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Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail
Site #22
Rosary's Beauty Shop
171 Washington Street

Rosary Cooper Rosary Broxay Cooper came to Portsmouth from Florida as a children's nurse to the Merrill family who owned a hotel in Ogunquit. In 1938 she married Portsmouth native Owen Finnegan Cooper. In World War II he served as a master sergeant in the 509th, Quartermaster Division, in Europe. Rosary operated a 20-ton crane at Portsmouth naval Shipyard. After the war, they returned to a segregated world. Finnegan worked as a messenger at city hall. Rosary became Portsmouth's first licensed black beautician and hairdresser. She operated her shop and a boarding house for black people here in their sixteen-room home. Retired and widowed, Mrs. Cooper volunteered on behalf of the NH Soldiers' Home and the VFW Orphans' Home until her death in 1997.

Now you can buy the whole BLACK HERITAGE GUIDE

Read Also: Oral History of Portsmouth's Black Elders

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