television channel broadcasts from Portsmouth, and the city receives the major networks via the Boston channels. Portsmouth does have its own cable television franchise. One FM radio station and one AM station broadcast programming such as easy listening and album-oriented rock music from Portsmouth.

Media Information: The Portsmouth Herald, 111 Maplewood Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03801; telephone (800)439-0303; fax (603)427-0550; email news@seacoastonline.com

Portsmouth Online

City of Portsmouth. Available www.cityofportsmouth.com

Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce. Available www.portcity.org

Pease Development Authority. Available www.peasedev.org

The Portsmouth Herald. Available www.seacoastonline.com

Portsmouth Public Library. Available www.cityofportsmouth.com/Library

Portsmouth School Department. Available www.cityofportsmouth.com/school/index.htm

Strawbery Banke Museum. Available www.strawberybanke.org

Selected Bibliography

Lenski, Lois, Ocean-born Mary (Stokes, 1939)

Rogers, Mary Cochrane, Glimpses of an Old Social Capital (Ports-mouth, New Hampshire) as Illustrated by the Life of the Reverend Arthur Browne and His Circle (Boston, Printed for the subscribers, 1923)

Tanner, Virginia, A Pageant of Portsmouth: A Pageant in Celebration of the Tercentenary of the First Settlement in New Hampshire, Spring of 1623 (Concord, N.H.: Rumford Press, 1923)

Wahl, Jan, The Screeching Door: or, What Happened at the Elephant Hotel (New York: Four Winds Press, 1975)

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Portsmouth

Portsmouth

Portsmouth: Introduction
Portsmouth: Geography and Climate
Portsmouth: History
Portsmouth: Population Profile
Portsmouth: Municipal Government
Portsmouth: Economy
Portsmouth: Education and Research
Portsmouth: Health Care
Portsmouth: Recreation
Portsmouth: Convention Facilities
Portsmouth: Transportation
Portsmouth: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1623 (incorporated 1849)

Head Official: Mayor Evelyn F. Sirrell (since 1998)

City Population

1980: 26,254

1990: 25,925

2000: 20,784

2003 estimate: 21,002

Percent change, 19902000: -19.8%

U.S. rank in 1980: 909th

U.S. rank in 1990: 1,044th

U.S. rank in 2000: Not reported (State rank: 13th)

Metropolitan Area Population (PMSA)

1990: 223,271

2000: 240,698

Percent change, 19902000: 7.8%

U.S. rank in 1990: 5th (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 2000: 7th (CMSA)

Area: 15.7 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 20 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 44.7° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 46 inches of rain; 62 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Tourism, government, retail and service industries, fishing and agriculture

Unemployment Rate: 1.4% (April 2005)

Per Capita Income: $27,540 (1999)

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 860

Major Colleges and Universities: Extension Campus of New Hampshire College

Daily Newspaper: The Portsmouth Herald

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Portsmouth: Geography and Climate

Portsmouth: Geography and Climate

Portsmouth, located in southeastern New Hampshire in Rockingham County, is equidistant from Portland, Maine, to the north and Boston, Massachusetts, to the south. About three miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, Portsmouth is at the mouth of a broad tidal basin for six inland rivers. Portsmouth itself lies on the banks of the Piscataqua River. On the opposite bank of the Piscataqua is the city of Kittery, Maine site of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The only seaport in the state, Portsmouth has one of the deepest harbors in the world. The land around the harbor is hilly, sloping down to Piscataqua Bay.

Portsmouth's winters are relatively mild and wet because of the mitigating influence of the Atlantic Ocean; average snowfall during the winter is 62 inches. Summer, which can be warm and humid, is sometimes lightened by ocean breezes. The traditional New England storms off the Atlantic, known locally as "northeasters," are mostly spent by the time they reach Portsmouth.

Area: 15.7 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 20 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 19.9° F; July, 69.5° F; annual average, 44.7° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 46 inches of rain; 62 inches of snow

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Portsmouth: Health Care

Portsmouth: Health Care

Portsmouth area residents are served by the Portsmouth Regional Hospital, a full service, 179 bed medical center with staff of about 130 physicians. The hospital provides an in-patient and outpatient behavioral health center along with a 24-hour emergency department, rehabilitation services, women's care services including maternity care, and the latest medical equipment. Staffed by about 50 surgeons, the surgery department has state-of-the-art laser equipment, and extensive diagnostic resources, including CAT and MRI scanning, X-ray, cardiac stress, testing, ultrasound and mammography. The Heart & Lung Center has multidisciplinary capabilities, and the Wound Care Center treats wounds using an innovative, comprehensive approach.

The Behavioral Health Services unit treats adults and adolescents in crisis who are suffering from mental illness, substance abuse or an acute emotional or psychological problem. Services provided include full inpatient care, medically supervised detoxification, and an evening Adult Intensive Outpatient program.

Health Care Information: Portsmouth Regional Hospital, 333 Borthwick Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03801; telephone (603)436-5110

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Portsmouth: Introduction

Portsmouth: Introduction

Portsmouth has the distinction of being New Hampshire's first settlement, its second oldest city, its first capital, and its only seaport. For many years, Portsmouth's livelihood depended upon the sea; since the Revolutionary War, city life has centered around the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The yard, which once built clipper ships and now builds and repairs submarines, was the site of the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth ending the Russo-Japanese War in 1905, though in 2005 it faces possible closure. Today Portsmouth enjoys a reputation as one of the finest vacation spots in New England. It also represents economic opportunity for businesses with its tax advantages and global access via its port along with community leaders' efforts to draw high-technology firms to the city.

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Portsmouth: Municipal Government

Portsmouth: Municipal Government

Portsmouth operates under a manager-council form of government. Nine council members are elected to two-year terms. The member receiving the largest number of votes becomes the mayor in any municipal election. The council retains the services of a full-time professional city manager.

Head Official: Mayor Evelyn F. Sirrell (since 1998; current term expires 2005)

Total Number of City Employees: 881 (2002)

City Information: Mayor's Office, City of Portsmouth, 1 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03802-0628; telephone (603)610-7200

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Portsmouth: Convention Facilities

Portsmouth: Convention Facilities

Facilities within the city can accommodate small- to medium-sized meetings and include more than 1,300 guest rooms and around 100 restaurants. The largest hotel is the Sheraton Harborside Hotel Portsmouth, featuring 15 meeting rooms highlighted by a ballroom that accommodates 150 to 200 guests. The city is full of picturesque inns and bedand-breakfasts.

Convention Information: Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, 500 Market St., PO Box 239, Portsmouth, NH 03802-0239; telephone (603)436-3988

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Portsmouth

Portsmouth •Goliath • Haworth • sabbath •Elizabeth • mammoth • Dartmouth •Weymouth • behemoth • Plymouth •Sidmouth • bismuth • azimuth •Monmouth • Bournemouth •Portsmouth • vermouth •pennyworth • Elspeth • ha'p'orth •Morpeth • Gareth • Nazareth •Tamworth • Hayworth • Woolworth •Wordsworth

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