Welcome to Friends of the South End

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 beyond.  We advocate for the interests of the neighborhood and for the greater good of the City.

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 1970’s, 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 effecting 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 an 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 gives 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 market place 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.