The Old Ferry Landing takes its name from the part it played in Portsmouth's history.
Before the turn of the Century, when there was no structural link between the coastal areas of New Hampshire and Maine, the building was erected as a ferryboat terminal. A regular means of public transportation was thus provided across the swift currents of the Piscataqua River to Badger's Island in Kittery, Maine.
The operation, known as the Portsmouth, Kittery and York Street Railway, continued until the construction of the first of three bridges now spanning the river. But the old ferryboat station did not lose its usefulness after that. The building remained a viable element in the city's commercial life throughout most of its years. It served as a bottling works, a lobster pound and a gift shop, among other uses.
The property was acquired in 1973 by the Blalock family, including the well-known professional golfer, Jane Blalock. They opened it as a restaurant the following year under the present name.