Randy Trevino | Local Happenings
This story is an excerpt from The Haunted Portsmouth: Tales of the Boneyfiddle District by Samantha Meadows and Ryan Snyder
Located at 224 Second Street in Portsmouth, the Portsmouth Brewing Company originally opened in 1842 as The Portsmouth Brewery. In 1889, the brewery was purchased by Julius Esslebom.
Esslebom was a German brewer. He was able to make the brewery a huge success. He expanded its operations to include the production of fresh ice.
This idea was welcomed by the city as the only previous available ice was frozen river water. Alas, in the age of prohibition, the family was forced to sell the brewery.
Since then, the brewery has been many things. From being a lumber and roofing yard, car dealership, auto parts store, beer distributor, leather shop, beauty salon, costume shop, and bus stop, there is so much rich history to be explored!
The brewery restoration began in 1976, and today we know it as a local favorite, The Portsmouth Brewing Company.
The brewery is also known for being a local stop on The Underground Railroad. Tunnels lead from the river to the basement at 224 second street.
With a building that has so much history, it is no surprise that lore and legends are surrounding the brewery. Visitors and employees alike have reported many unexplained events.
It's said that one evening, after a day of renovations, a man was at the brewery alone, after the work day was over. The man says that he began to hear noises in the stairs, leading into the basement.
Upon arriving at the stairs to investigate, he reports seeing a full body apparition that made its way down the steps and into the basement. The man says he left very quickly.
Two former male employees reported that while feeling generally uneasy on a night with just the two of them there, they were hurrying to close and leave. In their rush, they noticed a chair that appeared to be vibrating, moving left and then right.
They said that suddenly, the chair was lifted up several inches and slammed back on the ground. The pair left immediately.
The longest running story, which has been reported by many, states that a man in late 1800s clothing and a fedora has been seen walking the bricks of the old alleyway. Have you seen him?
So, if you're looking for a spooky place this week, check out the Portsmouth Brewing Company. You are sure to get great food and great beer, but if you're lucky, you might get to feel your chair being lifted like you're some sort of royalty!