Wentworth-by-the-Sea Collection, 1879-1996 – MS060
Provenance: James Baker Smith and his wife, Margaret Smith [who owned the hotel from 1946-1980] gathered the material for the collection and stored it at the Wentworth-by-the Sea Hotel. Some of the material was collected before they owned the hotel;’ some of it was collected during their ownership; and some of the material may have come with the hotel when they bought it. The precise origin of this hotel material before the Smiths ownership is unclear. The Henley Corporation [interim owners after 1890] gave the entire collection to the Friends of the Wentworth, who deposited it as the Athenaeum in 1994.
Citation: Wentworth-by-the Sea Collection, MS060, Portsmouth Athenaeum
Size: 18 Hollinger boxes (12 linear feet), 1 Flat Box, 2 Oversize boxes
Access: No restrictions
Processed by: Maryellen Burke, July 1996
Scope and Content
The collection was given to the Henley Corporation by Margaret Smith during the 1980’s. She felt that the collection should stay with the hotel’s new owners. The material was then given to the Friends of the Wentworth, an organization dedicated to preserving the Wentworth-by-the Sea, who deposited in at the Portsmouth Athenaeum in 1994. The collection contains the following: boxes of correspondence to and from Jim and Margaret Smith, owners of the Wentworth-by-the-Sea Hotel; their lifelong collection of clippings; account books, budgets, and printed materials; financial records from the previous owners of the hotel; years of guest registries; an extensive assortment of hotel, restaurant and cruise ship menus and brochures, collected by the Smiths; photographs of the hotel and its visitors
The majority of the material in the collection originated with the Smiths; however, there is some material on the hotel dated before the Smith’s ownership. It is assumed that this material came with the hotel when they bought it.
1873-1879 Construction was begun on the hotel in 1873 and finished in 1874. It was built by Daniel Chase and Charles E. Campbell, former owner of the land and proprietor. The “new” bridge to Rye was not yet completed at the time construction began. The name “Wentworth” is derived possibly from Samuel Wentworth, first innkeeper on Great Island; or, according to John Albee, because of its proximity to the Wentworth-Coolidge mansion across the harbor. In
1875, a wing of twenty rooms was added. A series of successive owners ran the hotel for the next few years: D. Chase went bankrupt and his brother, C.E. Chase took over; then in 1877—78, Jewett Founder was owner; and in
1878-79, Cob Jenness & Co. had the privilege of owning the establishment. According to Thomas Wilson’s notes a bowling alley was built, as well as a billiard hall at this time.
1879-1902 Frank Jones bought the hotel under the name Frank W. Hilton & Co. in 1879. [In 1874, Frank W. Hilton had assumed management of the Jones-owned Rockingham Hotel in downtown Portsmouth]. Under Jones’ direction, the hotel was expanded and improved upon: a third floor was added, as well as the towers, and the Mansard roof. A one story dining room [120 ft. x 42 ft.] was added to the rear of the building. A separate carriage house that held up to 75 horses was also built. The towers were disputably said to be designed by Frank Jones, as they closely resembled the towers on his own home on Woodbury Avenue [see Building Portsmouth by Richard Candee]. The Frank Jones era at the Wentworth is summarized in a chapter of Ray Brighton’s King of the Alemakers. In 1881, the hotel could accommodate 450 guests. Frank Hilton, then manager, died that year at 40 years of age. He was succeeded by George Thompson, who was succeeded by W.K. Hill. In 1882, Chester Arthur, President of the United States, stayed at the Wentworth when visiting the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. In 1888, the dining room wing was added. A restaurant was located on the top floor of the colonial wing and it was open to the public as well as to the paying guests. Also during some of this time the Wentworth was painted “Nile” green with a red roof. During the Spanish-American war, the captured Admiral Cervera was a popular figure who visited the Wentworth and was treated as a hero while his men remained captive at the shipyard prison.
1902-1908 After the death of Frank Jones in 1902, the hotel was owned by his estate. During this time, it was managed by various persons and organizations including Harvey and Wood Management of Boston’s Bellevue Hotel. In 1905, a grand event occurred that was very in keeping with the worldly style of Frank Jones, the signing of the historic Portsmouth treaty. The diplomats stayed at the Wentworth, and undertook what were the first face-to-face negotiations in modern history. Japanese representatives Komura and the Russian diplomat, Witte are said to have made many unofficial agreements during the walks together in the gardens. [see There Are No Victors Here by Peter Randall for more details on this treaty]. In 1906, 1907, and 1908 the hotel was sold consecutively to Henry Priest. Frank Hall, and Priest and Shaw in 1908.
1908-1920 According to various sources, the ownership changed frequently up until 1920. Little information is available for this period. The ice house burnt in 1912. In 1910, Priest and others incorporated the hotel and tried to sell stock. These various people may have all owned stock in the hotel until 1920. But there is no record of stock actually being sold. At this time the restaurant was removed from the top floor of the Colonial House.
1920-1945 Harry Beckwith bought the hotel in 1920. He added bathrooms, windows, a bath house on the shore, a saltwater pool, a 9-hole golf course. [Although Ray Brighton’s sources say that Frank Jones built the golf course.] He also built “The Ship, a large ship shaped wooden building with dressing rooms, a bar, and a theater that wrapped around a large saltwater pool There was an understood policy by Beckwith not to allow Jews or Blacks to stay at the hotel.  Beckwith also owned the Farragut Hotel in Rye. It was close during the two years of World War II, 1942-1943. Bechwith is credited with adding the “by-the-Sea” to the name.
1946-1980 In March of 1946, the hotel was sold to the Smiths for $200,000. They expanded the convention season. In their third season , the Smiths’ hosted the Governors Conference. Governors from all over the country attended. The collection contains brochures that elaborate on this event. In 1948, The Smiths bought the Rockingham Hotel, which Frank Jones had also owned. They owned it for fourteen years. For five years, starting in 1949, they also managed the Flamingo Hotel in Florida. [They did not own it but spent the winters there.] In 1949 James Baker Smith opposed the minimum wage law that guaranteed fifty cents an hour. During the height of the McCarthy era, Owen Lattimore, a black-listed academic was invited to speak at the hotel, but then was uninvited after James Baker Smith took a vote from his guests. Much to his disappointment, they voted again even hearing Lattimore. In 1962, James B. Smith Jr. became manager. In 1969, a fire destroyed dormitories and one person died. In 1973, they celebrated the 100th anniversary of the start of construction of the hotel, to coincide with Portsmouth’s 350th anniversary. In 1977, there was another smaller fire. At this point, the Smiths were in their seventies and ready to retire. After thirty five seasons, the Smiths sold the hotel and property to the Pacific Park Corp., a Swiss company run by Mr. Beglinger for $5.8 million.
1981-1996 After the Pacific Park Corporation closed the hotel in 1982, the Great Island Trust Partnership [comprised of Maple, Lloyd, Allen et. Al.} assumed ownership of the hotel and grounds. In 1988, Henley Corporation bought the hotel. In 1992, the Cole Company became the owners with the Green Company as property managers. In 1995, the Green Company became the owners. It has been working with the friends of the Wentworth to find a viable owner who will restore and reopen the hotel.
As of 1996, the Green Company owns the Wentworth-by-the-Sea and grounds and is looking for a buyer to restore and reopen the hotel. The selling price for the hotel and 4.5 acres of property is one million dollars. The Friends of the Wentworth organization was formed in 1992 to promote and preserve the historic hotel, and since its inception has aided the Green Company in its search for a viable new use for the Wentworth.
James Baker Smith, called hereafter Jim, was born in Pittsburgh, Kansas June 4, 1908. His family was in the hotel business. His father, Victor Smith, died in around 1930. Mother, Louise [Baker?] [Mrs. Victor Smith] died some time shortly after 1944, after a period of ill health. In 1944, Jim gave Louise Tasher, Margaret’s mother, the right to act on Mrs. Victor Smith’s behalf for legal matters. Grandmother Baker, Victor’s mother, was a frequent correspondent and avoid traveler. Sally Baker, Jim’s aunt, established a trust for the Smiths.
Margaret Tasher Smith was born in Denver, Colorado on October 16, 1907. Her mother Louise Tasher, visited the hotel often until she died in 1960. Margaret’s father is not mentioned in these records. Margaret had a brother Neil Tasher and sister, Virginia Tasher Mosley. Nina is the name of an unknown relative, or it could be a nickname for Virginia. Virginia Mosley lives in Tenafly, New Jersey, has at least two daughters, Judy and Marcia. Neil married Barbara Sexton; they had a least one child, a boy, in 1959. He later married Adeline Bauer. Neil died in 1975. Ruth and Merton Borchert, were Margaret’s aunt and uncle and frequently corresponded.
Margaret and Jim met in college at the University of Colorado. They were both active in Greek life; Margaret was later named president of the Alumni Association of Pi Beta Phi sorority. Jim transferred to Cornell school of Hotel Management and they continued their relationship long distance, as the many love letters attest. Margaret’s nickname is Bersie or Ber. She graduated from the School of business Administration; and Jim graduated from Cornell. They married October 5, 1934.
After a few odd jobs, Jim Smith worked at the Broadmoor in Colorado for 5 years before being let go under unknown circumstances. He found a job managing the plaza in Houston, Texas in 1939. Drafted during World War II, he was stationed in Pensacola, Florida. Margaret took over management of the hotel in Houston while he was stationed in Florida. She was the first woman admitted into the Houston Hotelman’s Association. She was also elected to various hotel association offices including President of the Houston Hotel Association in 1945-46.
On September 5, 1941 they had a baby girl, who died immediately after birth. She is unnamed and buried in Forest Park Cemetery in Houston, Texas. In 1943 [?] they had a baby boy, James Baker Smith, Jr.
In March of 1946, the Smiths bought the Wentworth-by-the-Sea for $2,000,000. See Hotel History, above. They ran the hotel until 1980 when they sold it and retired.
The Smiths continued to be active in the community. They were a major force in such charities and organizations as Crossroads House for the homeless, which Margaret helped found; the Rotary Club; the Portsmouth family Y; the salvation Army; St. John’s Church; and many others. See the clippings series for more details.
James Baker Smith died on July 26, 1990 after two years in a nursing home. His ashes are buried in St. John’s cemetery. Margaret Smith moved to a nursing home in Savannah, Georgia at the instigation of her son, who had moved to Hilton Head, South Carolina a few months earlier. She died in 1995 far away from her home in Portsmouth.
Albee, John. New Castle: Historic and Picturesque. Peter E. Randall Publishing, 1974
Brighton, Ray. King of thee Alemakers. Peter E. Randall Publishing, 1976.
_____. Wentworth-by-the-Sea. Manuscript, unfinished. Portsmouth Athenaeum.
Candee, Richard. Building Portsmouth. Portsmouth advocates, 1992.
Varrel, William M. Summer-by-the Sea: The Golden Era of Victorian Beach Resorts. Strawbery Bank Print Shop, 1972.
The following are located in the vertical files at the Portsmouth Athenaeum:
Mosley, Virginia. “Notes on the One Hundredth Anniversary.” One page.
Smith, James Barker. “Jim Smith: Hotel Entrepreneur. An Autobiography.” Unfinished.
Wilson, Thomas. “Notes on the Wentworth-by-the Sea.” Piscataqua History Club notes.
Woods, Wadleigh. “The James Baker Smiths”, 1980-1990.”
Photographs from this collection have been separated and processed
as Photograph Collection 24 in the Athenaeum Photograph collection.
Some duplicates clippings and printed material have been turned to the
friends of the Wentworth.
II. Printed Material
A. Non-Wentworth Hotel Material
B. Wentworth-By-the-Sea Material
IV. Financial Material
V. Guest Material
VII. Newspaper and Magazine Clippings
These boxes contain letters to and from friends and associates of the Smiths. They are arranged strictly chronologically in the first two boxes. Postcards also have been separated from the correspondence, put into sleeves, and are housed at the end of the regular correspondence. The updates correspondence [n.d.] is filed by an approximate decade at the beginning of the third box. Some of the correspondence deposited by the Friends of the Wentworth was already separated into special topics. These special topics are maintained as they were found and contained in the third box of this series. The following are the topics of this separated correspondence: the sale and management negotiations for various hotels [the Wentworth, the Rockingham, and the Flamingo]; the types of boiler for the hotel; the photographer’s contracts; the landscaping correspondence, the material regarding “Chris” [a counting dog]. Much important information is contained in the special-topic letters. One folder per year except for 1941, which has 2 folders. The death of the Smiths’ baby elicited many sympathy cards and letters.
Folder 1 1928
Folder 2 1929
Folder 3 1930
Folder 4 1934
Folder 5 1936
Folder 6 1937
Folder 7 1938
Folder 8 1939
Folder 9 1940
Folder 10 1941
Folder 11 1941
Folder 12 1942
Folder 13 1943
Folder 14 1944
Folder 15 1945
Folder 16 1946
Folder 17 1947
Folder 18 1948
Folder 19 1949
Folder 20 1950
Folder 21 1951
Folder 22 1952
Folder 23 1953
Folder 24 1954
Folder 1 1955
Folder 2 1956
Folder 3 1957
Folder 4 1958
Folder 5 1959
Folder 6 1960
Folder 7 1961
Folder 8 1963
Folder 9 1964
Folder 10 1965
Folder 11 1966
Folder 12 1967
Folder 13 1968
Folder 14 1969
Folder 15 1970
Folder 16 1971
Folder 17 1972
Folder 18 1973
Folder 19 1974
Folder 20 1975
Folder 21 1976
Folder 22 1977
Folder 23 1978
Folder 24 1979
Folder 25 1980
Folder 26 1981
Folder 27 1982
Folder 28 1983
Folder 29 1984
Folder 30 Postcards
Folder 1 various ca. 1940s
Folder 2 various ca. 1950-1960
Folder 3 various ca. 1950-1960
Folder 4 various ca. 1970s
Folder 5 Hotel Letters 1883-1914
Folder 6 Hotel Letters 1933-1945
Folder 7 Iron Fireman Sales Co. Coal Burning Boiler 1935
Folder 8 From Margaret Smith to Jim Smith 1942
Folder 9 Wentworth Hotel Negotiations 1945-1946
Folder 10 Oil Burning Boiler 1947-1948
Folder 11 Seed Orders and Plants for Grounds 1948
Folder 12 Flamingo Hotel Negotiations 1948-1949
Folder 13 Flamingo Hotel Negotiations 1950-1951
Folder 14 Flamingo Hotel Negotiations 1952
Folder 15 Chris, the Counting Dog 1956
Folder 16 Photographers’ and Printers’ Negotiations 1958-1964
Folder 17 From Margaret Smith to James Baker Smith n.d.
II. and III. Printed Material and Pamphlets
Pamphlets contains printed and bound material, generally 25 pages or more, such as full magazines, journals, and special edition, dated lengthy brochures with titles such as “Grand Hotels of New England.” These are filed by date.
A. Non-Wentworth Hotel Material
This subseries contains brochures from different hotels around the world including the Rockingham and the Flamingo; conventions not held at the Wentworth;’ catalogs of suppliers, their brochures; inventories of party material.
Folder 1 Rockingham Hotel Brochures 1925, 1950
Folder 2 Flamingo Hotel Brochures n.d.
Folder 3 Florida Hotel Brochures 1961, 1962, & n.d.
Folder 4 Hotel Brochures. Islands including San Juan, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, St. Thomas, Hawaii, Guadeloupe, Bahamas. 7 items 1977, n.d.
Folder 5 Southern Hotel Brochures including: Mississippi, So. Carolina, Georgia, Williamsburg. VA. 5 items n.d.
Folder 6 New York and New Jersey Hotel Brochures. 5 items n.d.
Folder 7 Massachusetts Hotel Brochures, Edgartown and Boston. 2 items n.d.
Folder 8 Hotel Brochures: Other Countries, Lisbon, Tangier, Morocco, London, Gibraltar, Casablanca, Cuba. 9 items n.d.
Folder 9 Hotel Brochures: West & Midwest. 5 items n.d.
Folder 10 Cruises, French Line. 3 items n.d.
Folder 11 Costumes of the Gay 90’s. Brochure. 1 item, 48 pp. 1945
Folder 12 Furniture by Johnson. Brochure. 1 item, 16 pp. 1947
Folder 13 Research Report on Insecticides. 7 pp. 1947
Folder 14 Howard Johnson’s Scoop, Clambake Edition. 1 item, 20 pp. 1948
Folder 15 Parties with a Purpose. Brochure, 1 item, 41 pp. 1949
Folder 16 Conference Brochures, Non-Wentworth. 8 items including: 38th Annual American Hotel Assoc. 1949
NH Industrial Management Conference. 1951; Mechanic Fire Society, Portsmouth, NH. 1959, 1962, 1970
School of Hotel Administration; Cornell University 50th Anniversary Dinner 1972
Folder 17 Gay Decorations. 1 item, 31 pp. 1953
Folder 18 Transcript on Menus, published by Harris Keer, Forster, & Co. 1 item, 31 pp. 1973
Folder 19 Portsmouth area brochures, 13 items 1974-1983, n.d. Strawbery Banke, 3 items; Antiques Show invitation; St. John’s church 1975; 8th Air force 1978; Boy Scout Golf Tournaments; NH Technical College; American Heritage Banquet; Portsmouth Historical Society; Seacoast Community Concert Association; Chamber of Commerce; Mountain View House; United States Coast Guard
Folder 20 Brochures-Other, 6 items n.d. Medina; Ponto Pump; Luminte; Tennis Courts Inc.; Re-Roof; Glenara Kennels
Folder 21 Beverage Brochures. Wine and drink recipes. 4 items n.d.
B. Wentworth-by-the Sea Material
This subseries contains hotel and conference brochures, some promotional, some for programs, etc. [Note: menus are their own series]
Folder 1 Hotel Brochures. 15 items 1874-1916
Folder 1A Hotel Brochure. Harvey & Wood Mngt. 1 item ca. 1903
Folder 1B Hotel Brochure. H. Beckwith, owner. 1 item ca. 1921
Folder 2 Hotel Brochures. 3 items 1930’s-1940’s
Folder 3 Certificates. 16 items. 1 Oversize 1946-1985
Folder 4 Music Brochures. 20 items. 1946-1975
Folder 5 General Brochures. 20 items 1946-1974, n.d.
Folder 6 Wentworth Stationary and Christmas cards. 19 items 1948-1975
Folder 7 Governors’ Conference. 6 items 1948
Folder 8 Hotel Conference Brochures. 14 items 1951-1974 New England Hotel Women’s Relief Association, Inc. 1953-1954 Kappa Alpha Theta 1962 Savings Bank Association of Massachusetts 1963 New England Innkeepers Association 1967 MBA Convention 1968 New England Library Association 1968 NH Hotel/Motel Association 1972 Sigma Kappa. 3 items 1974 New England association of Fire Chiefs, Inc. 1975 Frozen Foods Association of New England n.d.
Ffane’s [sic] Annual Convention n.d. American Division n.d.
Folder 9 Nu-Grain News. [Features the Smiths] 1 item, 15 pps. 1952
Folder 10 Hotel Brochures. 19 items 1960-1977
Folder 11 Golf Information and Brochures. 10 items 1971, 1974, 1980, n.d.
Folder 12 Calendar. 1 item 1977
Folder 13 Inventory of Memorabilia. 1 item, 8 pp. 1980-82
Folder 14 Wentworth Marketing Report 1992
Folder 15 Hotel Forms, 4 items n.d.
Folder 16 Hotel Internal Printed Material. 9 items n.d. “Reserved” signs; Employee manual; Partial deck of cards;
Business card of JBS; Card for reading newspapers; Etc.
Folder 17 Party Inventory. 13 items n.d.
Folder 18 Frank Guy Armitage Ad. 2 items n.d.
Folder 19 Music. 7 items Leisure Moments: “Dancing On Our Yacht,” 1882; [“The Wentworth” IN OVERSISE BOX 14,] 1892
Folder 19 Sheet Music Continued Christmas Service, Christ Church School, Portsmouth NH 1947; “Brush up on Your Shakespeare,” n.d.; “Diamond Jim Jubilee of Memorable Memories Forty”; Naughty Nineties Favorites” n.d.; “Wentworth on Parade,” n.d.; Police Gazette Songbook n.d.
Box 5 A
Folder 20 New York Newsletter, White Mountains Number. Vol. 37 No. 3, May-June.
New York: New York Life Insurance, 1904, illustrated 33 pp.
Folder 21 De Luxe Hotels of New England, compliments of The Sinclair Hotel, White Mountains,
NH. Boston: CB Webster & Col, 1914, illus. 60 pp.
Folder 22 Governor’s Conference. 2 items
Governors of the American States and Territories 1948: Biographical Sketches and Portraits, James Baker Smith. Chicago: Governors’ Conference, 1948. illus. 80 pp.
Folder 23 The Hotel Gazette: The National News Weekly of the Hotel, Club, Restaurant and Catering Industry. July 16, 1949. New York: National Hotel Gazette, 1949.
Folder 24 The Beacon: Official Guide book, Portsmouth, NH and the Seacoast Region. Vol. XX
No. 1. April, 1949. Illus. 40 pp.
Folder 25 New England Journeys. Ford Times Special Edition. Michigan: Ford Motor Company, 1953. Illus. 128 pp.
Folder 26 The Social Spectator: The resort Magazine of Society. Aug. 5, 1953. Illus. color, 154 pp.
Folder 27 The Breakers. Holbert T. Smales. Newport, Rhode Island: Preservation Society of Newport Country, 1957. Illus. 40 pp.
Folder 28 [Digest of] Distinguished Reports. Marguerite Aumann Allen, ed. New York: Hotel Educational Bureau, 1957-58.
Folder 29 New England Innkeepers Association: 75 Years Innkeeping with a Tradition, 1907-1982. Boston: New England Innkeepers, 1982. Illus. 47
OV Box 14
Folder 1 Music
“The Wentworth”-sheet music 1892
Folder 2 2.Blueprints and Lay-outs
Wentworth Hotel, Xeroxed and enlarged. 1879 [copy]
Wentworth Hotel Aerial Drawings, Xeroxed and enlarged 1910 [copy]
Automatic Refrigeration Company, blueprint 1946
Cleaver-Brooks Co. Steam Generator 1948
Lay-out of the Hotel Store n.d.
Wrought Iron Kitchen equipment Co. Dishwashing Lay-out n.d.
Kimball Chase Condo Plan. Prepared for Great Island Trust ca. 1986
Folder 3 Certificates
Postmaster J.B. Smith, Wentworth-by-the-Sea 1950
New England Assoc. of Fire Chiefs to J.B. Smith 1955
Garuda Indonesian Airlines Equator-Crossing. J.B. Smith 1961
Folder 4 Pamphlet
Room Classifications 1998
Folder 5 Pamphlet
Friends of the Wentworth Promotional Brochure 1993
Folder A Land Use Plan for Wentworth-by-the-Sea by the Economic 1970
Development Corporation of Brattleboro,
VT for the Smiths.
Blueprint drawings by Alan H. Yeaton, Manchester NH. 1977
IV. Financial Material
Financial material encompasses a large scope including: receipts, both personal and professional; legal documents including wills and financial information on Jim Smith’s mother; a set of papers from 1921, mostly contains staff payroll receipts and an account book. This series also includes liquor license receipts from the Rockingham and tax information on the Rockingham. Material is arranged chronologically.
Folder 1 Estate of Frank Jones tax returns; Receipt J. Trefethen to Leavitt 1869, 1903, 1904
Folder 2 Bank Statements [National Mechanics and Traders Bank Portsmouth Exchange Trust Company, Boston] 1920-1921
Folder 3 Checkbook Stubs 1920-1921
Folder 4 Checkbook Stubs 1920-1922
Folder 5 Payroll Book 1921
Folder 6 Payroll Book 1921
Folder 7 Receipts, Wentworth Hotel Co. 1921-1922
Folder 8 Account Book 1921
Folder 1 Records of Louis Smith 1923-1930
Folder 2. Estate Book of Margaret Tasher ca. 1930
Folder 3 Hotel Cars and Maintenance 1930
Folder 4 Rockingham Material 1930-1945
Folder 5 Rockingham Material 1931-1956
Folder 6 Rockingham Material-Audit 1958
Folder 7 Hotel Expenses General Supplies ca. 1940-1978
Folder 8 Personal Expenses-Smiths ca. 1941
Folder 9 Power of Attorney and Life Insurance Beneficiaries 1944, n.d.
Folder 10 Wills of James Barker Smith and Margaret Smith 1944
Folder 11 Sale of Wentworth 1946-1949
Folder 12 Tax Return and Receipt 1947-1949
Folder 13 Hotel Expenses and Revenue Comparison 1948-1949
Folder 14 Bond Facsimiles 1951-1952
Folder 15 Seacoast Recreation Inc. [Golf Course] 1961
Folder 16 Hotel Expenses Revenue Comparison 1973-1974
Folder 17 Hotel Expenses Staff n.d.
V. Guest Material
Guest books of the hotel dating to 1921 are sorted by type and filed chronologically. The types are as follows: Guest Indexes from 1921-1941 [alphabetical listing of guests]; Guest Departure Books 1930-37, 1939 and undated, probably 1938 [verification of guests checking out]; Guest Registers, 1924-1961 [Actual guest signatures. A number of years are contained in each volume with some overlap in volumes. They may have had two books out the same years]. One oversized Guest Register from 1933, and one oversize Guest Register from 1973 [The sixtieth and one hundredth anniversaries, respectively]; 3 Checkbooks with stubs only, 1920-1922; A 1921 book of charges to guests; Two Expense books from 1933-35 and 1942-45; and one book of reservations 1932-33.
Box 8 Guest Indexes.
Folder 1 1921
Folder 2 1922
Folder 3 1923
Folder 4 1924
Box 9 Guest Indexes
Folder 1 1925
Folder 2 1926
Folder 3 1927
Folder 4 1928
Folder 5 1929
Box 10 Guest Indexes
Folder 1 1930
Folder 2 1931
Folder 3 1932
Folder 4 1933
Folder 5 1934
Folder 6 1935
Box 11 Guest Indexes
Folder 1 1936
Folder 2 1937
Folder 3 1938
Folder 4 1939
Folder 5 1940
Folder 6 1941
Box 12 Guest Departures
Folder 1 1930
Folder 2 1931
Folder 3 1932-1933
Folder 4 1934
Folder 5 1934-1936
Box 13 Guest Departures
Folder 1 1937
Folder 2 n.d. [probably 1938]
Folder 3 1939
Box 14 Guest Register
Folder 1 1924-1926
Folder 2 1928-1931
Folder 3 1934-1937
Folder 4 1939-41
Folder 5 1921 Book of charges.
Box 15 Guest Register
Folder 1 1938-1948
Folder 2 1948-1951
Folder 3 1951-1959
Folder 4 1959-1961
Oversize Box 14
Register – [large black binder, 60th Anniversary] 1933
Register – [soft brown scrap book, 100th Anniversary] 1973
Flat Box 6
Reservation Book, Wentworth Hotel 1932-33
Expense Book, Wentworth Hotel 1933-35
Expense Book, Wentworth Hotel 1942-45
The first three folders contain Wentworth hotel menus of various types. The rest of this series is a unique collection of menus collected by the Smith’s from around the world. They are arranged geographically be section of the country and the world; many are located in an Oversize box.
Folder 1 Wentworth: General
Folder 2 Wentworth: Special Parties
Folder 3 Wentworth: Wine lists
Folder 4 New Hampshire
Folder 5 Maine
Folder 6 Massachusetts
Folder 7 New York and New Jersey
Folder 8 Florida [includes a 21 day menu cycle for the Breakers Hotel, W. Palm Beach]
Folder 9. South
Folder 10 MidWest
Folder 11 Europe and Asia
Folder 12 Cruise Ship Menus
Folder 13 Cruise Ship Menus
Folder 1 Airline Menus
Folder 2 Unknown Location Menus
Folder 3 1980 Menus
Folder 4 Menu Samples
Folder 5 Menu Samples
Folder 6 Menu Samples
Folder 7 Menu Samples
Folder 8 Menu Samples
OV Box 15
Folder 1 Wentworth
Folder 2 New Hampshire and Maine
Folder 3 Massachusetts
Folder 4 Connecticut, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey
Folder 5 Florida
Folder 6 Other States
Folder 7 Islands: Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Bermuda, etc.
Folder 8 Airlines and Cruises
VII. Newspaper and Magazine Clippings
Newspaper articles are from various publications, including many from the Portsmouth Herald. Some clippings date from the Smiths’ earlier times in Colorado, Texas and Florida. The clippings have been loosely organized into categories such as Hotel Buildings, Events, Smith’s honors etc. These categories are by no means definitive. Some categories overlap, some have more than one folder. Within each folder, the clippings are sorted chronologically. The dates run from approximately 1930-1996. Many of them were deteriorating or difficult to read. All clippings are
Xeroxed on acid free paper unless they had already been Xeroxed. Ray Brighton’s clippings file on he Westworth-by-the Sea is located at the end of this series. His clippings date from the 1980’s and 1990’s. A folder has been designated for clippings dated after 1996.
Folder 1 Colorado Related 1934-1953
Folder 2 Smith Family in News 1943-1987
Folder 3 Texas Related 1946-1953
Folder 4 Hotel Activities etc. Portsmouth 1947-1977
Folder 5 Hotel and Portsmouth various 1948-1980
Folder 6 Florida Hotels 1949-1973
Folder 7 Hotel Suppliers and Business 1949-1962
Folder 8 Hotel Building 1949-1984
Folder 9 Society Columns 1953-1977
Folder 10 Other Hotels 1953-1982
Folder 11 Smiths. Honors, Community Service, etc. 1949-1985
Folder 12 Smiths, Honors, Community Service, etc. 1967-1985
Folder 13 Peace Treaty of 1905, Anniversary 1955-1977
Folder 14 Portsmouth 1970’s
Folder 15 100th Anniversary 1973-1974
Folder 16 Ethel Donoghue 1981
Folder 17 Rockingham Hotel 1956-1973
Folder 18 Articles collected by Ray Brighton 1980-1991
Folder 19 Articles on building and area 1996
This series contains various items, such as typed or handwritten pages of text. Speeches, sheet music, a birth certificate, and address books.
Folder 20 Baby Girl Birth Certificate 1941
Folder 21 Address List entitled “Baby List” 1943
Folder 22 Child’s Drawing Exercises ca. 1945
Folder 23 Sunday School Leaflets ca. 1945
Folder 24 Silhouette Souvenirs of the Smith family 1948
Folder 25 Piscataqua History Club List of Guests. ca. 1974
Folder 26 Speeches. Presumably given by JBS. Also a transcript of Senator Edward Kennedy’s speech to the Bar Association 1975 New England Senior’s Poem 1973, 1975, n.d.
Folder 27 Caricatures of Margaret Smith and James Baker Smith 1978
Folder 28 Handmade book for Manning Conroy wedding anniversary. 1980
Folder 29 Address List n.d.
Folder 30 Old Prints of Sailboats, sailors, etc. n.d.
Folder 31 Poem of Star Island by Fran McKay Bowie. n.d.
Folder 32 Printed Material. [various printed cards, recipe card, funny stories, JBS Jr. health card, NH Hotel Assoc. Card] various
Folder 33 Ray Brighton interview of Olive Richards Tardiff, of Exeter, NH, waitress in 1934 1987
Folder 34 Ray Brighton interview of Jim and Margaret Smith 1987
Folder 35 “Jim Smith-Hotel Entrepreneur. An Autobiography.” 11 pp. transcribed by Wadleigh Woods. 1990
Folder 36 “The James Baker Smiths, 1980-1990” by Wadleigh Woods 1990
Folder 1 Helen Brown’s Geography Book; Grade 5, Portsmouth n.d.
Folder 2 Smith’s address Book, medium in ring binder n.d.
Folder 3 Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper”, 10 June 1882, p. 252
7 Views of the Wentworth Hotel, incl. Deer Park, “sketches” n.d.
by staff artist.