Registration Closes MONDAY

Registration Closes MONDAY

Important Gingerbread Dates:

  • Monday, November 9: Registration Deadline
  • Friday, November 13 through Monday, November 16: House drop-off at Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center, 10am to 5pm
  • Friday November 20: Gingerbread House Exhibition opens to the public (early this year!)

Starting November 20, we will be open 7 days a week, 10am to 5pm through December 23!

Your Input Matters! Win a $50 Gift Certificate!

Can you fill out our survey? Portsmouth Historical Society needs your insights!

We are planning a major 2022 exhibition, “Imagine That! The Power of Picture Books,” about children’s books as a foundation of imagination and empathy. We’d like to hear from you about your experiences with reading and picture books. Please take our brief, 4-minute survey and complete it before midnight on Sunday, November 15, 2020. You could win a $50 gift certificate to G. Willikers! Toy Shop of Portsmouth.

We can’t wait to hear what you think!

“Threads” Exhibition Closes Soon

The “Threads” exhibition’s last day on display will be November 9. Stop by before it’s too late!

Photo by Raya on Assignment

Community Quilt Tote Bags Available!

Our wonderful shop manager, Beth, has commissioned lovely tote bags emblazoned with images of the community quilts! Get yours today while supplies last!

History. Arts. Culture.

“Threads” Talk Tonight

“Threads” Talk Tonight

Featured image: Janet Cass, Reversible Quilted Vest, detail (2019). Photo by Raya on Assignment.

Meet the Artists! 7:30pm via Zoom

Join us this evening for a more in-depth look at how quilts are made, how quilters work, and what inspires artists!

FREE for members
$15 for non-members

Not yet a member? Join now!

Time is Running Out to Register for the Gingerbread House Contest!

Registration closes November 9!

Don’t have any good ideas? This year’s suggested theme Home for the Holidays. Why not recreate your own home or a favorite holiday location?

Check out our Facebook and Instagram feeds for tips, tricks, and inspiration!

Register at

Hats off (and masks on!)
to our Walking Tour Guides!

With only today and tomorrow left in our regular season for historical walking tours, we wanted to take this opportunity to say


to our intrepid walking tour guides who have done such a fantastic job this season. We started off late but ended the season enthusiastically. We couldn’t do it without you!

Joe Distefano • Linda King
Fred Lewis • Lauren Gianino
Elisabeth Sanborn • Alan Cohen
Jeff Thomson • Randy Absher
Richard Candee

Last Chance! 50% Off Voting Merchandise!

All our voting-related merchandise is now 50% off! Curbside pickup and free delivery within a 10-mile radius available! Call 603-436-8433 or email to coordinate!

History. Arts. Culture.

Meet the Artists this Thursday Evening

Meet the Artists this Thursday Evening

“Threads” Virtual Lecture with Contemporary Quilters

Thursday, October 29 at 7:30pm
via Zoom

FREE for members
$15 for non-members

Taking Flight by Janet Cass, Prairie Flowers by Ann E. Lamb, and Heart of the Home by Pamela Sue Needham. Photo by Raya on Assignment.

Join us for a selection of short presentations and a Q&A with the exhibitors whose work is on display in the balcony of the Academy Gallery. We’ll talk about quilt guilds, quilting technique, alternative uses for quilting skills, and more!


Have you signed up yet?

We need YOU to participate!

This year, we’re placing gingerbread houses in our Academy Gallery on the ground floor AND on the balcony level AND in storefronts downtown. We need all the holiday cheer we can get! Don’t know where to start? We’ve got tips, tricks, and ideas being posted all the time on our social media accounts! 

Are you interested in participating but don’t know your royal icing from your fondant? Become a sponsor! We’re always looking for more local businesses and individuals to get involved. Contact our Director of Development Judy Loto at 603-570-2492 or by email at

Last Call for Walking Tours

The walking tour season ends October 31st! Book one of the last remaining spots before autumn slips awa!

No time until November? You can book a private tour! Email for all the details.

Annual Report

Our annual meeting, an integral part of being a non-profit organization to benefit the public, was held this past Monday to review the accomplishments of the previous year. If you were unable to attend, you can download the report here:

Get your Holiday Cheer On!

These fun, light-up hats are selling out fast at the Museum Shop. Get yours today! Curbside pickup and delivery within a 10-mile radius upon request! Just reach out to! Members get 10% off!

History. Arts. Culture.

Call for Entries!

Call for Entries!

Time for some holiday cheer!

See all the details and sign up at

Threads Talk October

Sea Swept, Judey Clemons, 2014, and Marcia McLaughlin, The Raven, 2019. Photo by Raya on Assignment.

Join us for an evening with our exhibiting quilters! We’ll have a few presentations about quilts and quilting today and then a Q&A session where everyone can ask their burning questions about quilting!

Thursday, October 29
via Zoom

FREE for members
$15 for non-members

Private Walking Tours

Looking for a special and safe way to get out of the house with your friends and family?

How about a walking tour?

This is a great way to discover new things about the Portsmouth you know and love!

Private tours can be booked in the off-season! Contact Robin Lurie-Meyerkopf for details!

20% off before Election Day

Get the vote out with style!

20% off voting-related merchandise at the Discover Portsmouth Museum Shop

Stop by in person or online!

And don’t forget to vote!

Annual Meeting this Monday

Portsmouth Historical Society invites friends of the organization to attend our annual meeting this Monday, October 19, at 5:30pm, via Zoom. We will discuss board positions, new board members, and institutional by-laws, among other topics. The meeting link will be distributed via the registration button below. Only current members will be able to vote. Not yet a member? Join now!


We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who participated in this year’s unique John Paul Jones Jubilee experience–from the wine raffle, to the online event, and our “fundraiser-for-two” art auction through Bidding for Good. The Jubilee, like Portsmouth Historical Society, couldn’t be a success without all the help and support we receive from around the community. We hope all of you enjoyed it and will join us again next year!
Stay tuned!

Arts. History. Culture

“Color & Comfort: Quilts in Context” TONIGHT!

“Color & Comfort: Quilts in Context” TONIGHT!

“Threads” Lecture at 7:30pm

Our very own Gerald W. R. Ward is talking this evening about the deeper meanings and symbolism of quilts and bedcovers. Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating talk!

Tonight at 7:30 pm via Zoom
Member/Donors: FREE
Non-Members: $15

Get your tickets here!

Jubilee Auction is Turning Heads on Social Media

Eventide by Alastair Dacey is one of more than 100 works of art available in our auction fundraiser

Museum Shop Lives up to “All Things Portsmouth” tagline

Responding to one of the most frequent requests she received from customers, store manager Beth Gross-Santos commissioned original artwork for this exclusive Portsmouth hoodie! Get yours today!

Stop by–brick & mortar or online–and check out all the other cool Portsmouth gear we have available! Umbrellas, t-shirts, water bottles, tea towels, throw pillows…. you name it!

“Threads” Exhibition to Close November 9

The “Threads” exhibition’s last day will be Monday, November 9, but the community quilts will be on display during the annual Gingerbread House Contest until Christmas!

History. Arts. Culture.

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Support our work with your membershipdonation and Museum Shop purchase.