Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: Odious Roads Discontinued / Road to Meet the Lafayette Road / The New Road

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Odious Roads Discontinued

In August following, through the efforts of Dr. Lawrence, town agent, and the selectmen, the Court of Common Pleas consented to the discontinuance of the road laid out by the Court of Sessions in 1824, from North Hampton line to Hampton Falls line.

The road from Vittum's corner to Hampton Falls was discontinued about the same time.

Road to Meet the Lafayette Road

While the above case was still pending, the selectmen of Hampton, upon application made to them, June 19, 1826, laid out a road from a point near the present residence of Stacy Wheeler Brown, extending on the easterly side of his house, to the North Hampton line, to meet the Lafayette road, so called, that had been built from Portsmouth nearly down to the line. It is probable that the laying out of this road aided the Hampton cause materially in the case in court, although North Hampton had already continued the Lafayette road in the direction of the proposed road, as far as the Hampton line. But the fact that the turnpike had been made a free road, as has been stated, so that there was no longer any cause for shunning that route, aided still more in freeing the Hampton people from building the roads so odious to them.

The New Road

Another highway which requires special mention is that still known as the new road.

Prior to the year 1852, there was no direct route from the center of the town to the North beach; but in April of that year, a petition was presented to the selectmen, to lay out a highway, "commencing at the well in the road near Lane's corner" and running easterly to the head of "Nook Lane," which would give a continuous, direct way from Exeter to the beach.

Accordingly, the selectmen ordered a hearing for the 24th of May; but "for divers good causes," probably by that time the land had been planted, adjourned till November, when they laid out the road as petitioned, awarding, in land damages, more than eleven hundred dollars to the owners, the whole tract being valuable tillage. A further award of a hundred fifty dollars was made to Dea. Jeremiah Hobbs, to remove his windmill, which had done service for many a year, in grinding corn for the farmers.

For beauty of summer scenery this road has scarcely its equal in the town; -- a gently undulating surface, spreading broadly to south and north; fields of corn and waving grain of various shades on either hand, flanked in the distance by farm-houses and public buildings; Kensington hill and other elevations towering upward in the west; and looking eastward, the blue ocean, dotted with sails, and sparkling in the sunlight. Already the sea breezes begin to sir one's pulses with a sense of exhilaration and freedom; and eagerly he presses onward, till, reaching Nook Lane, he is shut in by lofty pines and leafy birches and alders, while the air is filled with the fragrance of wild roses and clematis. At the end, the awful, ever-changing, restless, fascinating, indescribable sea.

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