14 Hancock St., Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Sailing up the Piscataqua River in 1630, Capt. Walter Neal and his band of Englishmen spotted the wild strawberries ablaze on the western bank and decided it worthy enough to call home.
A London company had sent the men to develop a colony for trade, and with the wives’ arrival, the community began to prosper. The name was changed from Strawbery Banke to Portsmouth because, it was said, “We are at the river’s mouth, and our port is as good as any in the land.”
Walk through centuries of this city’s evolution in the restored homes and exhibit buildings of the waterfront neighborhood’s historical museum, helped along by role players and regular activities.
Once a bustling port with sleek clipper ships built in its shipyards, the city has a rich history populated by sea captains, merchants, shopkeepers, revolutionaries, and waves of European immigrants. You will meet the children of the Puddle Dock, playing ring toss and Jacob’s ladder, as well as historical figures like Paul Revere and Daniel Webster. Jefferson Street’s Herb Garden displays an assortment of remedies: angelica and flax, always dependable when warding off a witch; borage for courage; basil to repel flies; and Johnny-jump-ups, a one-time staple in love potions.
Open daily May–Oct.; weekends only in Nov.; Mon.–Fri. in Dec. Closed major winter holidays. Admission charged.