Hampton's "Mile-Long" Wooden Bridge
Discrepancies on Bridge's Statistics
[NOTE: In researching material for the history of the Hampton's Mile-Long Bridge spanning Hampton River, it was found that no two histories provided the exact same statistics on the bridge. Therefore, we are providing all three synopsis of these discrepancies. We cannot verify which are the correct figures.]
"Opening of the Great Hampton River Bridge"
Friday, May 16, 1902 -- Vol. LXXII -- No. 20
". . . .It has been a year in building at a cost of about $100,000. Coles, Childs & Ruggles, of Boston, were the contractors. The bridge rests on 3,380 oak piles is 4,621 feet in length and 30 feet wide. Its construction has revolutionized the Rivermouth, of which Whittier sang, and means much for the development of the beaches of Hampton and Seabrook......"
"Hampton's 'Mile-Long' Wooden Bridge"
July 30, 1969
" ..... The monstrous pile bridge was the most exciting occurrence in years for the beach community. The bridge spanned 4,740 feet and was 30 feet wide. It was supported by 3,865 wooden piles which were driven deep into the river's sandy bottom ......"
"HAMPTON: A CENTURY OF TOWN AND BEACH, 1888-1988" -- Chapter 2 -- Part 1
By Peter Evans Randall
The Exeter, Hampton & Amesbury Street Railway: Streetcars, Casino, Bridge, and Municipal Folly, 1897-1926
" ....... In mid-May, the first shipment of oak piles, 30 to 40 feet long, arrived at Hampton depot, were taken by trolley to the Beach, and then were hauled by horse teams to the bridge site. A schooner from Maine was supposedly bringing more piles, which would be unloaded at the Hampton Landing. The piles then would be brought back to the bridge site on scows. The first task of Cowles & Childs was to drive wells to provide water for the three steam pile drivers. When finished, the 4,923-foot bridge cost $70,000 and had 5,270 oak piles, each 28 feet long and 13 inches thick. About 1.8 million board feet of hard pine was used for the floor and timbers, and the structure was held together with 25 tons of iron bolts. With a deck 8 feet above mean high water, the bridge had a 30-foot-wide draw weighing 25 tons and operated by balance weights. Its deck was 30 feet wide, with 10 feet on the ocean side used for the tracks and the rest open for pedestrian and carriage travel......"
"......The bridge was situated just west of the present Neil R. Underwood Memorial Bridge, and most of its length was on the Seabrook side of the river. Although it had no official name, it was usually referred to as the "Mile Bridge", being just 350 feet short of that length, making it the longest wooden structure of its type in New England, and some said the world......"