Shipbuilding and Shipping

Shipbuilding was an important industry in the lower Lamprey. In colonial times, tall, straight trees were cut and floated to Portsmouth to be shipped to England and used for masts. Later, several shipyards were located in Newmarket and Durham. At one point, a ship was built in Lee, taken apart, and then re-assembled in Newmarket. Sailing vessels unique to this area, flat-bottomed barges known as gundalows, were built in Newmarket, Durham, and elsewhere. They were utilized to transport goods among the Great Bay towns and Portsmouth. Later, a packet service carried cargo and passengers from town to town. These boats, 30-40 feet long, were made obsolete with the arrival of railroads.