Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 533

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Gorges, the proprietor of the province. In 1675,
the settlement was destroyed by the Indians.
That which afterwards grew up was again de-
stroyed by the French and Indians, in 1690, after
which the place lay waste for about 20 years.
In 1718, it was incorporated, under the name of
Falmouth, with the present towns of Cape Eliza-
beth, Westbrook, and Falmouth, by the Massa-
chusetts legislature. This part of the town went
m    '    by the name of “ Old Casco.'' It was separated

from Falmouth, and incorporated by its present
name, in 1786. In 1832, it received a city

On the 18th of October, 1775, the place was
bombarded by a British fleet, and entirely pros-
j    trated; 136 of the principal dwellings, the Epis-

copal Church, the court house, and the town
house having been laid in ruins. From the close
of the revolutionary war, the growth of the town
was rapid. Its tonnage had increased to 39,000
tons, and the amount received for duties to
$346,000, when it again received a severe check
by the restrictions on commerce during the war
of 1812. After the war, a new impulse was
given to its prosperity; which has since been
generally onward; though not without serious
reverses, in one or two instances, from desolating
fires and a misdirected spirit of speculation. With
energies exercised and developed by so many
vicissitudes, and with so many new facilities for
trade as are now furnished, this beautiful city is
certainly destined, in the future, to a large in-
crease in population, wealth, and influence.

Portland, Ct., Middlesex co. On the E. side
of Connecticut River, nearly opposite Middle-
town, and about 15 miles S. from Hartford. A
new town, recently incorporated from Chatham.
The village is pleasantly situated on elevated
ground, looking towards the W. and S. W., and
is the most populous towards the two extremi-
ties of a street running parallel with the course
of the river, about 2 miles in length. At the
southern extremity are the valuable freestone
quarries, from which large quantities of a most
beautiful reddish or dark-colored sandstone, of
a fine quality for building, are exported to dis-
tant cities every year. The quarries lie directly
upon the bank of the river, though the bed of
stone appears to extend back for considerable
distance. It is not perfectly solid, but lies in
blocks 8 or 10 feet thick, and 50 or 60 feet long.
For about 50 years past these quarries have been
extensively worked, with a handsome profit to
their proprietors. There are some delightful
seats here occupied for private residence, from
which views of the river and of the surrounding
country are enjoyed which are scarcely surpassed
by any in the country. At the northern part
of the town there is a ship yard where vessels are
built for the river navigation.

Portland, N. Y., Chautauque co. Watered by
several small streams flowing into Lake Erie,
which bounds it on the N. W. Surface hilly;
soil sandy and argillaceous loam. 7 miles N.
from Mayville, and 331 W. from Albany.

Portland, On., c. h. Washington co.

Portsmouth, N. H. Seaport and half shire town
of Rockingham co. 47 miles E. from Concord,
and 54 N. by E. from Boston. This important
town is the only seaport in the state. It is built
on a beautiful peninsula, on the S. side of the
Piscataqua River, about 3 miles from the ocean.
The ground rises gradually from the harbor,

affording for the town a peculiarly pleasant and
healthful situation. Population in 1810, 6934;
1820,7327; 1830,8082; 1840,7887; 1850, 9739.

Portsmouth is connected with Kittery, in Maine,
by 2 bridges, 1 of which, built in 1822, at a cost
of $32,000, is 1750 feet in length, and is sup-
ported by 70 piers: the other is 480 feet long,
supported by 20 piers. Under the longest of these
bridges the water, at low tide, for an extent of
900 feet, varies from 45 to 53 feet in depth. The
town is also connected by a bridge with Great
Island, comprising the township of Newcastle.
The streets of Portsmouth, though not laid out
with much regularity, are neat and pleasant, and
contain many beautiful buildings. In many
parts of the town are beautiful gardens, and much
rural embellishment. Few places more agreeably
unite the advantages of the town and country.
That part of it which lies around Church Hill,
so called, was originally called Strawberry Bank.
The proximity of Portsmouth to the ocean, its
neatness, quietness, and beauty, render it a
desirable place of residence, and a place of
fashionable resort for visitors during the sum-
mer season.

Among the public buildings are 5 or 6 hand-
some churches, 2 market houses, an academy,
an athenseum, an almshouse, and the state
Lunatic Hospital. The Episcopal Church is a
large and elegant brick edifice, from the cupola
of which a very beautiful view is had of the town,
the river, the harbor, the islands, and the sur-
rounding country. One of the markets near the
centre of the town is of brick, 80 feet long and
30 feet wide, having a spacious hall in the upper
story for public uses. The Athenaeum was incor-
porated in 1817, and has a handsome brick edifice
3 stories high, with a library of 7300 volumes.
In the third story are valuable collections of
minerals and of natural history. Besides the
Athenaeum library there are libraries belonging
to St. John's Church, and to the Unitarian
Church, of about 500 volumes each. The people
of this town were early distinguished as the
patrons of literature, and their institutions of
learning, of every grade, are highly respectable.

The town is supplied with water of an excellent
quality, brought by an aqueduct from a fountain
3 miles distant, and carried through all the princi-
pal streets.

The United States navy yard, situated on the
harbor of Portsmouth, is admirably located for its
objects, on an island called Continental, or Badg-
er's Island, on the E. side of the river. Here is
every convenience for the construction and re-
pair of vessels of the largest class, among which
are a dry dock of costly construction, and 3 im-
mense ship houses, the largest of which is 240
feet long and 131 feet wide, having the roof
covered with 130 tons of slate. Portsmouth has
been long celebrated for the skill of its naval
architects, as well as for its abundant supply of
fine white oak timber and other materials for
ship building. The merchant service, as well as
the United States navy, is supplied from the ship
yards here with many of their finest vessels. On
Badger's Island, in this harbor, was built, during
the revolutionary war, the first line of battle ship
launched in the western hemisphere, called the
North America. A very large number of vessels
are owned at this port, which are constantly em-
ployed in the freighting and fishing business in
other seas, and between other ports of this country

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