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Friends of the South End N EI G H B O R H O O D A SS O CI AT I O N N E W S L E T T ER

S P R I N G -S U M M E R 2015

A Special Tribute to Bob and Nancy Pollard From the FOSE Board of Directors Fairy House Tour. Under her leadership, the tour flourished and became the blockbuster attraction it is today. And who will ever forget the sight of Bob Pollard directing traffic in full fairy regalia at the bridge to Peirce Island — along with his cohorts John McVay, Andy Bangs and John Dika.

Since moving to the South End in July 2005, Bob and Nancy Pollard have made many friends — and they have made a lasting impact on the community. Nancy explains that prior to relocating here from Old Chatham, NY, they stopped in to City Hall to pick up some information on their new location. That’s where they found the FOSE Newsletter. They immediately sent in their membership form… and the rest is history! Just ten years later, Bob and Nancy are moving to Durham, NH, along with their black lab, Hannah. “We’re not really leaving the South End,” Nancy said. “It’s only twenty minutes away.” Both plan to stay active and involved in the community they have grown to love. Shortly after their arrival here, Nancy was asked if she would like to volunteer for the Fairy House Tour. “I wasn’t sure quite what that was, but I decided to say yes,” Nancy said. She was soon appointed to the Board of FOSE and served for three years as head of the

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Geno’s Celebrates the Big 5-0 BY RUTH MARON

On May 31, 1965, Evelyn Marconi opened a coffee shop on the Back Channel at Mechanic Street. This year, on Memorial Day Geno’s Chowder & Sandwich Shop celebrated fifty years in business at the same location— a remarkable achievement for any restaurant.

Today, Geno’s is owned and operated by Francesca Marconi Fernald, the daughter of Evelyn Marconi and her late husband, Geno. We sat down with Francesca to learn more about this neighborhood gathering-spot and the secret to its longevity. continued on page 4 JAN MAR X

Nancy and Bob Pollard

When there was a job to be done, Nancy always said ‘yes’. She served as President of FOSE for three years.

In her ‘spare time’, she enrolled in the Master Gardener Program at the New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. As part of this program, participants were required to volunteer at a local organization. Nancy chose Strawbery Banke. And — once again — it didn’t take long before she was asked to become a Trustee of the Museum.

Above: Geno and Evelyn Marconi. Right: Francesca Marconi Fernald in the kotchen at Geno’s

FOSE newsletter s Spring-Summer 2015


A Message from the Co-Presidents


Well, it is hard to believe, but spring is in full swing. Even so, you can still wander down to Peirce Island if you want to remember what dirty snow looks and feels like. In fact, you might be able to do that through the month of June. We know that there are betting polls out on the final disappearance of our winter’s travails! During the Annual Meeting, a survey was passed out requesting your feedback on what the FOSE Board should be doing going forward and what you like about what is happening now. Here is a listing of some issues that were highlighted:

Friends of the South End Neighborhood Association OFFICERS CO - P R ESI D EN T S

Hilary O’Neil Tom Hindle TREASURER

Martin Hanssmann SECR E TA RY


Ruth Maron B R I CK S & M O RTA R



Jamie Baker

What do you value most about FOSE as it exists? Ability to interact with my neighbors Cohesive voice at City Hall Email alerts and the Newsletter

Neighbor profiles Past history articles Updates on neighborhood social events

What would you value most as FOSE moves into the future? Better communication Neighborhood directory An up-to-date Website Updates on local businesses Increased involvement in City-wide events/concerns

Clearly, we have a number of areas where we can augment our current capabilities and better help our neighbors in representing our concerns to the City. It was also nice to hear how much people value the Newsletter (thank you Ruth!) and the subjects which are communicated via its quarterly publication. It is a fine line between presenting neighborhood ideas and advocating for individual prerogatives. We will endeavor to meet as a group to assess how and in which manner we can leverage our neighborhood representation within the confines of our obligations as we are currently structured. We truly appreciate those who participate in our community events (National Night Out, Fall/Spring cleanup, Caroling, greeting new neighbors etc.). For those of you have yet to get engaged‌please do! We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Best regards, Hilary and Tom U S E F U L



Esther Kennedy

FOSE on the web:



Facebook page:


South End Exchange: (for FOSE members)


FOSE Presidents:



Dave Anderson David Kovick Robin Lurie-Meyerkopf Susan Shea Kristin Ward

A special thank you to our friends at CO N TAC T


M I N U T EM A NM A N P R E S S for discounted printing services. 95 Brewery Lane, Portsmouth, NH   sMMPDIGITALCOM

Newsletter design by Eleanor Bradshaw


FOSE newsletter s Spring-Summer 2015

Avast ye landlubbers! …The Tall Ships are coming to Portsmouth!

Pollards from page 1


Maritime Commission (PMC)), whose goal is to promote and preserve the maritime heritage of the Piscataqua River basin. They will invite visitors to tour the vessel and experience what a life at sea would have been like in the 16th century. The vessel would have been part of Spain’s West Indies fleet. It is sponsored world-wide by the Nao Victoria Foundation which hopes to “spread the knowledge and experiences of the sailors and explorers from our ancestral past and to offer a lifetime experience to peer into the hearts of legends past.” This ship was featured in the NBC miniseries Crossbones about the pirate Blackbeard.

El Galeón Andalucia

Make sure you are on the shoreline or in a boat on the Piscataqua River on July 22 when El Galeón Andalucia sails up river. It is the only wooden galeon (galleon) class sailing ship currently sailing the world’s seas. Good viewing points will be Peirce Island, Great Island Common, Four Tree Island, and Fort Foster. It will dock at the Fish Pier at Peirce Island and will remain from July 22-26th. Times and other activities will be announced shortly. El Galeón Andalucia is an exact replica of a galleon ship that would have been built in the 16th century and would have been used, because of its unique design and size (170 ft. and 495 tons) as both a merchant-trading vessel and as a warship. Its dimensions made it accessible to be refitted as either on fairly short notice. This class generally contains 3 or more decks and sails with a minimum of 3 masts, several of which are rigged with square sails. The ship will be coming to Portsmouth through the efforts of the Piscataqua

Volunteers will be needed for a variety of activities, including the welcoming of visitors, selling of materials, helping the crew. You can contact the Piscataqua Maritime Commission at 431-7447 or check for details at their website at sailportsmouth.org.



Also active in the community, Bob Pollard has been a prominent member of the Peirce Island Committee. “Our role is to keep a watchful eye and advise the City on matters pertaining to Peirce Island,” Bob explained. “The Committee serves as a neighborhood voice for this important resource.” Bob is also a member of the UNH Marine Docent Program that helps educate students about taking care of the marine community. The group organizes field trips to local places such as Great Bay and Appledore. With his love and knowledge about everything maritime, Bob also volunteers at Great Bay Discovery Center. Perhaps most important is the warm welcome we all receive from Bob and Nancy. Their home has always been a gathering spot for South Enders. After a frosty evening of Christmas Caroling, neighbors always gather at the Pollards for refreshments and good cheer. No doubt we will be seeing the Pollards at community events and we will continue to benefit from their generous spirits. So, we won’t say good-bye. We’ll see you soon!


There is a busy summer ahead in the South End. Be sure to mark your calendar for these upcoming events: National Night Out

The Annual FOSE Lobster Bake

Tuesday, August 5 5:00 to 8:00 pm Four Tree Island

Sunday, October 18, 2015 Sanders Lobster Company 54 Pray Street, Portsmouth

South Enders will gather at Four Tree Island for the 31st Annual National Night Out. Bring something to grill and something to share. There will be games for kids and an opportunity to mingle with friends.

End the summer in style with a good old-fashioned lobster bake starting at noon … alongside the lobster tanks at Sanders Lobster Company. We will need volunteers on the morning of the event to help set up tables, set places and meet and greet our neighbors. Come help if you can.

More details to follow in FOSE Alerts.

FOSE newsletter s Spring-Summer 2015


The Wentworth-Lear Historic Homes are currently engaged in two new programs. This year there will be presentations on the life of Wallace Nutting, owner of the houses 100 years ago.

Wentworth Lear Houses Ready for Summer Season BY AL AN GORDON

Attendance at the Wentworth Lear Historic Homes has more than doubled since December, 2013 when work began under the recently awarded LCHIP (Land and Community Heritage Investment Program) grant. A sum of $43,000 from the grant, combined with the associated matching funds, is being used for renovations to what Karen Bouffard, board member and chair of the building committee, calls the “exterior envelope.” This restorative work is being undertaken by preservation carpenter John Schnitzler. It includes painting as well as restoration of the doors, windows, and other exterior areas. Work is more than three quarters complete. It already looks so good that there is currently a picture of the Wentworth-Gardner House on the LCHIP home page. “It is very exciting to see our original transition goals being realized,” said Sandie Dika, Vice President of the Board of Trustees. The Wentworth-Lear Board is preparing to apply for another LCHIP grant; they will be soliciting support for renovation of the Tobias Lear House. This process is time consuming and entails the development of a Conditions Report and research into the history of the home. With funding from the New


FOSE newsletter s Spring-Summer 2015

Hampshire Charitable Foundation, local historian, Sandra Rux, has been hired to do the research. The Board’s goal is to complete the preparatory process within six months.

A second project, ‘Participating in the Past’ is funded by a generous donation from Gates Street resident, Jane Nelson. Hands-on interactive experiences with skilled local restoration craftsmen will help pass on their skills to future generations. In addition, those with experience in 18th and 19th century arts (e.g. cooking, dining, music, drama, needlework, gardening, etc.) will share their talents, providing what Jane refers to as an “interaction with the culture” of the past. The first ‘Participating in the Past Program’ will feature historic mason John Wastrom. On Saturday, June 13 and Sunday June 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm, he will teach participants the “secrets and techniques of building stone walls.” He will be reconstructing the stonewall in front of the Wentworth Gardner House. Jane’s hope is that these programs will “build small but committed groups and individuals who have a hands-on understanding of historic Portsmouth.”

Fairy House Tour Planning Underway BY C A R O L I N E P I P E R , 2015 TO U R CO O R D I N ATO R

As summer fast approaches, the planning for the Fairy House Tour is beginning. We are excited about the upcoming 11th year of this wonderful magical event and invite community members and families to get involved. This year’s event will take place on September 26 and 27 from 11:00 am3:00 pm on the grounds of Strawbery Banke, the Governor John Langdon House, Prescott Park and Peirce Island, the Tour will, as always, occur rain or shine. Each year the Friends of the South End produces the annual Portsmouth Fairy House Tour as a way to raise and give money back to the community. Over the past 10 years, FOSE has contributed nearly $200,000 to area organizations and schools. Last year’s

10th annual Tour featured more than 200 handcrafted fairy houses made by local artists, florists, garden clubs club members, businesses, families and local school children and an estimated 6,400 children and adults attended — a record!

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2014 Artists Invitational winner, Nancy Zechel and her grand prize entry. Photo by Barry Kane.

Get ready…set…sail in the Round Island Regatta BY RUTH MARON

Fairy houses built by Portsmouth Elementary Schools on display in Prescott Park.

Fairy Houses from previous page

Build a Fairy House Fairy houses are great projects for grandparents, parents and children to build together over the summer. From collecting natural materials to delivering the finished fairy house during the Tour weekend, families can experience the magic that comes with creating an enchanted home for a fairy or gnome. Anyone interested in building a fairy house for display at the 2015 Fairy House Tour can sign up before August 15 at www.portsmouthfairyhousetour. com.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Back Channel will be crowded with all types of interesting and creative vessels as sailors and paddlers compete once again in the annual Round Island Regatta on Saturday, August 1. Spectators will line the shore to cheer on the competitors in this popular South End event. The South End Yacht Club (formerly Chandler’s Loft) will be a prime viewing location for the race. Starting from the Peirce Island boat launch, the course will circle Round Island. The race will consist of three classes: Class 1 Sail for any boat that can sail around the Island; Class 2 Single Paddle for kayaks, paddle boards

Volunteer Coordinator Needed The Planning Committee is looking for an organized volunteer to recruit and coordinate the volunteers that make the event possible. The Volunteer Coordinator will be responsible for scheduling volunteers for Friday’s fairy house installation and both days of the Tour and will serve as the onsite point person during the event. The Volunteer Coordinator must be available

Volunteers make the Fairy House Tour fun (and possible)!

The 2014 Round Island Regatta

beginning the last week of August through the event weekend. If you are interested in volunteering for this role, please contact the Tour Coordinator at caroline@canoeharbor.com. This year’s event is sponsored by Infinite Imaging (design & print sponsor), Parenting NH magazine (media sponsor), DeStefano Architects, Esther’s Marina, Geno’s Sandwich and Chowder Shop, Piscataqua Savings Bank, and Rolling Green Nursery It is not too late to be a sponsor! Interested businesses can contact Tour

and the like; Class 3 multi-paddle for rowing boats, shells and double kayaks. Following the race, competitors and spectators can attend the Prize Giving Picnic on the grounds of the Wentworth Lear Houses. Prizes will again be donated by Timberland. Depending on her schedule and availability, prizes will be donated by Governor Maggie Hassan. For the second year, proceeds from the event will be donated to our Regatta partner, The Wentworth Lear House Association (a nonprofit 501c3 organization.) “We are grateful for the generous support we receive from the community and from local businesses,” said Charles Lassen, co-founder and organizer of the Regatta. “People have donated their time, talents, and contributions to make this event a success. We are particularly pleased that this fun-filled day goes to benefit a worthy cause — to preserve and sustain the Wentworth Lear Houses, an historic treasure.” All participants must pre-register online at www.roundislandregatta.com. Visit the website for more information on the event.

Coordinator Caroline Piper at caroline@canoeharbor.com. Tickets will go on sale July 1. Advance tickets are $25 per family, $12 per adult, $8.00 per senior and $4.00 per child ages 3-12. Tickets purchased on the day of the event are $15.00 per adult, $10.00 per senior, $5.00 per child ages 3-12, and $30 for families of two adults/ two children or one adult/ four children. Tickets can be purchased online via the Tour’s website or at select Portsmouth merchants. More information is available at www. portsmouthfairyhousetour.com.

FOSE newsletter s Spring-Summer 2015


The Flower Boxes on the South Mill Pond Bridge By Kathleen Boduch It has been a labor of love. You may have just admired and then walked, biked, or driven by them. You might have stood and tried to identify the varieties. You may have used the area as a meeting place for you and your friends. The flower boxes that adorn the bridge over South Mill Pond at Marcy Street have graced that place for at least 25 years and may have been the very first Adopt-a-Spot in Portsmouth. Barbara Engelbach of the South End admired the boxes that she had seen in Lucerne,

Geno’s from page 1

The Marconi family traces its Portsmouth roots back to 1911. “My grandfather, Vincenzo, came here from Lamarché, a small town in Italy on the Adriatic Coast,” Francesca said. “He was a fisherman and my Dad, Geno, was also a fisherman.” In 1965, Evelyn Marconi decided to open a small coffee shop. “Along with my two brothers and a sister, the family lived upstairs,” Francesca recalls. “The restaurant was always packed and we had no privacy, but we loved it. I started working in the restaurant when I was 14 years old. My uncle, Babe, convinced us to add the deck in 1980.” When her Dad died suddenly in 1985, Francesca jumped in to help Evelyn run the business. She continued working there during her college years and is now the owner and proprietor of Geno’s. Evelyn still remains active in the business — greeting old friends and tourists. “I can’t imagine being anyplace else,” Francesca said. Over the years, much has changed in the old South End, but Geno’s has remained faithful to its origins. “While the restaurant has been updated, I am also careful to keep it the same,” Francesca said. “I


FOSE newsletter s Spring-Summer 2015

Switzerland, and thought they might be lovely here in Portsmouth. She decided to locate them on the South Mill Pond bridge, and the boxes have been there since. They have decorated the span even when it was not an open space, when there was a wall across the bridge to protect children from the strong west winds they encountered on their way to school. When the walls were removed the box tenders created new ways of attaching them to a variety of posts and brackets. About 15 years ago they figured out the best way to attach

John McVay, Fred Engelbach and Kyle Engle building flower boxes for the South Mill Pond bridge

them and they stayed in place with no problems. Although the boxes were vandalized last year, the box tenders remain undeterred. They decided the boxes would return! In the past few weeks Fred Engelbach, John McVay and Kyle Engle have been continued on next page

don’t want to change the dynamic here. Locals love to come in to chat and catch up on the news. We have always had a lot of regulars here, along with tourists, celebrities and politicians.”

home where I grow my own lettuce, tomatoes, herbs and vegetables for the restaurant. I even have a grapevine from a shoot that my grandfather Vincenzo brought with him from Italy.”

The menu has been streamlined with more seafood items, as well as hot dogs, hamburgers and sandwiches for kids and landlubbers. Noted for the chowder and seafood stews, Francesca does all the cooking, as well as baking all the pies, brownies, cookies and her famous carrot cake. “One couple from Chicago comes every summer to pick up a blueberry pie on their way to Maine,” she said.

On May 28, Geno’s invited the community to celebrate their 50th year in business with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and complimentary chowder, carrot cake and coffee. Happy Birthday, Geno’s…and congratulations to Francesca and Evelyn. You are an important part of the fabric of the South End.

“I try to keep my cooking as local as possible,” she said, “I have a garden at

Geno’s Chowder & Sandwich Shop 177 Mechanic Street – Portsmouth, NH 603-427-2070 www.genoschowder.com

Memorabilia on the walls of Geno’s Chowder Shop

Flower boxes from previous page

working together to select the wood, which was donated by Jerry Eckmann, design the containers and build them. There were 15 boxes originally; now there will be eleven. Over the years, residents including Fred and Barbara Engelbach, Paula Taylor, David Schermer (who built the first boxes), Frank Roth, Mark Leonardi, Ursula and Phillip Wright, Nancy Pollard, Elria and David Ewing and so many others have built and maintained boxes. Sanders Fish Market has set up the watering, allowing the use of recycled water for the plants. The boxes need hardy plants that can cope with the west wind that sometimes whips off the mill pond. They are totally exposed and have to beat the full sun, so the group is diligent in the selection of the plantings. The group will always be delighted to accept donations of plants and time for watering and general maintenance. If you are interested in helping, you can contact Barbara Engelbach at 431-0054.


Light and fresh ~ great for summertime entertaining! Makes 12 servings (at least 6 shrimp per serving) 3 pounds medium (26/30) shrimp, cooked, drained, chilled

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 small red onions, sliced

1 tablespoon white wine Worcestershire sauce (optional)

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced

1 tablespoon hot sauce

1 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1. Peel and devein shrimp, if needed. 2. Layer shrimp, red onion slices, and bell pepper slices in an airtight container with a cover. 3. Whisk together canola oil and remaining ingredients (except for basil); pour over shrimp. 4. Cover and chill 24 hours, stirring occasionally. 5. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped basil 1 hour before serving in a pretty bowl. South Street & Vine recommends a California Chardonnay or a German Riesling



So this summer stop, look, and admire the flower boxes on the bridge. They are a refreshing reminder of the special nature of the South End and its residents. It has been a long road but one filled with the knowledge of the satisfaction and the delight the boxes bring to travelers near and far.

Make Ahead Marinated Shrimp Appetizer


.. . m m m mm


One year membership: $15 per household


Five year membership: $75 per household

Please complete this form, make check out to FOSE and mail to: Friends of the South End, PO Box 443, Portsmouth, NH 03802 N A M E : _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A DDR E S S : _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


P H ON E : _______________________________________________________________

EM A I L : ____________________________________________________________________

Not yet a member? You can fill out and mail in this form to join. If you are due for renewal, you will receive a reminder letter later this summer.

FOSE newsletter s Spring-Summer 2015


Friends of the South End P.O. Box 443 Portsmouth, NH 03802-0443

Bouys at the Fisherman’s Pier, by Jan Marx.


FOSE newsletter s Spring-Summer 2015

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Friends of the South End, Portsmouth, NH Summer Newsletter  

Friends of the South End, Portsmouth, NH Summer Newsletter  

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