Trolleys to the Casino: Along The Beach

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At about the same time construction of the Hampton & Amesbury was resumed in the spring of 1899, the Exeter Street Railway began extending its tracks from Cutler's Sea View House southerly along Ocean Boulevard toward the Hampton River and Promoter Lovell announced plans for the erection of a large casino at the corner of Ocean Boulevard and the present Elizabeth Avenue, on land sub-leased from the Hampton Beach Improvement Company. Work on the casino was started in late April, the contract having been awarded to Abbott I. Joplin, and the building was sufficiently complete to permit its being opened to the public on July 4. The official grand opening, however, did not take place until Saturday, July 15, and it was not until late August that the railway's southerly extension at the beach was complete all the way to the Hampton River. According to newspaper reports, the tracks between the casino and the river, a distance of about one-half mile, were only of a temporary nature.

(The Hampton Beach Improvement Company, on April 1, 1898, leased for 99 years from the town of Hampton that portion of the beach extending southerly from the present Marine Memorial to Q Street, between Ocean Boulevard and Ashworth Avenue.)

Also built during the spring and summer of 1899 was a two-mile extension northerly along Hampton Beach from Winnacunnet Road to the North Hampton boundary, near Little Boar's Head, to connect with the Portsmouth Electric Railway, under construction at the time. This so-called North Beach extension was practically completed in late June or early July but was not placed in operation until 1900 when the Portsmouth Electric completed its main line from the Port City to Rye Center, Rye Beach and Little Boar's Head. The point of connection officially was known as Portsmouth junction.

Coincident with the building of the Hampton-Amesbury line and the extensions at Hampton Beach, both the power station and carhouse at Hampton were enlarged and additional generating equipment was provided. Another carhouse was built (by the Amesbury & Hampton) on the north side of Clinton Street, a short distance east of Market Street, Amesbury, and new rolling stock, consisting of seven 10 and six 14 bench open cars, two 20-foot closed cars and a Duplex single truck convertible, was ordered from the Briggs Carriage Company.

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