Hampton History Timeline, 1820-1975

By John M. Holman, Contributing Writer

1820 -- First beach hotel opened at base of Great Boar's Head.
1826 -- "Boar's Head Hotel" on Great Boar's Head, opened to public.
1844 -- Original "Ocean House" of 250 rooms built on front, just north of Church Street.
1848 -- Rockingham Lodge No. 22 IOOF instituted at Hampton Falls, NH.
1872 -- "East End School" and "Grammar School" built in village with appropriate ceremonies.
1883 -- Old wooden Hampton Academy building moved from "Academy Green" on Park Avenue to Academy Avenue in just 17 minutes!
1884 -- Perkins Post No. 78, G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) organized on May 12th.
1885 -- Original "Hotel Whittier" built, junction of Winnacunnet Road and Lafayette Road.
1885 -- "Ocean House" destroyed by fire on May 7th.
1888 -- Winnacunnet Council No. 23, Jr. O.U.A.M. organized on May 16th.
1896 -- Odd Fellows building dedicated on December 10th. (The building was gutted by fire on Jan. 27, 1990 and razed.)
1897 -- Construction of Exeter & Hampton Street Railway begun with appropriate ceremonies on May 17th.
1897 -- First trolley car ran in Hampton on July 1st.
1897 -- Exeter & Hampton Street Railway completed to Highland Avenue at Hampton Beach on July 9th.
1897 -- Ocean Side Grange #260 organized with 15 members present on October 2nd.
1898 -- Construction of Hampton Beach Life Saving (Coast Guard) Station began in July at North Beach. (First occupied on March 1, 1899.)
1898 -- Town leases main beach to "Hampton Beach Improvement Company" for 99 years on April 7th.
1898 -- Great Cyclone causes loss of life and property at beach on July 4.
1898 -- "Hampton Beach Casino" built
1899 -- Building began in early spring on the north half of "Hampton Beach Casino".
1899 -- Beach terminal of Exeter & Hampton Street Railway extended from Highland Avenue to Hampton Beach Casino.
1899 -- Hampton & Amesbury Street Railway completed on May 12th.
1899 -- First electric car runs to Hampton Beach from Amesbury, Mass. via Hampton Village on July 4th.
1899 -- North half of the Hampton Beach Casino completed on July 14th.
1899 -- "Farmers' Day", heretofore held on "Boar's Head", moved to new Hampton Beach Casino on August 9th.
1901 -- Construction of "Mile-Long Wooden Bridge" over Hampton River is started. {See related story}.
1901 -- South half of "Hampton Beach Casino" and new "Ocean House" completed and opened to the public on July 1st.
1902 -- Formal opening of the "Mile-Long Wooden Bridge" on May 14th (Reputed to be the longest wooden bridge in the world at the time, although it was 659 feet short of a measured mile!)
1907 -- Original carbarn on Exeter Road burned on March 1st. (All open cars lost to the flames. {See related story}
1907 -- Hampton Beach Precinct is organized on June 26th.
1908 -- "Exeter & Hampton Electric Company" is organized on April 1st.
1915 -- Start of first "Hampton Beach Carnival" on Labor Day. (First Aeroplane flight on the sands at Hampton Beach.)
1915 -- First great Conflagration (fire) at Hampton Beach on Sept. 23rd.
1921 -- Town of Hampton purchased the Exeter, Hampton & Amesbury Street Railway for $80,000. on February 1st.
1921 -- "Hampton Centre School" on Winnacunnet Road built to replace "Grammar School", which was moved next to the Town Office Building to be used as Fire Station No. 2 and American Legion Post #35 Hall, and later as the Hampton District Court House, when the new up-town Fire Station was built in 1977.
1921 -- Second great conflagration (fire) at Hampton Beach, NH on June 28th.
1923 -- "News Guide" first published.
1923 -- "Dance Carnival" opened on site of old "Leavitt Hotel" at base of "Great Boar's Head".
1926 -- Graves & Ramsdell sold Casino holdings to Messrs. Cuddy, Demara, John & James Dineen, The Casino Associates.
1926 -- Last regular trolley trip to Hampton Beach, NH on May 29th.
1926-27 The present "Casino Ballroom" is built during the winter.
1929 -- The "Dance Carnival" destroyed by fire on Nov. 25th.
1929 -- Grange Hall (now American Legion Post #35 Hall) dedicated Sept. 23rd. (Building was original saw mill of S. W. Dearborn Lumber Company.)
1934 -- Sea Wall built at North Beach.
1937 -- Hampton Beach State Park Bath House built at south end of beach.
1937 -- Clock installed in Hampton Beach Casino.
1939-40 New brick Hampton Academy & High School built on Academy Avenue, graduating first class in June 1940, replacing old wooden Hampton Academy building.
1940 -- New Hampton Academy and High School dedicated on June 8th.
1940 -- Old Hampton Academy building auctioned off for $200. and razed for salvage in August.
1940 -- The East End School House was auctioned off for $120. and razed several years later.
1947 -- Sea Wall built at south end of Hampton Beach.
1949 -- The Hampton Town Hall was destroyed in a predawn fire on March 19th. A temporary building was constructed around the Town vault and the "$80,000. trolley clock" was rescued and is still ticking in the Selectmen's Meeting Room. The temporary building is still in use as the Town Office Building as of July 1, 1998.
1949 -- The present steel bridge, named the "NEIL R. UNDERWOOD MEMORIAL BRIDGE" opened to the public on December 15th. He was the first beach resident killed in action in World War II. This bridge replaced the famous "Mile-Long Wooden Bridge" which was actually 659 feet short of a measured mile. It was reputed to be the longest wooden bridge in the world at the time.
1955 -- Sea Wall built south from Boar's Head.
1958 -- New Winnacunnet High School dedicated on October 26th, graduating first class in June 1959. (Hampton Academy & High School then became Hampton Academy Junior High School.)
1963 -- A "Time Capsule" from the Class of 1962 was placed behind a wall on the ground floor of the 1963 addition to the HAJH in February 1963 to be opened in 2062 AD.
1975 -- Another "Time Capsule" from the class of 1975 was placed behind a blackboard in Room #30 of the second addition of 1974-75. No further details available as of July 1, 1998.

(With contributions from "Our Town" by James W. Tucker - Dec. 10, 1953 - The Hampton Union .)