Juneteenth Celebration: A Return to Rock Rest

Please note THERE IS A FEE for this event. All proceeds go to the Portsmouth  African Burying Ground Memorial Park Fund . Price is $60.00, please register through the Discover Portsmouth Center. [masked]

Celebrate Juneteenth , a uniquely American holiday, with the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail as we return to a historic house that once welcomed African American travelers on summer vacation. Kim Sylvester, the new owner of Rock Rest, was inspired by the history of the house and the people associated with its story. She invites us to return to see the renovations and to celebrate. 

Join us on the lawn at Rock Rest for: 

A talk and A tour of the renovated house 

Hearty hors d’oeuvres and wine 

A live auction including items of local interest 

and antique appraisals 


$60 per person 

Includes everything and appraisal of 3 items 

Additional items are $10 each. All of the proceeds benefiting the  Portsmouth African Burying Ground Trust Fund. 

Please bring photographs of larger pieces. 

Recent Press on Rock Rest History:

Maine Boats Houses and Harbors features an extensive article by Janet Mendelsohn in the April/May issue entitled  “Pre-Civil Rights Vacation

Destination…” with many color photos, interviews and stories about the

significance of Rock Rest as an historic landmark.


*Rock Rest, Kittery, Maine. Milne Special Collections and Archives Department, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, N.H.

Rock Rest: Black Visitors in Vacationland
Rock Rest was an inn for African American guests in Kittery Point, Maine. Owned and operated by Clayton and Hazel Sinclair, who gave up their own beds to guests coming to vacation in Maine during the summer months from 1948 to 1976, its story reflects much of the racial history of the 20th century in northern New England, including the pre-Civil Rights era of de facto segregation when racial discrimination pervaded public and private life. It is also the story of a couple’s determination to make a better life for themselves against great odds, by working hard and integrating themselves into the dominant society, yet still speaking out and taking action to end injustice. Clayton and Hazel helped establish the first seacoast branch of the NAACP.

Rock Rest, Kittery, Maine

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  • Valereez

    I have so many fond memories of working here in the summers when I was a teenager, and visiting the Sinclairs's lovely home with my parents in the off-season. But it's also important to remember that it was segregation in the North that created Rock Rest. Juneteenth 2014 will be the perfect time to return!

    1 · April 29, 2014

  • Portsmouth Black Heritage T.

    Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail
    Tickets are available by phone: (603)[masked] By mail: Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail PO Box 728, Portsmouth, NH 03802

    April 29, 2014

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