Randall Absher retired to Portsmouth after a career in federal service. He became interested in the local history almost immediately and pursued informal research. He eventually became a docent for Discover Portsmouth and joined the ranks of the tour guide group to help visitors enjoy the culture and history of Portsmouth as much as he does. He has insight into the craft beer scene as he works at a local brewery and drinks a lot of beer.
Mark Ankarberg has been volunteering with Discover Portsmouth since its inception. Mark had a long career as an educator in Nashua, NH and lived and taught in the Middle East. Upon retirement, Mark moved to Portsmouth to pursue and share his love of the Seacoast and Portsmouth history. There is nothing that makes Mark happier than making connections with our visitors. He loves providing walking tours with his pal, Fred Lewis. Together they put on a terrific rendition of YMCA! You’ll have to come on one of their tours to find out what we mean!
Richard M. Candee, Professor Emeritus of American and New England Studies at Boston University, where he directed the Preservation Studies Program for nearly 30 years. He has published nearly a hundred articles, essays, and reviews as well as four books specifically about Portsmouth. He has been Chairman of the Warner House Association, President of the Portsmouth Athenaeum and President of the Portsmouth Historical Society. Richard leads Historic Preservation Tours on select Saturdays.
Sharon Farley’s day job is in the medical field of neurology. Her many adventures led her to live in several states, mostly starting with the letter M. When running out of those, she took a giant leap across the pond to Great Britain, where she became a London Tourist Board Guide. Eleven years later, she came back to the states, and eventually to the seacoast of Maine. Now living in New Hampshire, Sharon became entranced with Portsmouth, its history and charm. She’s excited to be a guide with Discover Portsmouth. Her greatest joy is finding the “little tidbits” of history. To bring Portsmouth’s history to life through its stories and people. When not guiding, you might find Sharon at the John Paul Jones House as a volunteer. Or writing the next great novel.
Lauren Gianino is a native New Englander who has lived in the Seacoast region since 1982. From her first visit as a child to a historical museum she was intrigued by the people and events that shaped our nation’s history. She loves to connect with visitors from all over the world to tell Portsmouth’s most fascinating stories with enthusiasm and a bit of humor. As a retired educator she finds guiding to be a natural fit for her “second career”. When not guiding tours for Discover Portsmouth and the Moffatt-Ladd House, she is a historical interpreter at Strawbery Banke Museum. Lauren is a Music Hall volunteer and enjoys the lively arts scene in the city. She loves spending time outdoors, and of course, traveling to other historic sites and being a tourist!
Linda Harville is a native of Portsmouth. As a young adult she met her husband and traveled extensively around the world as a military spouse. After twenty-seven moves she and her husband returned when he retired. During stints at West Point and Annapolis, Linda was a tour guide and Visitors Center volunteer and developed an interest in the history of each place. Naturally, her return to Portsmouth only furthered that interest in history and when a chance to become a guide for Discover Portsmouth presented itself she grabbed at the opportunity. She hasn’t looked back, reading as much as she can about the history of Portsmouth, building on her childhood memories and noting the many changes that have taken place in the area, and just getting out and seeing as much as possible so that she can give our visitors as enjoyable a tour as possible.
Linda King, an inveterate ‘culture vulture,’ enjoys sharing her love of Portsmouth with Discover Portsmouth’s visitors and locals alike. Her tours are sprinkled with a healthy dose of humor. As Charlie Chaplin said, “a day without laughter is a day wasted.” Retired after a career in public policy and advocacy focused on alcohol and other drug issues, she lives smack dab in the middle of downtown Portsmouth and is often spotted walking about with her loyal companion, Rupert the Wonder Dog.
Fred Lewis has been a Portsmouth resident since 1976 and a walking tour guide for the past four seasons. His love of colonial history, especially Portsmouth colonial history spurred his involvement in the program. When he is not guiding, he enjoys reading historical books and articles as well as attending workshops and other tours of Portsmouth. A desire to share this enthusiasm with others, especially visitors to Portsmouth, is a motivation for his continuing involvement in the Discover Portsmouth
Walking Tour program.
Jeff Thomson is a life-long resident of the Seacoast and a former high school teacher of United States History and American Government. Prior to teaching, he had a thirty year career as an Economist with the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition to leading his ‘History and Homes’ tour, and volunteering at the Discover Portsmouth Center, Jeff also serves as a Docent at the Wentworth/Lear and Governor Langdon Houses.