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Kittery Town

Kittery Town Hall is located at 200 Rogers Road Ext., Kittery ME 03904; phone: 207-439-0452.

Beginnings [1]

Kittery is the administrative center of a town, formerly much larger, that was incorporated October 20, 1647, as Piscataqua Plantation. The interests of the village center largely around the Portsmouth Navy Yard (open to public -- remember, this was written in 1937). The yard, established in 1806, is spread over several islands in the Piscataqua River. Admiral Cervera and his staff, captured during the Spanish-American War, were technically held prisoners in the yard for a time. The so-called Portsmouth Conference, for the arrangement of the treaty of peace at the end of the Russo-Japanese War, was held here, the treaty being signed in the Supply Department Building.

Kittery has been interested in shipbuilding since its earliest days. The 'Ranger' was built in this yard in 1777 and the members of the crew were chiefly Kittery men. This was the ship, commanded by John Paul Jones and sent to France to carry word to the American commissioners that Burgoyne had surrendered, that received the first salute accorded a ship of the new Republic. Kittery yards also built the 'Kearsarge' whose fight with the "Alabama" was an important naval event during the Civil War.

  1. Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration, State of Maine Development Commission, Maine: A Guide 'Down East,' 1937, American Guide Series, Riverside Press, Cambridge MA; Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston
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