Exeter is another mill town, on the Squamscott river, which connects to the river/bay system that reaches the sea at Portsmouth, NH.
Old mill buildings appear to be offices or condominiums now.
From Exeter we traveled east to Portsmouth, the historic shipbuilding and trading port from early in out nation's history. While we had lists of museums and historic houses to check out, we usually didn't take time to do the museum tours. We made an exception here at the Moffatt-Ladd House.
Overlooking the Piscataqua river and the family wharves, the Moffatt-Ladd house is a fine example of an urban merchant's estate. It was commissioned in 1760-63 by John Moffatt and was in the ownership of family descendants until it became a museum in 1912.
William Wipple, son-in-law of Moffatt, and his servant/slave Prince were both veterans of the Revolutionary War, and Wipple was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
He planted this horse chestnut to commemorate the signing. It is a well-cared for and treasured tree sitting here in the corner of the garden, just across the street from the docks.
The garden was expanded by later descendants and is quite lovely.
This is a warehouse that was used for storing goods coming and going from the ships.
The Antiques Roadshow guys would go ga-ga over some of the furnishings in this house.
John Moffatt's day room and the window overlooking his wharves.
The children's room overlooks the garden.
and had lunch at the Portsmouth Brewing company before crossing the river into Maine.
The blockhouse was built in 1844, and the fort was used mostly in the 19th century to protect the Portsmouth Harbor.
We took opportunities to drive along the coast where we could: here York Harbor and York Beach.
Lighthouses were also a quest of mine. Here on Cape Neddick we found a wonderful one!
The roads to Cape Elizabeth took us inland and gave us a taste of the glorious color that had come to Maine.
And after a very long drive out onto Cape Elizabeth we finally arrived at another very special place, Portland Head Light.
The sun was getting low as we left to drive into Portland, where we found dinner in a small pub on Commercial Street, opposite the old Custom House.
We dined on a "Taste of Maine": Clam chowder, lobster rolls, and wild blueberry pie.
Then we got on the freeway and scooted up to Freeport to our hotel.