The Strawbery Banke website opens with,
"Strawbery Banke is about connecting with the past."
This is a living museum. It is our opportunity to have a glimpse of life in this seacoast village from the late 17th century to the mid-2oth Century.
Dirt roads and paths lead past ordinary houses , fancy homes, a store, sheds, artisan shops and gardens. The oldest of the 42 buildings dates from the Colonial times circa 1695. The most recent building here takes us up to World War II, with a Victory Garden behind it.
With Four Centuries collected here, we find many of the buildings have been preserved and several are in the process of restoration. These buildings are here thanks to citizens that understood the importance of historic preservation.
The restoration continues. There is a program called
The Heritage House Program,
it's goal is to restore and preserve ten additional properties on the site.
We visit on a warm and clear December afternoon. The sun is low in the sky creating long shadows and of course there will be an early sunset. But the day is beautiful and it is quiet here. We are happily lost in time.
Along this street some of the buildings have been restored others stand waiting their turn to be brought back to what they once were.
A window draws attention to itself against the plain wooden boards. One of the oldest buildings on the grounds, this house has spectacular form and the diamond window panes are a lovely detail.
On the other hand, down another street we climb into the time machine and travel ahead a few hundred years. A feeling of nostalgia seeps in when approaching this building, a restored general store.....from an era not all that long ago.
A restored home is seen in the distance with a dory here in the foreground, put up for winter. Portsmouth has been an important seaport since the 1600's, so boats, both large and small have played an important role here. Boat building, trade and fishing are central to this seacoast community.
This area where Strawbery Banke was once an immigrant community known as Puddle Dock.
This fence is just a glimpse of some of the details and structure of the gardens that can be seen on a visit here. But more on that soon. Here we look through the fence to the surrounding neighborhood that is Strawbery Banke.
There are some interesting gardens to explore at Strawbery Banke. Behind this fence is one of those gardens that we will enter in an upcoming story!
As we exit the grounds we follow along the edge created by this unique white washed fence. This December evening is the annual Holiday Candlelight Stroll, a very festive occasion celebrating the season and this special historic place in the heart of Portsmouth.
Strawbery Banke Candlelight Stroll
Sat. & Sun. Dec. 10& 11
Sat. & Sun. Dec. 17 & 18
For further information and tickets for this season's Candlelight Stroll click on: