One of my favorite things to do in the winter is head up to New Hampshire (usually Hampton, Seabrook, and the surrounding areas), and cruise along the coast, park by the ocean, and just relax with a hot cup of coffee and some good music. The boardwalk and most of the seaside motels are closed, which makes the place look like a ghost town, a sharp contrast to how it typically looks come July and August- but it’s so peaceful.
I headed up there earlier this afternoon for a few hours to take in the scenery before the snow started to fall, and made a quick stop in Portsmouth a few miles away to photograph the long abandoned Portsmouth Naval Prison:
I first saw the prison last Spring/Summer after taking a wrong turn in an attempt to head back towards Boston from Portsmouth. I was in awe at it’s size as I drove over a bridge that ran along the water across from it and knew that I wanted to come back to photograph it at some point.
The prison was built in 1908, and was used until it’s closure in 1974. Since it would be too expensive to either renovate or demolish, it sits alone, weathered by the elements and decaying from lack of maintenance. It’s a beautiful structure, although getting close to it is tricky since it’s located on the grounds of a restricted federal facility, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
The facility was actually referenced to in “The Last Detail” (1973), starring Randy Quaid and Jack Nicholson, as well as Stephen King’s story, “The Body”, which was later filmed as “Stand By Me”.