Residence of Dr. & Mrs. Wayne P. Bryer

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Old Home Day

1638 - Town of Hampton - 1961

Wayne P. Bryer house

624 Exeter Road [now 10 Gale Rd.]

This stately house is located in the Bride Hill section of Hampton. [Note: This house is today located in a new neighborhood at 10 Gale Rd. and is no longer accessible from 624 Lafayette Rd.] (Joseph) Dow, our local historian, tells us that the origin of this place name is obscure. He writes, "Tradition says it was in honor of a marriage rite performed in the open air. Off from the (Exeter) road, some fifteen or twenty rods, down a sharp decline, stands a beautiful lyre-shaped elm, towering high above a young pine growth. This is called the 'bridal elm,' for under it, it is said, the happy couple stood while the minister joined them in marriage -- a very pretty conceit, but spoiled by finding that Bride Hill is mentioned in the town records as early as October 12, 1669, when the bridal elm was not even a seed, and ministers were not authorized to marry."

The original part of this house, a Greek Revival type, was built by the Sanborn family and moved to its present location twenty-five years ago when it was incorporated into the construction of the much larger house.

Surrounded by spacious grounds this house has many features to commend it. Visitors will want especially to note the unique freestanding staircase in the entrance hall and, in the same room, the Zuber wall papers depicting a French hunting scene. These papers have been printed in France from the same blocks for more than two hundred years.

On the well-kept grounds which surround the house are a garden of early spring flowers and that institution of a bygone day, an herb garden. Also on the premises is the old family burying-ground where members of the Sanborn family were buried.

At this home, those interested in old paintings of the Hampton area may view the exhibit of paintings of Great Boar's Head from Dr. Bryer's collection.

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