Illustrated Bites of Island News

Jim Cerny, reporting and photography

Public occurrences New Castle bridge On walking 'round New Castle Piscataqua ship spotting Spring is a-coming in Quick index to back issues

Public occurrences

Town Meeting Day is May 11. Vote totals for candidates for office will be posted on May 12.

(in ballot order all candidates are unopposed)
Town Clerk / Tax CollectorPriscilla Hodgkins207
Select Board MemberLorn Buxton201
TreasurerWilliam Marshall III203
Budget Committee, 3-year termDavid Borden172
Fire Ward, 1-year termCarl Roediger184
Fire Ward, 3-year termReginald Whitehouse199
Trustee of the Trust Funds, 3-year termPeter Reed, Jr.197
Town ModeratorWayne Semprini201
Library TrusteeSandra DeSisto196
Cemetery TrusteeDavid Merrill204
Supervisor of the ChecklistP. Darcy Horgan193
School Board Member, 3-year termHeather Driscoll199
School Board ModeratorWayne Semprini199
School Board TreasurerClinton Springer188
School Board Clerk(no candidate)
Article I (Elect Town Officers)
ballot: see results above
Article II (Zoning Amendment 1)
ballot: yes=141, no=57
Article III (Zoning Amendment 2)
ballot: yes=151, no=48
Article IV (Zoning Amendment 3)
ballot: yes=135, no=73
Article V (Building Code)
ballot: yes=134, no=74
Article VI (Operating Budget of $2,110,719)
meeting: voice vote unanimous approval
Article VII (Vehicle Replacement Fund $100,000)
meeting: voice vote approved with 1 nay
Article VIII (New Public Works Building $198,500)
meeting: approved by secret ballot, yes=141, no=17
Article IX (Non-Profit Agencies $13,500)
meeting: voice vote unanimous approval
Article X (Establish Recreation Revolving Fund)
meeting: voice vote unanimous approval
Article XI (Petition to Vote on Definition of Marriage)
meeting: voice vote unanimous to postpone indefinitely
Article XII (Other Reports)
meeting: Norman Rice reported on status of SafePath
meeting: Margaret Hartford spoke on donor towns
Article XIII (Other Business)
meeting: none, adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

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New Castle bridge

In early April the legislature passed SB 376 naming the bridge between Shapleigh Island (Portsmouth) and Goat Island (New Castle) as the "Joseph Sawtelle Memorial Bridge. While allowing signage, in their inimitable wisdom they said it should not be at State expense!

Up until 1822 there was no bridge connection between Portsmouth and New Castle, with all traffic by ferries or by the Little Harbor Bridge at the southern end of Great Island which at the time connected to Little Harbor Road in Portsmouth, not into Rye as it does today.

The legislature authorized the New Castle Bridge, with Andrew Bell, Reuben Shapely, Nathan Priest, and Ephraim Amazeen as proprietors. The three spans of the bridge cost $8,000 and opened in January 1822, running from the Portsmouth South End to Shapleigh's Island (849 feet), from Shapleigh Island to Goat Island, previously known as Amazeen Island and Governor's Island (713 feet), and from Goat Island to New Castle (809 feet now replaced by the causeway).  

New Castle Bridge stock certificate for two shares, signed by Reuben Shapley, President of the company.

Tolls were authorized in these amounts: pedestrians, 3 cents; man and horse, 6 cents; carts drawn by one beast, 10 cents, and so forth.

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On Walking 'Round New Castle

Ralph May was a Portsmouth writer/historian and great-grandson of James Rundlet who built the Rundlet-May historic house in Portsmouth. In 1952, May self-published a small book of his poetry as a gift to friends and the following is reprinted from that (courtesy of the Portsmouth Herald where the poem first appeared). Have you taken this walk?

On Walking 'Round New Castle.

We always went down Richards Avenue,
Then through the cemetery with its happy view
Of the back river waters at high tide,
Fitting the old town's thoughts that here abide;
Then along Sagamore Road with lengthened stride,
The ashes of my pipe now cast aside,
Past Little Harbor turn, and down the hill
Beyond Love Lane, to Sagamore Creek, which will
Ever its banks with changing beauty fill.
'Twas on this creek a witch in olden days
Lived, and 'twas called Witch Creek, the dame to praise.
Beyond the bridge a short cut through the wood
Gives glimpse of lower creek in charming mood.
O'er Wentworth Road we then tramp easterly,
By friendly barking dogs, until the sea
Comes at us over the breakwater grey,
Beyond the links and Little Harbor bay.
Perhaps some sail is on the ocean blue,
Or motor boat cuts Little Harbor through.
Another world is here, as past the bridge,
We climb the hill, look southward from the ridge,
See breaking waves on far off Appledore,
And lines of foam 'long Odiorne's Point shore.
Should Isles of Shoals seem lifted toward the sky,
A storm is making, as when gulls fly high,
Or as, when, sitting miles away at home,
Sudden is heard the whistling buoy's moan.
To north, we've seen still waters and fair isles,
And Benning Wentworth's house of ancient style.
O'er crest of Wentworth hill some maple trees
Drip sap in March, eye more than taste to please.
Here we must settle which way we will go;
If time permits and legs do not say "no,"
It's pleasant scrambling down to Wentworth beach,
To walk more sand, to skip a stone, to reach
A bird filled path that takes us to Rose Lane,
'Cross Jaffrey Point unto the sea again.
This time the ocean swells break at our feet;
Peace, beauty, fill their slow insistent beat.
But soon we must be on our rock way,
By outer harbor coast, a mile long bay.
Whalesback and Fort Point Light bound this demesne,
With Gerrish Island 'cross the harbor lane.

Cod Rock we pass, then, rougher shore behind,
We tread New Castle beach, until we find
Those long sands lead to that fair harbor town,
Behind Fort Point, with Walbach Tower round;
The ruined tower that arose one night,
Eighteen fourteen, for fear the British might
Pass Constitution Fort, to Portsmouth's plight.
At what is now Fort Constitution gate,
December, seventeen seventy-four, the date,
The Revolutionary War began,
Though at this time there fell no blood nor man.
Fort Point, with Walbach, long stone fort and light,
Make harbor entrance a lovely sight.
Behind it curves the harbor westwardly,
Between New Castle cove and Kittery,
Capped by its old block house, with rough stone fort,
More picturesque than with war power fraught.
Throughout, Piscataqua's swift, changing tide
Makes lovely harbor, virile, deep and wide.
Towards all that we have at such length described
We now approach with due regional pride,
In New Castle the last fall flowers bloom,
In New Castle one's stay is o'er too soon.
Yet miles ahead forbid us to delay,
And nature cheers anew the further way,
As has been well described in other lines,
That hold their virtue through the changing times.
This river walk from Portsmouth to the sea
Is beautifully told by John Albee.
It would seem vain, even if words were searched,
To say more here unless to quote his verse.
All walkers around New Castle should know
John Albee's charming lines before they go.
And so we come to Strawberry Bank again,
The eight mile circle made in hours twain,
Or thereabouts in minutes and in miles,
Depending on the walkers' varied styles.
Would that one could in fitting minstrel's lay
Do justice to this walk, and on harp play,
Bringing to all who would attend their ears
Fit melody, like music of the spheres!
In sun or storm, spring winter, summer, fall,
This is a walk or walks that ne'er will pall.

One way to think about a poem is to notice what is not said as well as what is said, especially in a narrative poem such as this. Where is any mention of the Wentworth Golf course, the Wentworth Hotel, or any view of the Portsmouth Shipyard? What about any vehicular traffic passing by during the walk?

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Piscataqua ship spotting

No ships were spotted this month. Instead, here is an index to past reports.

name               type      date(s)
Aeolos             salt      apr09
Alice Oldendorff   bulker    dec09
Atlantic Arrow     bulker    nov09,feb10
Atlantic Superior  bulker    apr09
Barkald            bulker    jul09,apr10
Bosphorus Queen    salt      dec09
Carter Hall        navy      dec09
Dallas             navy sub  oct09
Falcon Trader      bulker    sep09
Great Summit       salt      may09
Greeneville        navy sub  jul09
Hassi Messaoud 2   lpg       mar08,nov09
Helena             navy sub  oct09
Ikan Manzanillo    salt      apr09
Jbu Levant         salt      may09
Jin Qiang          salt      apr10
Marcela Lady       bulker    aug09
New England        oil       jul09
New Hampshire      navy sub  nov09
New Laurel         bulker    jul09
Nor'easter         oil       jul09
Ocean Leader       bulker    oct09
Opal Naree         salt      feb09
Rhourd Enouss      lpg       apr09
Sea Miror          salt      nov09
Sichem Ruby        bulker    nov09
Star Alabama       salt      jan10
Thomas Jefferson   noaa      nov09
Torm Mary          bulker    jul09
Tsuru              salt      jan10,feb10
Waralee Naree      salt      feb09

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Spring is a-coming in

We continue to have the season advance very rapidly, perhaps two weeks ahead of normal, to judge by foliage and flowers.

A pair of narcissus at Maude H. Trefethen school.

Forsythia against red clapboards on Piscataqua Street.

Yellow tulip detail at the Wentworth Hotel.

Apple blossoms at the Wentworth Hotel.

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Quick index to back issues of Saltines


May 2010