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. 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


Esther Kennedy, C0-President
Mary Thomas, Co-President
Martin Hanssmann, Treasurer
Kathleen Boduch, Secretary

Sub-committee chairs

Ruth Maron, Newsletter
Kate Cook, Membership               
Mary Thomas, FHT consultant              Dan Brown, House Histories Group 


Robin Bettencourt                                    Paige Trace Joanne Wolfe


James Baker, Esq.







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Interest Groups

Friends of South End is about building a community of neighbors. You will find listed below groups of South Enders who share a variety of interests, and for each group a Facebook address by which members can communicate with each other. We invite you to join groups that speak to your passions, or have us help you start one of your own.

Portsmouth South End House Histories Group***                                                    

Portsmouth South End Board Games

Portsmouth South End Arts & Crafts

Portsmouth Old South End Memories

Portsmouth South End Theater, Cooking, Wining & Dining:  contact Susan Manfull at or at

Portsmouth South End Musicians:  contact Peter Brooks at or at

Portsmouth South End Gardeners:  contact Julia Holup at or at

Portsmouth South End Woodcarvers:  contact Ned Thompson at or at

Portsmouth South End Outdoor Activities:  contact Dan Desrochers at or at

Portsmouth South End General Interest / Get Together: Book Club, Volunteer, Etc.:  contact David Novis at or at



Interested in Joining Friends of the South End?

We are dedicated to building community and preserving the unique character of the South End historic district

Membership Dues

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

Member Benefits Include:

  • New Member Welcome Packet, with coupons from local businesses and pertinent information about our community
  • FOSE newsletter
  • South End Exchange online marketplace

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

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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