The Shoreline In Hampton

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From the book "More New Hampshire Folk Tales"
Collected by Mrs. Moody P. Gore & Mrs. Guy E. Speare
Compiled and published by Mrs. Guy E. Speare
Plymouth, New Hampshire - 1936

One hundred years ago, in the thirties [1830s], there were but four dwelling houses along Hampton Beach. On the highest part of the Boar's Head stood the David Nudd Hotel, exclusive and fashionable, and Thomas Leavitt's Hotel at the Head.

Marshlands separated the seashore from Hampton Village where were situated the homesteads of the famous families who settled the town two hundred years previously.

A characteristic of the old houses was that they usually sat directly to the south, no matter how the road went. This often brought the kitchen to what is called the front of the house, and the "fore" room or "best" room in the rear.

The Page Homestead was settled in 1639, and is owned today by descendants. The first framed house was burned about 1775. The story in the Page Family is that most of the household furnishings were destroyed but Mrs. Page seized the wooden churn, carried it to a place of safety, and only afterward realized that a box of valuable linen stood by the churn and might have been saved in its place.

The old Marston House still boasts of its western section built in 1654 in which is the kitchen that is plastered with clamshell mortar, rarely seen today. One well-authenticated story is that when the Indians infested the forest that closely surrounded the dwelling, one of them shot a man who was standing in the doorway. The doorstone that was covered with the blood of the victim was later removed and built into the walled up fireplace. Descendants also occupy this old homestead.

Oldest house is the Dearborn home, built in 1664. Its wainscoting and paneling are still preserved and its fireplaces are constructed of square brick made on the place. The plastering on two of the rooms was the first to be used in the town. An aged resident has told how he rode a horse through the house, entering at the front door in pursuit of two young ladies and out by the back entrance. Logs for the big fireplace were drawn into the room by a horse. The trail by this house was originally called Wigwam Row and clamshells were found, near the spring, which must have been left there by Indians before white settlers occupied the farm. Godfrey Dearborn, the founder of this family has been succeeded by men of note. Among them Brigadier General Henry Dearborn of 1812, a member of Congress, and a Secretary of War in Jefferson's cabinet.

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