Murder was in the cards

Murder was in the cards

As this building approaches its 175th anniversary, it is one night and an early morning gunfight that made a hardware store originally owned by the Glockner Family legendary.

In February 1938, on a typical Portsmouth Sunday night, high rolling poker players from the docked riverboats made their way to Market Street to gamble with their recently received wages.  Always wanting to be a part of the action, the locals were on hand to make a quick buck from what they hoped were players that had been numbed by drinking and partaking of some of the other illegal feminine pleasures of the evening.

A high stakes game was set up in the basement of 206 Market Street.  For one unlucky local dealer, it was to be his last draw, this time of breath.  As legend has it, the poker table was stacked with cash when a local citizen decided to deal from the bottom of the deck.  Cheating was not in the cards with the gambling boatmen.  A gunfight erupted and the local dealer lay dead on the floor.  The body was hastily taken up the stairs and placed on Market Square’s median.  Portsmouth police wouldn’t discover the deathly deed until the boats had departed later that morning.  

The card game went on.  It had become a game of winner take all.  Any desire to cheat had been eliminated.  Many felt the cheater got what he deserved, the result of an unsolved murder.  However, it is thought that his ghost still lingers within the old building.  The shuffling of cards, boisterous laughter and the sound of moving chairs can occasionally send chills up the spine of those visiting the old building.After surviving a murder, numerous floods and a recent fire, 206 Market Street has finally been dealt some lucky cards.  The Glockner Family regained ownership in 2017 and has restored this dwelling to its original splendor and left room for some ghostly

  • Steve Hayes
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