Published by S. B. Coffin, Colonade Row, Hampton Beach

Hampton and Rye Beach Reporter

Vol. 1 – No. 1 – July 1871

Thomas Davis, Editor

Compiled by John M. Holman
Hampton History Volunteer

1638 – HAMPTON, N.H. – 1871 — In 1638 the General Court of Massachusetts granted to Rev. Stephen Bachiler, the territory extending along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts State line to Portsmouth. This tract of land, then comprised the town of Hampton, embracing within its limits the villages of Seabrook, Hampton Falls, North Hampton and a part of Rye. The present town of Hampton is pleasantly situated on the line of the Eastern (rail) road, some 46 miles from Boston, one of the best routes for the tourist leading from the Hub, as we pass through the busy manufacturing city of Lynn; the venerable city of witches, Salem; Hamilton of camp meeting celebrity; and renowned Beverly; Newburyport and Salisbury.

“Upon reaching Hampton, we find ourself in a town containing some 1500 inhabitants, churches, an academy and little red brick school-houses, one of which having a small cupola we mistook for an engine house. Many of the dwellings have an antiquated appearance, a few, we should judge, having been in existence as long as the town itself, but the majority are of modern architecture; while around all is observed that air of neatness and thrift, which betokens Hampton to be a wide-awake, neat and industrious town. Farming constitutes the chief employment of the inhabitants, the principal product being potatoes, of which large quantities are grown for market. We noticed, also, many fine fields of corn and grain on the road from the depot to the shore.

“As a summer resort, Hampton ranks among the first on the North Shore, its bold rocky coast and splendid sea view, comprising a range from Cape Ann to Portsmouth, including the Isle of Shoals, cannot be surpassed. Several large hotels are near the beach, prominent among them being the “Boar’s Head Hotel,” situated upon a jagged promontory bearing a not very poetic name of Boar’s Head, whether from real or fancied resemblance to the object from whence the name is derived, we know not.

“From present appearances the season at Hampton will be the most brilliant one that has taken place for many a year. With this we give a list of the hotels and their appointments.

Boar’s Head Hotel

Boar’s Head Hotel

“The natural advantages, the location of this Hotel, is unsurpassed. Situated on the promontory, known as [Great] Boar’s Head, 65 feet above the level of the sea, within a short distance of the fishing grounds, for which this coast has always been so noted. A Post office and Telegraph office are in the house; Billiard and Bowling Saloons are of the newest available and with its old and popular proprietor, L. P. Nudd, we feel assured that its former reputation will be kept up.

Shore House

“This delightful sea-side resort has been thoroughly renovated and refurnished. Every facility for guests to enjoy all the luxuries of bathing, sailing and fishing are offered by J. E. Bray, Proprietor.

“A splendid Ice Cream, Confectionery and Dining Saloon has been opened on the Beach, which has never been found before. He has well furnished rooms, and a Dining Hall, with marble tables, for the accommodation of visitors, and meals can be had at all hours.
[Ed. The original location of this Hotel is unknown at this time, but from the photo below it appears to be along the waterfront.]

The Shore House is pictured at left.
A stereoptican photo of the original Ocean House which was destroyed by fire in 1885

Ocean House

“This popular house, with its cottages, is the largest on the Beach; it has been refitted and newly furnished, and its proprietors, Messrs. Phillip Yeaton, Charles R. and Eugene Mason, will spare no pains or expense to make it a first-class summer resort. The drives around the Ocean House are unsurpassed. They also have one of the best Liveries outside of Boston and experienced boatmen for fishing, bowling, billiards, etc.

The Union House (later Hotel Whittier) was destroyed by fire in 1916. The cause, according to the Town Report, was “rats & matches.”

Union House

“Besides the hotels at Hampton Beach, are numerous cottages, erected for summer residences by parties principally from Manchester and Lawrence. In the village, some three miles from the beach, and but a few steps from the depot, is the Union House, which also receives a share of summer patronage. The proprietors, Messrs. Smith & Whittier, are gentlemen of experience.

“There are two daily line of (Stage) Coaches running between [Hampton] Beach and Exeter, in connection with the Boston and Maine Railroad.