Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: Towle Road / Sea-shore Road

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Towle Road

By this name is known the road leading from "Vittum's Corner" (near Norman Marston's) to "Drake Side" school-house. A portion of this road, as originally built, was crooked and narrow, seeking the easiest and cheapest place of crossing a stretch of swampy land. In 1887 an alteration was made, by building a new road from a point near the house of Samuel A. Towle, westerly about one-fourth mile, across said Towle's pasture, and forming a junction with the old road again near "deep run bridge." The contract for building was awarded to Samuel A. Towle, for ten hundred sixty-five dollars. The total cost, including land damage, tile and railing was twelve hundred dollars. The old road was discontinued by vote of the town, and reverted to the adjoining land owner.

Sea-shore Road

Spasmodic efforts have been made for a good many years, by individuals in Hampton and North Hampton, to secure the building of a sea-shore road from the causeway to Little Boar's Head.

At the annual March meeting, 1887, the town of Hampton voted to appropriate the sum of one thousand dollars for the construction of a highway, running near the bach, to NOrth Hampton line, provided an appropriation be obtained from the State, to aid in the construction.

Horace M. Lane, our representative to the General Court, had a bill introduced for that purpose; and the sum of fifteen hundred dollars was appropriated, on condition that a like sum be raised by the two towns -- one thousand dollars by Hampton and five hundred dollars by North Hampton. The required sums were appropriated, and the selectmen of the two towns, on petition, acting as a joint board, laid out the road, commencing near the foot of the cause way, and running along the bach land in a northerly direction, to the road behind the fish-houses; thence through the field of Jacob B. and Moses Leavitt; thence on the bach land to the town line; and thence on land in North Hampton, to Little Boar's Head.

Before the town was ready to build the road, several individuals petitioned the Supreme Court for another road, commencing nearer Great Boar's Head, at the Logs, so called, and running northerly, parallel with the road leading from the causeway to Boar's Head; and thence on, to the fish-houses, over the Leavitt field and the beach land, to Little Boar's Head. The petition was entered in the court at the October term, 1890, and referred to the county commissioners. It was recommitted from term to term, till a hearing was had, September 21, 1891. The town opposed the petition on the ground that a part of the road -- the southern end -- was not needed, as sit would be near and parallel with the present road leading from the end of the causeway to Boar's Head, and because it would be liable to be washed away by the sea, in the great storms.

The commissioners, however, laid out the road, in December. Their report, at the January term, was recommitted, with instructions from the court, to find out whether or not a certain heavy storm since the hearing in September would have damaged the road and whether it would be impracticable to maintain the highway, as laid out. The commissioners gave another hearing on the 8th of April, 1892; and in their second report recommended a change -- which was to abandon the parallel or double road from the Logs, and begin the new one at a point in the existing road nearer the cause way. The town being satisfied with the recommendation, the court ordered judgment on the report, and on the 6th day of May, 1892, the suit was ended. [Thomas Leavitt, of Exeter, counsel for the petitioners; Charles M. Lamprey, for Hampton; Calvin Page, of Portsmouth, for North Hampton.]

Thus is now laid out a beach highway, running directly from Great Boar's Head to Little Boar's Head. The road will be about two miles long, and will be a nearer route by three miles, than the old roads.

In 1889 the town purchased a road machine, for two hundred fifty dollars. It does very satisfactory work; and if properly handled, will keep the roads in better repair than in former years, at less than one-half the cost.

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