Samuel Hale and Francis Hale, agents, Portsmouth Manufacturing Company

The Counting House

c. 1830 The Counting House -- Main and Liberty Streets

The last remaining building of the Portsmouth Manufacturing Company textile mill, the Counting House once provided office space for the company's agent and paymaster and their staffs. Samuel Hale was mill agent until 1869, when he was succeeded by his son Frances. Grandson Samuel Hale ran the corporation through the 1880s until the mill's closure in 1893. The Counting House has been owned and maintained as the Counting House Museum by the Old Berwick Historical Society since 1964. It is open to the public on weekends throughout the summer and fall, as well as by appointment . The first floor, that once provided office space for the Company's Agent and Paymaster, now contains exhibits as well as about 10,000 historic records and photos of South Berwick and the surrounding area. Upstairs, the building still contains one of northern New England's last textile mill ballrooms. Years ago the mill entertained dancers each autumn when gas lamps were illuminated for a "Lighting Up Ball." The Counting House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of South Berwick Historic District.