By D. Fisher -- 1900
The Railway and the Country
Exeter, Hampton & Amesbury Street Railway
With the opening of the railway, a new life has come to the region through which it runs. Much of it had been in a half torpid existence since the passing of the stage-coach. Fresh paint begins to appear on house and barn. Many a weed-grown "front yard" has become a lawn. Hammocks and chairs increase in number under the grand old trees. Fowls have gone back of the barns to stay, and stone walls begin to recede from the house. But the wells of pure water, the nut trees, and the orchards, and the back pastures where the "huckleberries" grow, are still here. Here, too, are fresh vegetables and pure milk and the old-fashioned flowers, --
Old roads winding, as old roads will,
Here to a ferry, and there to mill;
And glimpses of chimneys and gabled eaves,
Through green elm arches and maple leaves,--
Old homes sacred to all that can
Gladden or sadden the heart of man,--
Over whose thresholds of oak and stone
Life and death have come and gone!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Beyond are orchards and planting lands,
And great salt marshes, and glimmering sands,
And, where north and south the coast lines run,
The blink of the sea in breeze and sun."
So, in summer and autumn time this land has become possible as a resting-place where busy men and weary women, of even modest means, can enjoy real, old-fashioned, country life, and renew the recollections of their youth and early days.
Nor is this all. Along the older portion of the road, from Exeter to Hampton, cosy homes on two to five-acre lots have already begun to appear. And why not? Are they not within twenty to thirty minutes of stores, in old, historic towns, and just as near the best and safest of surf bathing?