Sponsored by the Friends of the Library and a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council, the program will delve into the history of the Isles of Shoals. Robinson explains, “There is treasure here, but not the pirate kind.” Scientific digs on Smuttynose Island are changing New England history. Archaeologists have unearthed over 300,000 artifacts from this largely uninhabited rock just off our coastline.
This evidence proves that 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. Come to learn the truth behind the romantic legends of Gosport Harbor in this colorful show-and-tell presentation.
J. Dennis Robinson, a longtime Smuttynose steward, has published over 1,000 articles on New
Hampshire history and culture. His hardcover histories of Strawbery Banke Museum and historic Wentworth by the Sea Hotel both received honors from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). Among his other books are “Under the Isles of Shoals” (2012) and “Mystery on the Isles of Shoals” (2014). Robinson is also editor of SeacoastNH.com, a web site about NH history and culture. His lectures are designed to make history both entertaining and accessible to all audiences. This presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Dover Public Library at 516-6050.