New Names For Old Places

Hampton 350

1638 -- 1988

Rockingham County Newspaper -- July 8, 1988

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[The following articles are courtesy of
Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

By John M. Holman, Contributing Writer, and
Anna May Cole, Former School Teacher

Within a year of the founding and settlement of Winnacunnet, the name was changed to Hampton. This apparently established a precedent that has seen many name changes, as well as the complete elimination of others over the years.

As the town grew from the eight original founding families in 1638 to more than 13,000 residents in 1988, many areas and roads of the town were given names that have been changed or have just disappeared from use.

John Holman, long-time associate of the Meeting House Green Memorial and Historical Association, and Anna May Cole, former school teacher and also an Association member, offer and attempt to explain some of these memorable names:

1. NUT ISLAND -- A knoll on the north Beach where the Bailey Motel now stands. The first house at the beach was built here in 1800 by John Elkins. [JH]

2. JONTY'S LANE -- Part of the original Jonty's Lane is now White's Lane (off Mill Road just south of Watson's Lane), renamed in memory of PFC Robert K. White, who lost his life at the end of World War II in France in a train accident. The end of White's Lane to Barbour Road is still known as Jonty's Lane, named for a Captain Jonathan Godfrey, who "lived on a lane leading easterly from the 'back road'[now Mill Road] in Hampton." (Dow's History of Hampton) [JH]

3. BLACK SWAMP ROAD -- Now called Barbour Road, east of Mill Road between Watson's Lane and Ann's Lane. [JH]

4. WIGWAM ROW -- Name given to Exeter Road between the center of Hampton and Towle Farm Road. It is said Indians camped in that area before the settlement of Hampton. [JH]

5. THE CAUSEWAY (later called The Turnpike) -- Now Route 1, Lafayette Road, it was built from the Meeting House Green in the vicinity of the General Moulton house (212 Lafayette Road), across the marsh to the Hampton Falls line in 1645. [JH]

6. THE SHUNPIKE -- When the "Turnpike" was built across the marsh, about 1810, a toll was charged to cross it. With many travelers not content with having to pay a toll, a bridge, called the "Shunpike," was built across the Taylor River, some distance west of the Turnpike, where people could cross free. [JH]

7. THE RING (sometimes called "Ring Swamp") -- This area of land included the Meeting House Green, where the early families built their homes, and was bounded on the south by Park Avenue, on the west by Lafayette Road, and on the east and north by Winnacunnet Road. [JH]

8. RAND'S HILL -- In the vicinity of the General Moulton house (212 Lafayette Road) on "Haunted House Curve," at the junction of Lafayette and Drakeside Roads. [JH]

9. VITTUM'S CORNER -- The junction of Towle Farm and Exeter Roads. [JH]

10. HEMP PLAIN HILL -- Located on Mill Road at the water standpipe hill, between Ann's Lane and Emery Lane. [JH]

11. NOOK LANE -- Name of High Street, from the center of Hampton to the ocean at North Beach. [JH]

12. GREAT OX COMMON (PASTURE) -- At Hampton Beach from Island Path to Glade Path, where cattle and oxen grazed. [JH]

13. HUCKLEBERRY FLATS (also called Plantation) -- East of King's Highway to the ocean, at North Beach. [JH]

14. BRIDE HILL -- Area from "Wigwam Row" to the Exeter town line. Bride Hill Road is now called Exeter Road. [JH]

15. THE BRIDAL ELM -- Legend says that wedding ceremonies were performed under this elm (or oak or birch) in the open air. It was located a short distance from the Exeter/Hampton town line, in the Bride Hill area. [JH]

16. GUINEA -- Area in western part of town from Drakeside and Towle Farm roads south to the Hampton Falls border and west to Timber Swamp Road. It was so named because Edward Shaw, who owned the homestead, which was later called the Corrant Place, kept guinea pigs and pastured them in the field opposite his house (now Geary Hurd's field). It is also reported that the region was in early times the home of wealthy people who had many gold guineas and thus gave the area its name. Take your choice. [AMC]

17. BLAKEVILLE --Name given to the area of Mill Road between Ann's Lane and Watson's Lane where many Blake families lived. [AMC]

18. BACK ROAD -- Led to Portsmouth by a devious path starting at Winnacunnet Road, up to Hemp Plain Hill, then on through Blakeville and on to North Hampton, past the old shingle mill, which gave it the present name, Mill Road. [AMC]

19. FORE ROAD -- Ran from the Hampton Falls border through the center of town, through Giles Swamp, straight on to Portsmouth, being part of stage road from Boston to Portsmouth, now called Lafayette Road. The area west of Lafayette Road between Exeter Road and the North Hampton border was known as Gile Swamp. [AMC]

20. SLEEPER'S TOWN, OR SLEEPYTOWN -- Ran from Winnacunnet Road to Five Corners. Now named Locke Road.

21. BROWN ROAD -- Now called Landing Road running south from Winnacunnet Road to The Landing.

22. COFFIN'S MILL ROAD (later Shaw Road) -- Now that part of Timber Swamp Road between Towle Farm Road running west to the intersection of Old Stage Road.

23. LITTLE RIVER ROAD -- Once extended to the North Hampton border over the road now called Woodland Road.

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