Most towns have a Historical Society, a museum where the unique past of a specific place is celebrated and passed on to future generations. Whether they’re the smallest of villages or largest of cities, a town’s museum can be a genuine institution, collecting and protecting everything from family trees to farming practices. But while in most towns such societies and museums are often in a cherished Victorian home or a renovated library, as usual, Portsmouth’s dedication to its community goes far beyond with the thirty-nine separate historical edifices that create the truly outstanding Strawbery Banke Museum.
Summer from the July 4th onward becomes a celebration and consideration of everything that makes America great, and of everything that makes such greatness stand so tall. Whether it’s the barbeques or the fireworks, the parades or the military bands, it’s never hard to find something patriotic during the summer — particularly in New England. But it isn’t the loud festivities that define a nation, or even its remarkable history. It’s the innovation those festivities raucously represent, and the history that influences us to this day. If there’s any element of the United States that exhibits a nation dedicated to ingenuity and prideful of past, it’s within our physical foundation: our architecture. And there’s no form more beloved and more copied the world over than that of the American waterfront summer home. While the original mountain, lake, and sea abodes may be beyond a century old in age and design, the influence of traditional summer homes over contemporary choices in any kind of space are a living piece of history as classic and unique as any monument.