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Celia Thaxter Finally Gets Her Plaque
54 Daniel Street, Portsmouth, NH
July 29, 1999

Peter Lamb
Peter Lamb, president of the Isles of Shoals historic group ISHRA, presents the plaque dedicating 54 Daniel Street in Portsmouth as the site of Celia Thaxter's birth. Although no birth certificate has been found, she was presumed born here on July 28, 1835. She died in 1894 on Appledore Island.

Site of Dedication
Site of the dedication of the birthplace of Isles of Shoals poet Celia Thaxter. Ms. Thaxter arrived herself by carriage courtesy of Portsmouth Livery Company to attend the ceremony. Compare this photo with the scene about 100 years ago.

Celia's Birthplace new photo
Portsmouth Mayor Evelyn Sirrell made it all official by revealing the brass plaque in front of the City & Country specialty housewares store. Celia (alias Donna Titus) arrived to talk about her childhood. Her father Thomas Laighton worked at the Customs House across Daniel Street. He purchased two of the Isles of Shoals from Sam Haley and, at the age of four, Celia and her family went to live at the lighthouse on White Island before starting their successful summer hotel on Appledore Island nearby.

Celia's Birthplace new photo
The plaque itself. Long considered the Island Queen, Celia's links to Portsmouth and the mainland are being increasingly studied as her fame as a writer, artist and hostess is being revived in the 21st century.

For more information see:
  • Celia's Circle
  • Land-locked with Celia Thaxter

    Digital photography by J. Dennis Robinson

    To see pix by real professionals
    go to our Photo Gallery Archives

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