Experience the best of the best with this Top 8 list of things to do and see in Portsmouth.
Walk through history and see Olde Towne’s origins and it’s continued evolution.
Plan for your visit and explore Portsmouth with the Visitor Directory.
Lightships were in use in England since the 1730s. The first U.S. contract for a lightship was awarded in 1819 to John Poole of Hampton. In 1820, the ship was complete and anchored just off Willoughby Spit as an aid to commercial shipping vessels. The position was deemed too volatile due to storms and heavy seas, so the ship was moved to its location at Craney Island. In all, 179 lightships were built between 1820 and 1952. In 1915, the heyday of U.S. lightships, there were 54 stations in the United States; 36 off the East Coast, 2 in the Gulf, 5 on the West Coast and 11 in the Great Lakes.