The SIC will move its offices two blocks from its current location to the Morton-Benedict House, 30 Middle Street. This historic building, part of the former Portsmouth Library, now the Discovery Center, is being made ready by a volunteer paint crew of twenty-five Star stalwarts led by Dave and Patti Boynton. “New” office furniture was donated by Josh Davis, board member and long-time LOAS conferee.
J. Dennis Robinson writes about the interesting history of the Morton-Benedict House in his article “Things You Never Knew about Old Portsmouth Library” on SeacoastNH.com. He states that, “Portsmouth loves to recycle its architecture. What we call the “old library” is really two separate Federal Style buildings – a private home and a school – both built around 1810. The former Portsmouth Academy and the Morton-Benedict House were linked by a brick connector in 1954. Both have a fascinating history.”
“Thomas Morton built the fashionable brick residence next door to the Academy with a well and a stable. Morton ran a store downtown selling groceries and goods from the West India Trade that was at its peak in 1810. Only two years later, as America entered the War of 1812 and the economy began to falter, Morton advertised the house for sale in the NH Gazette. The house had twelve more owners and a number of additions before it was purchased by the city and officially became part of the Portsmouth Public Library in 1951. The interior, amazingly, remains much as it did in 1810.”
The Academy and the main library building are still in use by the Portsmouth Historical Society’s Discover Portsmouth Center.
Our address as of February 2, 2009 will be:
The Star Island Corporation
The Morton-Benedict House
30 Middle Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801