Welcome to the Friends of the South End Neighborhood Association


Friends of the South End (FOSE) is a nonprofit corporation, (501) (c) (4), dedicated to building community and preserving the unique character of the South End Historic District of Portsmouth, NH, and the city. We advocate for the interests of the neighborhood and for the greater good of the city beyond.

Our Mission
Our mission is to promote social welfare and civic involvement within the City of Portsmouth through education and arts programs, cleanup of parks and cemeteries, care of historic buildings, and preservation of shade and green spaces.

A Special Place to Live – A Beautiful Place to Visit
The South End is home to a number of historic sites and attractions, including Strawbery Banke Museum, the Wentworth-Gardner and Tobias Lear Historic Houses, the Governor John Langdon House and Garden, the gardens of Prescott Park, and the recreational area on Peirce Island. Many of the homes we live in are part of the city’s historic legacy. Since it was organized in the 1970s, FOSE has worked to protect and enhance this legacy in partnership with the historic sites and tourism venues in our neighborhood. We take an active role in the present and future of our community, while helping to preserve the past.

  • We advocate: When there are issues affecting the future of the South End and the City of Portsmouth, FOSE members make their voices heard. We disseminate information. We get involved through committees and forums. We take a leadership role involving current community concerns. FOSE also hosts a biennial City Council Candidates Night, creating lively debate on city and local issues.
  • We build community: With our year-round calendar of events we bring neighbors together to meet one another, to work on special projects, and to unite through special interests and activities. We offer opportunities to volunteer and to get involved. Most importantly, we have fun! We host theater parties, dinners, and lobster bakes, neighborhood cleanup days, and more. We also host the annual National Night Out/FOSE Picnic on Peirce Island. Members of the Portsmouth Police Department are invited, providing an informal opportunity to engage with them on individual and local concerns.
  • We volunteer: FOSE’s signature event is the annual Fairy House Tour, run by volunteers for the benefit of nonprofit organizations and schools in the South End and the city at large. Held every September, the event has become a major attraction for visitors and residents, raising funds for our community partners.
  • We inform: We distribute timely information to members through FOSE Alerts.  These emails address issues of safety, upcoming events and meetings, volunteer opportunities, and citywide concerns. Our quarterly newsletter provides a close-up look at our history, events, and the people who make our neighborhood special.  And, in true New England fashion, the South End Exchange is an online marketplace where members can offer or look for a wide variety of goods and services. Our Annual Meeting in January provides a synopsis of the previous year and a lively discussion among members and the FOSE Board.
  • Our Organization
    In 2012 FOSE was designated as a 501 (c) (4) nonprofit organization. FOSE is governed by a Board of Directors which meets monthly. New members are proposed and endorsed at the Annual Meeting. On occasion, individuals may be selected to join the board during the year due to an unanticipated resignation or other specific need.


Post: PO Box 443
Portsmouth, NH 03802

BOard of Directors

President, Hilary O'Neil
Co-President, Tom Hindle
Treasurer, Martin Hanssmann
Secretary, Mary Thomas

Sub-committee chairs

Ruth Maron - Newsletter Editor
TBD - Bricks & Mortar
Alan Gordon - Membership


Board members

Dave Anderson

Jamie Baker

Kathleen Boduch

Esther Kennedy

Robin Lurie-Meyerkopf

Judy Nerbonne

David Novis

Susan Shea






Upcoming Events

2017 Annual Meeting

Sunday January 29 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM

Tyco Visitors Center at Strawbery Banke


The Friends of the South End's Annual Meeting takes place every year in January and its aim to inform members of the events of the past year, as well as to provide updates regarding FOSE's financial health and Board personnel changes. Each year we also have a guest speaker, and this time we have asked Mr. Nicholas Cracknell, the city's Planning Director, to present an overview of the new Design Guidelines for Portsmouth's Historic District. You can view the new guidelines on the city's website here.

Our long term goal is to focus on the upcoming celebration of the city's 400th Anniversary in 2023 with a six-year program we are calling "Countdown to 400". This is an effort by FOSE members to develop a sense of pride for Portsmouth's past AND future, and more specifically in the South End's connection to that history. With that in mind, we are asking FOSE members to attend on the 29th and to bring along interesting facts or photographs that they may have discovered about their homes to present at the meeting. The aim is to start compiling this information for a book to be published for the 400th.

See you there!


12th Annual Fairy House Tour

September 24 - 25, 2016  

11 AM- 3 PM  Rain or Shine 


The Friends of the South End Portsmouth Fairy House Tour--the world's largest fairy house tour--takes place each fall in the historic South End neighborhood of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. More than 200 fairy houses built by creative professionals, community members, and students will be on display on the grounds of Strawbery Banke, the Governor John Langdon House, and in Prescott Park.

Tracy Kane, the award-winning author and illustrator of the Fairy Houses Series® of books, which popularized fairy house building worldwide, served as the original inspiration for the Portsmouth Fairy House Tour. Back by popular demand, Tracy will be on hand both Saturday and Sunday to greet fairy fans and sign books.

Visitors to the 12th Annual Fairy House Tour will also have the chance to see excerpts from "Fairy Houses--the Ballet" performed both days on the Prescott Park Arts Festival Stage and see performances of "Shakespeare's Fairies" by the NH Theatre Project in the Langdon grove. Families are also invited to build their own fairy houses on Peirce Island. 

This magical community charity event is produced by Friends of the South End with the assistance of Canoe Harbor Consulting. All proceeds benefit the organizations, schools, and community groups who make the Portsmouth Fairy House Tour possible. In 2015, more than 8,000 grandparents, parents, and children attended this wonderful event.

Visit the event website for the latest news or follow us on Facebook

***Volunteers are still needed! Please sign up here

Tickets are now on sale online and in select Portsmouth Retailers.

2016 Advance Tickets Prices*

$25 per family (two adults & two children OR one adult and four children)
$12 per adult
$8.00 per senior
$4.00 per child ages 3-12.

*Day-of prices are higher

FOSE Lobster Bake Sunday October 16, 2016

Sanders Lobster Co

54 Pray Street Portsmouth

Please join us for our annual Lobster Bake at Sanders Lobster Company from 12 to 2 PM on Sunday, October 16, 2016. This is a great event which kicks off the fall season as well as promotes a sense of community as we gather around the table. And what a great view!

The prices this year are unchanged*** :                                                                                                                                                                          Lobster Meal   $20   (includes a full sized lobster, clams, potatoes, egg, and kielbasa sausage!)                                                                       Extra Lobster  $10                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hamburger      $5

***Included in the price are salads, chips, beverages, and as a special treat, Gail Sanders has generously offered again this year to make her wonderful apple crisp served with vanilla ice cream.

FOSE members who have not received an evite may contact event coordinator Sue Shea. Sue is also calling for volunteers to help with set up, bagging, serving, manning of the grill, and clean up. It's easy and fun.

DON'T MISS this special event!






Interested in Joining Friends of the South End?

In addition to advocating for interests of friends and neighbors in the area and for the greater good of the city, FOSE seeks to promote social welfare and civic involvement within the city of Portsmouth through education and arts programs, clean up of parks and cemeteries, care of historic buildings and preservation of shade and green spaces.


Summer 2015


Membership Dues

One year membership: $15 per household
Five year membership: $75 per household

Member Benefits Include:

Our Quarterly Newsletter
Annual Family Membership to Strawbery Banke Museum

Please make your checks out to FOSE and mail them to PO Box 443, Portsmouth, NH 03802  

Looking to get involved? Have an idea for an upcoming feature in our newsletter or wish to share some feedback? Drop us a line.



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