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    Photos/History of Portsmouth, Ohio


    Photos/History of Portsmouth, Ohio

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    Market Street fire, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Fire damages two buildings, including the old Candyland.

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    A wonderful donation! Isaac Bonser's glasses. Isaac Bonser 1767-1849- early pioneer of Scioto County arrived along the Little Scioto in 1795, and later built the first water mill at Bonser’s Run near area now known as Sciotoville.

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    The library has been acquiring yearbooks/annuals for Portsmouth and Scioto County. As time allows, they are being scanned to our website. You can check www.yourppl.org/lh/ for those already scanned.

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    Settling in 1816, Dr. Giles Hempstead was one of Portsmouth’s early physicians. Hempstead held many offices and received college degrees from Ohio University. He recorded the earliest records for our weather dating back to 1823 making the local weather bureau one of the three oldest in Ohio. The medical academy and hospital carried his name. He was also an amateur archeologist.

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    The original Highland Elementary was built on Hutchins Street across from the present Mound Park. Two buildings made up the school. The first was built in 1902 and faced north. The second was built in 1907 at the cost of over $33,000. In 1956, the old buildings were razed when the new Highland Elementary was built on the old playground area.

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    In 1891, a four-room schoolhouse was built on the corner of 12th and Offnere Streets. At a cost of $2,415, the school was named for an early physician,Dr. Jacob Offnere. The school closed in 1938 and the building went up for auction in 1943. It was sold for $450. The building was razed in 1943. The old Oberlings Auto building is presently in the location.

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    The twelve-room schoolhouse was located at the corner of 4th and Bond Streets. The initial building cost was $9,117 and was open to students from 1906 to 1939. The building was razed in 1948, and a supermarket was built on the location. The location later became the Social Security building.

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    Named for the 16th president, Lincoln Elementary was located at the corner of Waller Street and Kinney’s Lane. Built in 1914, the ten-room school was completed at the cost of $50,000. In 1922, 18 rooms were added.Overcrowding at Washington School resulted in Lincoln being the county's first integrated elementary school. In 2000, the building was closed and the students were sent to two other locations. The building was razed in 2003.The SOMC Cancer Center is now at that location.

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    Gustav (George) H. Heinisch came to Portsmouth in 1868, and in 1869, opened his grocery business at 49-51 Gallia Street. In 1895, his store expanded to a three- story brick building, and in 1897 he added dry goods to his business and offered household items. The store closed in 1910 as Mr. Heinisch opened the Heinisch- King Brick Plant. The building was then used by Glockner Hardware in 1911.

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    The Stanley Theater was located at 5716 Gallia in Sciotoville. It was torn down for the new highway expansion of US Rte. 52. It is listed in the city directory from 1922 to 1954.

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    The Orpheum was located at 614 Chillicothe Street. Although mentioned in the newspaper as early as 1905, it is only listed in the city directory from 1908 to 1913 (closed June 1913). The prices were: Gallery .10; balcony .15; lower floor .15 and .20; and boxes, .25.

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    In 1897, the Board of Education purchased the George Davis property located at Waller and Gallia Streets. The house was remodeled at the cost of $18,000, and called Davis High School. High school classes were held in this building from 1902-1910. Students attended Second Street School until the new high school opened in 1912.

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    We have recently acquired several stereoview cards and a viewer. Here is a view of the old Opera House. The first recorded theater in the Portsmouth area was Wilhelm’s Opera House. Opening 1878, the early theater was a stage type. It was located on 4th and Court Streets.

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    Another building in the Boneyfiddlle area collapsed yesterday (12/2/2014) about 3 p.m. The building at 105 Court Street (corner of Court and Front) was being renovated when it fell. The building was so unstable that crews had to finish tearing it down. In the 1894 city directory it housed Bernard Augustin & Bernard Augustin Jr, Wholesale Groceries.

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    The Portsmouth Area Bicentennial has begun! Trek from Alexandria to higher ground for the opening of our Bicentennial celebration!

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    Kicking off Portsmouth's Bicentennial Celebration

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    Portsmouth Public Library presented Musical Notes Through History-Appalachian Music- An event to celebrate Portsmouth's Bicentennial. (Sept. 2014)

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    The Columbia Theater opened November 21, 1910. It had 328 seats, but following the 1913 flood, 170 new were added. The Columbia completed an expansion in 1928 which brought the seating total to 1,000. During this closing, the Columbia used the Sun Theater across the street. Sound was installed in 1929. Restoration on the theater began in 2004, it opened in 2006, but the theater was destroyed by fire in 2007. In 2011, the building was rebuilt/restored as an entertainment venue.

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    Thomas M. Patterson, with a partner, started his book bindery business in 1855. In 1866, the partnership dissolved and in 1883, he added the production of paper boxes. His boxes were used in the numerous shoe factories in Portsmouth. In 1887, the bindery was considered the oldest on the Ohio River above Cincinnati. In 1896, he moved his business from Market Street to Front and Washington. The business closed in 2002 after 147 years.

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    The Mackey & Muggeridge Washing Machine Manufacturers began production of the Challenge Washer in Portsmouth in November of 1872. According to the 1872-73 city directory, the business was located on the east side of Gay Street, north of 4th. The washing machine manufactured by Mackey & Muggeridge was considered as “the center around which ladies circled, and they commented very favorably on this labor saving machine”. (antique Challenge washer pictured)

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    In the early 1800’s, steamboats were built in Portsmouth. The first steamboat built in Scioto County was called the “Herald”, later changed to the “Ohio”. As a port along the Ohio River, many steamboats that traveled the Ohio, made stops at Portsmouth. The produce that came down the canal was transferred to the steamboats for delivery to cities along the river. This made Portsmouth a prosperous river town.

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    Among the many early candy manufacturers in Portsmouth was Soper’s Big Candy Wagon. William Soper, a Civil War veteran, drove his candy wagon through the streets of Portsmouth from the late 1800s until his health failed in 1913. His wife rode along delivering their candy as the “grind organ” filled the air with its music.

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    Construction of the streetcar lines in Portsmouth began in 1877 starting at Front St. and ending at Greenlawn Cemetery. Millbrook Park became popular in the 1890s when the electric streetcars replaced the horse-drawn cars. The first extension of the new electrical system made its way five miles into New Boston. As new tracks had been laid, the first trip to New Boston was shortly thereafter (1893). The 4 original streetcars had a seating capacity of 24 each.

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    In 1909, The Scioto Hominy Company was established at Gay and 13th Streets. The company, formerly the Cereal Mills, produced breakfast foods and shipped them worldwide. Markets included Liverpool, England, Copenhagen and other areas in Denmark. Trouble with machinery and finances led to the company’s closing in 1911. In 1913, the Independent Hominy Plant opened at the same location. This company also provided feed for livestock. May 30, 1914, the plant was completely destroyed by fire.

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    J.T Brown opened the Golden Rod Piano Factory, and the first piano manufactured in Portsmouth was Aug. 11, 1896. Originally located on Bond Street, the factory was relocated to the old Fulton Mill at the corner of Front and Chillicothe in 1899. Brown died suddenly at the age of 46 on April 5, 1897. After Brown passed away, his son and William Copeland took over the business. The company was reorganized by Paul Burling in 1915 ,and the name was changed to the Portsmouth Piano Co.

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