History of Portsmouth Naval Prison, Monday May 21

March 5, 2018

Local History Talk: Portsmouth Naval Prison
with author Katy Kramer

Monday May 21 | 6 – 7:30 PM

Portsmouth Public Library

Levenson Community Room

The library’s Local History series features authors and experts on local history topics. The series continues with Katy Kramer, author of Portsmouth Naval Prison (2016).

Sometimes referred to as “The Castle” or “The Rock” for its unique architecture, the former Portsmouth Naval Prison on Seavey Island has long fascinated residents and visitors.

Kramer’s book followed a decade of research. Her presentation uses archival photographs from museums, libraries and military facilities up and down the East Coast. She will show many rarely seen photographs, recount the actual history, dispel myths, and answer any of the lingering questions that continue to swirl around this iconic building. From its opening in 1908 to its closing in 1974, more than 86,000 men passed through the prison. Today it is vacant, but has a rich and storied history, including its history of prison reform.

Kramer became interested in the prison while living on the New Hampshire Seacoast. After a long career in public education and armed with a newly acquired master’s in journalism, she began what turned out to be an extensive search for information.

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Portsmouth Naval Prison