Aerial View postcard of Elmhurst School from Collection of G. Schmidt

Aerial View postcard of Elmhurst School from Collection of G. Schmidt

Nadeau's Pharmacy from collection of G. Schmidt

Nadeau’s Pharmacy from collection of G. Schmidt

Do you remember Nadeau’s Pharmacy?  Did you go to the Roller Rink?  Do you remember that Bernie’s Hardware always had what you needed?  I’m not a native of Portsmouth (I’ve only lived here 43 years), but I still have fond memories of what used to be.   Towns change and Portsmouth is no exception.  We are so fortunate that there are many places where we can touch our history and we need to protect and preserve what we have.  Through time, however, there are many farms, businesses and social institutions that have been lost through the years.  The Portsmouth Historical Society’s 2014 exhibit at our museum is a celebration and remembrance of what we have “Lost to Time.”  We focused the exhibit on what we have “lost” since around 1900. Farms like Sandy Point and Oakland Farm are now occupied by homes instead of livestock.  In our exhibit we have objects and images of these farms along with those from Glen Farm, Hathaway Orchards and even a milk bottle from the Briggs Farm “Fairholm Dairy.” Business may come and go, but we have fond memories.  The Roller Rink, Island Park, Nadeau’s, The Island Park Aquarium, Sea Fare Inn, the Wayside Gardens and many others are represented in the displays. Parts of our community fabric are gone as well.  Around 1900 we had five working mills. Two of them – Boyd’s and Sherman’s – were moved and carefully preserved in Middletown.  Vintage images of the mills and our lost ferries, trolleys, and bridges are included in our exhibit. With the destruction of Elmhurst School we remember the schools that have passed – Elmhurst School, Elmhurst Academy, Bristol Ferry, Newtown, Anthony and Coggeshall School  (among others) are represented as well.  Our one room school will have some reminders of those schools.  As Elmhurst librarian for 20 years I have so many good memories. Social events and organizations have gone by the wayside.  Social clubs like the Oliphant Club once flourished.  The Newport County Agricultural Fair was a social highlight.  We are looking for an Arts Center for our town, but we once had one in Sarah Eddy’s Social Studio on Bristol Ferry Road. “Lost to Time” opens Memorial Day Weekend and lasts through Columbus Day Weekend.  The museum is open Sundays from 2 to 4 PM and docents will be available to guide you through the museum, the exhibits and our buildings. This blog is the first in a series that will focus on topics related to our “Lost to Time” exhibit. Interested in learning more? Visit our website:  portsmouthhistorical.com

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