“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Portsmouth in Rockingham County, New Hampshire — The American Northeast (New England)

Nation's Oldest Bank

Nation's Oldest Bank Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Tiernan, September 29, 2010
1. Nation's Oldest Bank Marker
[Upper Marker:]
22/26 Market Square
Built 1803
The Oldest Bank Building

New Hampshire Bank 1803-1842
Portsmouth Savings Bank 1823-C.1950
Piscataqua Bank 1842-1863
Piscataqua Exchange Bank 1844-1863
First National Bank of Portsmouth 1863-C.1950
Portsmouth Trust Company C.1950-1977

Restored by James A. Shanley 1977 - 1978

Listed in the
National Register of Historic Places
September 10, 1979

[Lower Marker:]
In 1782 the New Hampshire Bank opened its doors on this site. After the great fire of 1802 the present structure was built by the bank in 1803 in the Federal Style. Circa 1869 it was divided into two separate banks. In 1882 the front facade was expanded forward and modernized into an Italianate Renaissance Revival design. In 1903 the 22 Market Square exterior was renovated once again into its present Greek Revival Limestone facade with ionic order columns. Above the black and green marble lobby was installed an impressive leaded and stained glass dome depicting the Great Seal of New Hampshire.
Nation's Oldest Bank Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Tiernan, September 29, 2010
2. Nation's Oldest Bank Marker
Second marker below first one.
Click or scan to see
this page online
In 1904 the exterior of 26 Market was also renovated to create an asymetrical Beaux Arts Style facade of pink Conway Granite. The Renaissance Revival entry steps of 26 Market Square were left in place. Both buildings have remained largely unchanged since 1904.

Notably, the second floor office over 26 Market was once the law office of future President Franklin Pierce.
Erected 2007 by New Hampshire State Historic Preservation Officer George Gilman, Commmissioner, LBJ Properties LLC.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #14 Franklin Pierce series list. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1924.
Location. 43° 4.613′ N, 70° 45.444′ W. Marker is in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in Rockingham County. Marker is on Pleasant Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 22 Market Square, Portsmouth NH 03801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Treaty of Portsmouth 1905 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Original New Hampshire State House (within shouting distance of this marker); Negro Pews (within shouting distance of this marker); Ceilia Layton Thaxter (within shouting distance of this marker); 18 Congress
Nation's Oldest Bank image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, August 15, 2014
3. Nation's Oldest Bank
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Temple Israel (about 400 feet away); The South Church (about 400 feet away); Joseph & Nancy (Cotton) and their children, Eleazor & James (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portsmouth.
More about this marker. The building still carries a "Jewelry Building" sign.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 9, 2010, by Michael Tiernan of Danvers, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 1,207 times since then and 12 times this year. Last updated on June 23, 2014, by Kevin Craft of Bedford, Quebec. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 9, 2010, by Michael Tiernan of Danvers, Massachusetts.   3. submitted on August 22, 2014, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 28, 2021