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For most of Portsmouth's history, Market Street was the center of commerce for families and businesses. From outdoor markets in the 19th century to modern supermarkets and department stores, people came from all around the county to Market Street to shop. Thanks to local entrepreneurs, city officials, preservationists, and concerned local citizens, Market Street remains an important part of the city’s economy.


  • The side of Market Street
  • The front of Market Street
  • Market Street Cafe
  • Market Street Hardwaer & ToyTown

Like many towns, Portsmouth needed an area where the townspeople could buy goods. People of Portsmouth decided to make their local area right here, between 7th street and Front Street. The area would get its name because in the 1800s farmer sold their goods on this street. Every Saturday farmers would set up shop, making it look like a little market in the middle of town giving the street its name. After years of farmers selling food, the businesses in the area changed to more retail stores.  

A fire in 1978 damaged many buildings on Market Street at a time of transition when many chain stores were being constructed outside of the downtown area to take advantage of highway traffic that bypasses the city core. A handful of local companies such as ToyTown and Market Street Hardware have survived these trends by combining their businesses into one building. Newer businesses such as Market Street Cafe opened in 2006 and soon became one of the most popular restaurants on Market Street. 

Huffman, David E.. Detty, Jim. Postcard History series Portsmouth. Arcadia Publishing. https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781467110839  

Conley, Ciara. "Market Street milestones." Portsmouth Daily Times(Portsmouth)August 21, 2016.