Treasure from the Isles of Shoals: How New Archaeology is Changing Old History

Presenter: J. Dennis Robinson

There is treasure here but not the pirate kind. Scientific "digs" on Smuttynose Island are changing New England history. Archaeologist Nathan Hamilton has unearthed 300,000 artifacts to date on this largely uninhabited rock at the Isles of Shoals. Evidence proves prehistoric Native Americans hunted New Hampshire's only offshore islands 6,000 years ago. Hundreds of European fishermen split, salted, and dried valuable Atlantic cod here from the 1620s. "King Haley" ruled a survivalist kingdom here before Thomas Laighton struck tourist gold when his family took over the region's first hotel on Smuttynose. Laighton's daughter Celia Thaxter spun poetic tales of ghosts and pirates. J. Dennis Robinson, a longtime Smuttynose steward, explores the truth behind the romantic legends of Gosport Harbor in this colorful show-and-tell presentation.

Seating is limited, to register please email by 4/16.

Event Details


Monday, April 18, 2022 6:00pm


Portsmouth Public Library
175 Parrott Avenue
Portsmouth NH 03801

Hosted By:

Portsmouth College Women's Club

Contact Info:

Mary DeBerry