An Accurate Tradition of the Site of the Bridal Elm

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Views and Review of Old Rockingham

By Rev. Roland D. Sawyer

Hampton Union, December 1, 1949

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

The Bridal ElmLast week I spoke about how glad we would be if some one had written down some of the oral tradition that used to be told by Mary Ann Sanborn.

This week I want to record an accurate oral tradition which tells us where stood the old Bridal Elm, of which so much has been told in Hampton History.

In the UNION of May 13, 1948, we carried a cut of the large Elm that stood on the line between two farms, down in the field and opposite the present home of the Misses Helen and Frances Tredick.

That cut was made from a snap shot taken by Mrs. Elizabeth K. Folsom of Exeter at least 40 years ago, and showed the fine old elm pointed out in my young days as "The Bridal Elm."

That tradition was corrected last summer by Joe Cram of Hampton Falls, who told me where the real bridal elm tree stood.

As Joe is running up close to 80, unless I note it in print, it might soon be lost.

Mr. Cram went to the Tredick home something over 60 years ago with his father, to buy some useful things from Capt. Joe Sanborn, who was born May 5, 1817, and who lived there.

Capt. Joe told the Crams that when he was a lad around 1825, his grandfather John, born 1742, and who lived to 1831, was much interested when Capt. Joe, digging as a lad will, uncovered a lot of black dirt

The old man hobbled to the spot, and told Capt. Joe that he was digging up some of the old “Bridal Tree” beneath which the wedding took place, and which gave the name of “Bridal Hill District” to the section..

And also it was Mr. Cram’s recollection that the tree was not an Elm at all, but a birch of some type.

I hope some day to ride down to Mr. Cram’s, and if I can get him away from his work, (he is always busy). I shall have him ride up to the Tredick home and show me, if he can, where the Bridal Tree stood.

Mr. Cram’s memory is verified by a story of the tree written by Rev. Joseph Fullonton in an 1845 issue of the EXETER NEWS-LETTER.


April 4, The Hampton old-time Tide Mill is being taken down. Also the old house, one-time owned by Josiah Marston and in recent years replaced by the new house, a few rods west of Loring Dunbar, had the distinction of having in its kitchen the first stove ever owned in town.

Also, in re the price for milk sold the Whiting Company. The farmers after a conference, agreed with the Whiting Company on the following prices the coming year.
The farmers now receive 15 cents for an 8 ½ qt, can; they asked for an increased to 21 cents but have agreed to take 1cents for the coming year,

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