• Joe Pace

Granite State of Mind, #108: Portsmouth Hospital, Portsmouth


Day One

I wasn't born in Portsmouth Cottage Hospital, the elegant 1895 building in the picture accompanying this post. That was the city's medical center only until 1962. I wasn't born at the sprawling new complex on Borthwick Avenue, either, built in 1987. No, I was born in between, at the hospital facilities built adjacent to this grand old lady, forty-two years ago tomorrow. Yeah, even though a Stratham-Exeter kid, I was born in Portsmouth to Portsmouth parents.


We only lived there until I was two, but I used to enjoy it when I was working at Citizens Bank down on Pleasant Street and my office window had a view across the South Mill Pond and up Junkins Ave to the old hospital, now the city's municipal center. When some of the doughtier longtime residents would come flinty-eyed into my office and ask if I was from away, I'd point out the window and mention that I was born in that building. That was usually local enough.


I was going to save this post for tomorrow, for the day itself. But we'll actually be in New Hampshire for a week starting tomorrow, and this series will go on hiatus for the duration. After all, these postings are love letters to New Hampshire, and you don't need to send letters when you're with your love.

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