The Portsmouth Historic Sites Associates presented its annual winter symposium, Life and Death in the Piscataqua Region, on Saturday at St. John’s Lodge Masonic Temple.
The theme was Portsmouth memories and the symposium included a look at life inside the submarine USS Albacore when it was on the sea, a look at LGBTQ communities in the city through the years, and general living history stories about what it was like to grow up in Portsmouth.
Sherm Pridham, retired Portsmouth Public Library director, gave an interesting look at growing up in Puddle Dock, now part of Strawbery Banke, in his “Haven School Memories.”
“Growing up, people said Puddle Dock was a bad place,” Pridham said. “People stayed away. So, we had our own gated community. I wasn’t allowed on State Street. Our neighborhood was the lifeblood of our community. We knew each other and cared about each other.”
Pridham grew up in what is now the Drisco House at Strawbery Banke. His grandmother lived in the Ladd house and his aunt and uncle in the Sherburne House.
“Haven School was the first public school in Portsmouth, built in 1709,” Pridham said. “The first building was wood, replaced by the current…